American University law professor Andrew Taslizt is dead, passing away at the age of 57 in February of this year. Not that many of us knew who he was, unless you followed the scholarly world. From all accounts he was driven and brilliant. Devoted to his work, honored and admired by many during his life and after his death. But his widower is wondering, “For what?”
In this article from the American Bar Association website, Taslizt’s widow does not hold back in her anger and resentment at how much his ‘frenzied output’ lead to his death. How little time they took to enjoy life or vacation. And I am pretty sure she is not the first, nor will she be the last spouse of the driven to feel this way.
I recall during my first week of law school there were sessions regarding spouses and significant others of law students. These people were reminded that they are in relationships with obsessive people. That is how we got into law school and law school does almost nothing to deter that characteristic. Speaking for myself, I know that when I am in “trial mode” I do not want to see or hear another human being unless it involves my trial and I am often, much to my shame, rude about it. Fortunately, this happens less now than when I was a prosecutor. But, taking time to enjoy life is still a chore for many people who are driven by their work. And let’s be honest. Many times the pressures of work are far easier to deal with than the pressures of family life. I know many people who work late because they would rather be worn out by work than by their spouse or children.
And we all think, “You knew I was this way when we met” and kiss off the concerns and complaints of our loved ones. We take no notice of our declining health, lack of sleep, or the absence of daylight in our daily lives. And we are perfectly willing to pay that price because, like Mr. Taslizt, we won’t be around to pay the real price. Resentment from our loved ones because while we were creating our professional legacies we ignored making special memories.
I know far too many wrestlers, especially from the era when the travel was gosh awful, long, and difficult. And many of these wrestlers have a story to tell of how they were so focused on their careers that they lost out on parenthood. But that is not what truly bothers them. What truly bothers them is how their family grew up and can barely imagine them in it. Roddy Piper talks about knowing when he had to quit, in his prime, because his son did not recognize him when he came home and cried bloody murder. Shawn Michaels talks about the realization that his 9-year old’s childhood was half over while he was show-stopping. Butch Reed gave up the road and stardom when his wife said he either was coming home or there would not be one when he returned. Terry Funk gave up the NWA World Title because his wife told him that he was gone too much for the family to stay together.
Each of these men is driven to succeed. Each is obsessed with success. And each made the choice that a little more glory was not worth losing family memories over. And each still had great, even legendary, careers. So what price is glory? Read on and see, because this widow is pissed.