I had a fantastic hour in the studio last night, returning to write a story I’d struggled with before. Today, I spent the entire journey into work telling myself the arc of the three parts of the story as I see it, opening up a whole new theory for myself about Muses.

The minute I was in the studio I felt great, peaceful. Before I left the house I’d wavered, I could have gone either way, but the unwavering support of my wife kept me going – and as I pottered around tidying my desk and setting up the area, the peace returned.

This weekend we’re off to the Isle of Wight, our honeymoon location, for the anniversary of us meeting for the first time. The island is a central figure in one of my projects, but it feels like last summer’s visit opened up everything that was good about me, and my marriage.

I want to keep up the momentum as we go into the weekend, and carry it through the visit and out the other side to gain the absolute most inspiration and energy from the place. So this is a quick rattling out of some disparate thoughts that are clouding me…

I have always been the classic ‘all the gear and no idea’ sportsman. I got into mountain biking and didn’t just buy an entry level bike, I bought a £900 machine on a credit card just after getting my first ever job.


But what was the point of doing it unless I had the best kit? If I was going to actually do this thing, then I’d only want the best stuff later on, so why not get it now and actually gain the benefits early? Why not get everything first?

Because, obviously, that rush of a new project or passion isn’t guaranteed to last. I stopped using the bike. But I didn’t stop filling my time with stuff, new things to spend money on.

Basically, I need to cut down the things I’m doing. I need to write, read, shower my wife with love and affection and not a whole lot else. Otherwise I’m just spreading myself too thin. Otherwise, I’m not getting the most out of what I’m doing.

After reading an article on TGMP… Women had their identity crisis several decades before men? So, can you have an identity crisis unless you have something to push against? Can you have an identity crisis unless you feel threatened? Can you have an identity crisis unless the identity you have assumed is challenged?

I am hating it that people are telling me ‘advice’ along the lines of ‘your life is over when the baby is born’.

I hear people worried about what they’ll lose if they have a commitment, if they get married, if they buy a house, if they have a baby. Is this why why we have elongated childhoods, manbabies, careerwomen, separatesouls?

Because everyone is so terrified of losing freedom, because they believe it when people tell them that they’ll lose everything at these milestones, that they resist moving on? Is that why we’re all so unhappy? (Are we all so unhappy?)

The difference between success and just getting along, doing something as a hobby, is dedication and sacrifice. Obvious. But easy to hide, easy to let myself forget.

Ah. Clean.

About Ben Catley-Richardson

Writer, reader, husband. Father!
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