Thursday, April 14, 2011
Days Are Long, Years Are Short
It's this phrase, "days are long, years are short," that haunts the me I project into the future sitting at my desk drafting a motion to dismiss, while some lovely woman we hire takes my kids to Gymboree. The truth is, I don't know if I can live with that. I don't know, as I sit here today, with Simon sleeping beside me on the bed in a funky tie-dyed outfit, if I can stand to drag my pump to work and pump out breast milk so that Simon can take bottles while I do my legal job. It would be different if I loved it. Actually, it would be different if I really liked it. Sadly, I just don't. I have waited for the spark of passion to catch fire for practicing law for me and it hasn't. I was telling a friend yesterday it's like dating a guy who looks good on paper, but with whom you don't get that feeling. You know, that feelinng that makes you want to see him, and kiss him, and tell your friends all about his great taste in music and how warm and funny he is. That feeling that makes you want to be with him all the time. Or some of the time. Maybe that's too dramatic because that's clearly the description of early love and not mature, committed love. But I at least want to feel deeply engaged and excited about my work, especially if I am going to leave my children to go and do it. I wish that I had figured this area of my life out before I had children, but these eggs weren't going to last forever and so here we are. It's so strange to contemplate taking a break from law practice. I didn't realize how much of my identity was tied up in being a lawyer, working in downtown Chicago and running on a treadmill that certainly burned the calories, but it didn't bring the endorphine rush of a good workout. But, just because I don't think it's quite as heady or deep to say I am a stay-at-home-mom versus a lawyer, it doesn't mean I should schlep myself through a life that doesn't fit me anymore. When I picked law school years ago, I did it when I was single and heartbroken from a failed relationship working an administrative job that failed to utlize the Master's degree I had just gotten from a fairly prestigous university. During that year I applied to social work school, but never enrolled after being accepted because I was terrified of the abysmal salaries and the burn-out factor. Someone else in my office was studying for the LSAT, so I thought a mental challenge would take my mind off my emotional wounds. Needless to say, studying for the LSAT wasn't good for much, but it did distract me long enough to work out a few logic problems. Anyway, I figured that if I never ever found lasting love, then I would at least have a career that would bury me in work so that I wouldn't feel too depressed about not having family. I thought, "ok, I will work hard, become a partner in a firm and work, work, work and it will be a consolation prize for having not gotten the gene that would allow me to have a stable relationship with a marrigable man." Uh oh. The law degree eventually led me to a great, marriagable man, but now I don't know about the career. Who wants to be buried in work when Sadie and Simon (and Jeff) are at home drooling, babbling and bossing people around? I don't know how my relationship with the law will change over the next few years, but I know it will. We may become stronger or we may part ways. Maybe I will write the law a letter: Dear law, It's not you. It's me. No, wait, it's you. 10,000 disgruntled lawyers who hate practicing law can't be wrong. Love, COT, esq.