Love Thursday

I tried to talk myself out of it. To say that the hours and the stress weren’t worth it. But the fact is, I deeply, deeply miss being a litigator. I deeply desire the charge of being in court, of problem-solving with colleagues, of being intellectually challenged by my work, and in an admission that won’t be a surprise to any lawyer reading this site, of being Officially Smart When I Am Proven Right.

These last few months “off” have been great. I have done a ton of writing, and not nearly enough reading.  (Is there ever enough?) I have had a lot of time to think about what I want in a workplace, how to best manage my workload so I give good results to clients without losing my mind, and what I want in colleagues. And I have also spent a lot of time being afraid– what if I end up someplace with crazy personalities and bad management? It happens. What if I immediately start stressing out and fall back in to bad mental habits? What if… what if?

When I was working, I would leave my briefcase, totes, and other baggage du jour by the door, so I wouldn’t forget it– I’m not always a morning person, and if I am feeling harried I turn into ForgetfulBLC. My dad bought me this briefcase when I was first starting work as a law clerk. We picked it out together, at a luggage store in Northampton that’s still standing. I haven’t always used it– sometimes the case demanded a pen, a legal pad, and my wallet, and sometimes a trial bag, and this two-gusset leather number doesn’t fit seven redwells, on those challenging seven-redwell days. I’ve got an array of black bags and cases for those different kinds of days, but this briefcase is My Briefcase in a way the after-acquired ones aren’t.

I was emailing with my Dad and listing all my concerns about accepting this offer, and listing the on-the-other-hands. The people seem at ease with one another; their body language says so. They meet your eye with keen and interested looks. And they made me a more-than-fair offer despite what I think was an astonishingly frank discussion of what I didn’t want in a workplace. The work will be challenging, more complex than I’ve been doing recently.  And they seem the right size of small and large.  Dad and I discussed some of the things I’ve disliked about past work places, and why they were a problem for me. By the third email or so, I’d talked myself into going back to litigation, and out of letting my fears allow me to continue to be a little bored, a bit lonely, and in any event, underpaid. He echoed the same things that the BH has been saying, and which after the fact and unsolicited, my best friend A. has said. In essence, that I should take the job, that I’d done the mental work to avoid past pitfalls, and that I could do it, despite my fears.

I am still going to freelance, but at this point, it won’t be beyond the part-time pace I’ve been doing. It’s fun, it’s creative, and it’s a potential outlet to prevent me from getting so caught up in work that I think about nothing else. But I’ve also realized that without being busy and without having structure, I’m a bit at loose ends. I need enough “stuff” going on to allow me to flesh out a schedule and counterbalance things. I need the pressure, in order to produce. And really, to feel like who I am, who I can be when I’m firing on all pistons, I need and love that bag, swinging off my shoulder, as I ready for another legal battle, suit as armor and high-heeled lances at the ready.

Happy Love Thursday, all. I hope you get to do something you love today, even if it scares you a little bit. You can see more Love Thursday links here, at Shutter Sisters.

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28 thoughts on “Love Thursday

  1. Angelina

    I am sending best wishes for a fresh start with litigation! It sounds like it’s something you love and need in your life. It’s hard finding a really healthy work place…even if this one doesn’t turn out as hoped, there are others and as long as you know what it is you want to be doing, you will find the right work environment.

    I do wish someone would offer me a really nice paying job.

    Today is the beginning of the job search I’ve been dreading. There’s a possible job opportunity out there that I would excell at and love but I fear I won’t be able to get it.

    What kind of attitude is that?

    You are an inspiration.

    Reply
  2. Michelle

    This certainly sounds like a wonderful opportunity that you have and you have vetted all “What if’s” as much as you can. I have often thought about what I could do out on my own for work – leaving the day to day grind behind but quite frankly I thrive on routine, even on the days it gets to me.

    I wish you the best of luck!

    Reply
  3. Susan Carlin

    “I hope you get to do something you love today, even if it scares you a little bit.” That’s the perfect toast and the perfect wish for anyone you love. Thank you. I wish you the very same and big hug at the end of the day… maybe even a foot massage for when those high-heeled lances come off.

    Reply
  4. O

    Good Luck to you! I wish I had a career that I loved. If you love what you’re doing then you’ll never work a day in your life. 🙂 HLT

    Reply
  5. psumommy

    Good luck and best wishes to you…it sounds like it was quite a difficult decision to make. I always have to remind myself that nothing is permanent, so it’s worth taking a leap sometimes.

    Reply
  6. Camellia

    It sounds like this is time for you to do this. And you have a great support system that will help you balance, and help you if things seem out of kilter. Yeah. Go for it. (and even if your time on the net is limited, I’ll keep checking in to see what wonderful you have to share when time permits.)

    Reply
  7. ammanners

    Its definitely a true love-hate relationship, at least on this end it is. I can see how it could be missed, especially after a break and time off. I also know that having worked at firms and getting on in your career you are totally afforded the luxury of telling them what you want instead of the other way around. I have to think that this will inevitably make it a more peaceful and copasetic work environment. Good luck with it and keep us posted.

    Reply
  8. Marcie

    Hope your transition back-to-work goes smoothly. Have always admired those who could make both the corporate world and motherhood work together at the same time!!!
    Hats off to you!!!
    Thanks for stopping by today. Your comments are much appreciated….

    Reply
  9. Maureen

    I understand your love/hate relationship with litigation. Been there, done that. I too long for the adrenalin rushes, the thrill of giving a good butt kicking, the disappointment of losing a case (usually when my client readily admitted on the stand to assaulting the complainant), the comradery, the intellectual stimulation, the “I must go on with the show), and having to react quickly to unexpected events.

    Good luck with your new venture! I hope you achieve the balance you seek!

    Reply
  10. LawyerChick

    As you can see, catching up on things… this is great! i’ve been off for a week after surgery and going back after the holiday weekend. although i’ve been billing at home (oh joy!), i do miss giving a good butt-kicking. 🙂 as you know i’ve been in a bit of a rut lately and this post reminded me of why i keep beating my head against the wall and going back for more. i, too, like the challenge of being quick on the uptake, thinking on my feet, and mentoring.

    a friend of mine said, “there’s always ass to kick, you just have to find it.” spoken like a true litigator.

    good luck!

    Reply
  11. Emily

    I completely understand the need for the challenge, to be doing something that invigorates you. Hooray for you! I think it’s so cool that you’re such a creative, interesting person overall and a litigator, too. You smash down my preconceived notions about lawyers lots of the time. Go, you!

    Reply
  12. lawyerchica305

    You’ll be great! I totally understand about needing some structure and lively discussions, but litigation tends to get us stuck in an extreme position of that’s ALL we do and naturally get stressed out. Good luck!

    Reply

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