Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


Day 170

Always chasing things. My stomach is decidedly on edge about going away, and there are still so many things I need to get done before I feel ready to go. And I do know it’s stupid, and I do know there’s not really any reason to feel like this. We’ve got a load of disposable facemasks for the flight and bus rides. We’ll keep ourselves to ourselves. Just the sun, the sea, and us. Oh, I do love a cliché.

And, yes, there is a lot of the workaholic syndrome in this. When I walked in here this morning after my customary Sunday morning lie-in, I did wonder what I will do without having this place (prison and sanctuary and creative workshop and day job engine room) to go to. It’s unhealthy, I agree, but it’s the way I’m built, and I have, over the years, tried to change this total focus, almost to the exclusion of all else, on doing, on working. I remember, in a previous life, in a previous job, where I was running a department of permanently-employed people, as well as a group of about ten or so lovely freelancers, and the freelancers always went to my boss, the Managing Director, if they had an issue that would keep them away from work because “Richard will just say work’s more important than anything else,” and MD was seen to be a softer touch than me. Not something I’m proud of, and not something I recognise now, as family always has to be the priority (even for me, and even with all the emotional and financial stresses that brings with it).

Which reminds me that it’s Fathers’ Day, which, although its a commercial invention, is at least a day where so many children make huge efforts to reinforce their messages of thanks to their fathers. Their parents, actually. I’ve already been overwhelmed by our children’s wishes and blessings, and my cynicism has taken a backseat for some moments. But let’s make this a team effort. All parents everywhere have an immensely difficult job to do, and we all just do our best, and sometimes it’s not necessarily enough, and sometimes, actually, it’s too much. The fact that my childhood was very unhappy has perhaps made me go too much the other way on occasions, and actually, honestly, bounce around between both extremes too often. And my children are still dealing with the fallout from that. Is it wise to be this honest? I don’t know. But then I’m not very wise. None of us are. We all still have many life lessons to learn.




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