And even harder to overcome bipolar disorder in the way that I did, with no meds.
But in many ways, the hardest thing I’ve had to face is being a family man
Two simple reasons, really:
- I am a loner by nature and need my life to be as I design it, in order to function at my best.
- To lead and provide for a family is one of the hardest jobs on the planet
I am speaking in relative terms here
Most of my jobs involved physical strength and logistics on a large scale. I was usually in an influential position of power even when the job wasn’t physical.
- I’ve endured pain in every form
- tested my physical limits for endurance and stamina
- survived the stresses of deadlines where millions were on the line
- sucked up depression and despair at jobs I’ve hated and kept on going for years
- and, at thirty five jobs, have had to deal with every type of personality under the sun both as a worker and a boss
But I was mostly only responsible for my own performance
Also, if I had problems with staff, coworkers, or a boss, I usually had room to respond in some sub-human or overly aggressive fashion that got me what I wanted.
At the very least, I was dealing with adults and the playing field for negotiations was level and understood by all parties.
These options do not exist in the family unit!
And for me, as a DaVinci personality, that’s been a struggle.
I married into a family and built an offspring of my own. I started this phase of my life in my thirties. We took a break but restarted the show seven years later, almost in my forties.
I was married once before but we pretty much led separate lives and were content with that. So I’ve been on my own most of my life as far as laying out the plan for my days.
I share all this because I feel many creative types face this same struggle. We love our wives/husbands/kids but we operate on a different frequency from them.
Our love for them does not equate to synchronicity. The issues we have with the world at large do not go away inside the walls of our house.
These things are true for everyone, really, but we have this need to create and we tend to need our lives structured in very specific ways in order to do so.
Think “the author in the secluded cabin, working on his next big novel”
We’re that guy, or girl.
This way of looking at family life, from the perspective of the hyper-focused artist, will not apply to everyone reading this.
Some of you thrive nicely and handle all there is to handle efficiently and with enthusiasm within your familial realm.
But if it’s hard for you, I can relate. And I have ways of helping you deal with your brood, stay sane, be a good spouse or parent, enjoy your life, and still get The Big Work (thanks Marc Maron!) done.
Being a father and husband has had a profound effect on my creative endeavors and has influenced how I work with clients and partners. My beautiful wife and energized kids have taught me much:
- Be responsible
- It’s not all about you
- Be there; be present
- Do something other than work from time to time
- Communicate carefully
- Be patient
- Take on more than you care to when it’s required of you and do so stoically
- Don’t complain
- Lead – don’t dictate
- Sometimes you gotta lose the battle to win the war
- Be the person you wish to have reflected back at you
- When you screw up, own it
- Tact is critical at all times
- Get good at this job and all your other tasks become easier
Again, I share this page so that you can see I have issues beyond the scope of this website or my business. You do too. These family dynamics are really your actual life.
These missions we’ve chosen are just an engine inside them
But lose the first and the second becomes meaningless.