Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Working with heart and soul

TUESDAY, May 25 – Is it possible that I have been inspired by our Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende? The words he spoke this morning on Radio One held a certain appeal. Why was he prepared to work so hard all those years, and why did he now want to remain Prime Minister?

‘Because I want to continue to do my work with heart and soul,’ he said. ‘And I’m able to do so because I have a fantastic home front and Bianca supports me every step of the way.’

Hm… The home front. Work with heart and soul. That’s always been my goal and that’s how I’ve lived. If you’re going to do something, do it well. With single-mindedness and enthusiasm. It is inevitable that that will be at the expense of the home front, especially at a certain level, whether as a politician or – in my case – as a journalist with executive responsibility.

The words of the Prime Minister kept going around in my head, as I hurried from one appointment to the next. Long, exhausting discussions about personnel management, journalism, and company strategy which I actively participated in.  But at the same time, my mind wasn’t fully functioning.

I had to leave at three o’clock and race to pick up Eamonn. I was a bit late. At four I had an appointment in the city. Got there three minutes late. At 5:30 I headed home to fix dinner and dropped Eamonn off for his guitar lesson. Just made it. At 6:30 I had an appointment with the contractor and in the evening I had my hands full with Sander and Eamonn. After they were in bed, I had time for some paperwork.

Now it’s well past midnight. Too late for someone who has to be up at 6:15 the next morning to fix breakfast and make the boys’ lunches. How long can I keep going around in circles?  And how do I write it down?  In the form of a question:  ‘Am I going to make it?’ Or do I already know the answer? Which might be: ‘No, I’m not going to make it.’

It’s much too early to ponder this, but the simple fact is that I’ve asked the question…

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