The hamster not only loves his cage, he’d be lost without it.
The perfect life, the perfect lie, I realised after Christmas, is one which prevents you from doing that which you would ideally have done (painted, say, or written unpublishable poetry) but which, in fact, you have no wish to do. People need to feel they have been thwarted by circumstances from pursuing the life which, had they led it, they would not have wanted; whereas the life they really wanted was precisely a compound of all those thwarting circumstances. It is a very elaborate, extremely simple procedure, arranging this web of self-deceit: contriving to convince yourself that you were prevented from doing what you wanted. Most people don’t want what they want: people want to be prevented, restricted. The hamster not only loves his cage, he’d be lost without it. That’s why children are so convenient: you have children because you’re struggling to get by as an artist - which is actually what being an artists means - or failing to get on with your career. Then you can persuade yourself that your children prevented you from having this career that had never looked like working out. (From Geoff Dyer's 'Out of Sheer Rage')