There is a very strong correlation between how many keys one has, and how complex one’s life is. In my experience, all throughout my adulthood, the level of a stress-free and meaningful lifestyle, can be measured by how many keys I am holding at any one time. I really noticed this when I was managing a warehouse during the weekends for a company back in my late twenties. I remember the day vividly, starting out on that job, experiencing “super stress” for the first time with all the responsibilities that came with the position.
Looking at my key-chain then, I counted fifty-four keys attached to it, all different sizes and shapes. All the keys were active; they opened doors and turned locks needed to start equipment; they locked-up, turned-on and shut-off various facets of the daily routines that came with that job. This also meant that I had to be available, everywhere, throughout the time I was on the clock. But it did not end there. The keys stayed with me, almost 24/7, so in the event of another manager calling in sick, or he or she lost their set, then I was obliged to step in. Of course, with such responsibly came higher pay, which was the motivating factor that compelled me to accept this position in the first place. It was the stress that was attached to those keys that eventually wore me down.
Later on in life, at another point, I started to develop an upward growing collection of keys that reached critical mass, and I found myself again mired with super stress. It was in the winter of 1995 when my home in Langley City was burgled, and several items of high value were stolen. So, then came my period of “high defence” spending, were every door, window and gate had a lock installed on it, and it did not end there; my security PVR had a lock on it too, along with all of my harddrives on my PC. That was when the keys on my key chain started to populate. I was so paranoid of being preyed upon by the local thieves that I found a good deal of my time was spent opening and closing everything with my keys. The ultimate stress reliever was moving to a more rural residence, and overnight my stress was greatly reduced, along with my 1kg of keys.
One day, I hope to reach a Zen like state where I only have one key to serve me my whole day. Perhaps even going to a keyless life style, where everyone around me can be trusted, and not a worry in the world would cause me to keep a key with me, let alone to lock something up. But, as an old friend once told me (who is a Lock’s Smith) “a lock and key only keeps honest people out.” But at least with the seven keys that I keep with me now, I can deal with the stress and responsibility that comes with them.