Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Importance of Liking What You Do

I have been giving a lot of thought to my profession lately. I spent all of last week either preparing for or conducting depositions in a case I am handling for two clients who were fired from a hospital. By Friday afternoon, I was so DONE. And I had a lot of time this weekend to think about what the hell I am doing with my life. I am just not very sure that I LIKE being a lawyer - still, after all of these years. Of course, I spent several years doing HR but the past two and a half years have been pretty much lawyer-focused and I just don't know if I want to continue down this path for the next 20 years. Call me crazy, but I think it is very important for a person to take pleasure or at least pride in what they do. I think it is important to LIKE what you do. And lately, I just don't like the lawyer thing.

I would prefer to have more free time - free time to spend with my son, free time to spend cleaning my house or doing laundry or whatever it is I want to focus on. More free time to write, be it on this blog or in my journals or wherever. I would also like to make more money - don't laugh. Despite the belief that all lawyers make loads of money, I am here to tell you that they don't - especially lawyers who live in Montana and have gigantic student loan payments. I make a dismal salary in comparison to the salaries I used to pull in Oregon or California. Am I happier here? Yes. Is my time more flexible? Yes. But do I experience any more satisfaction from my work? No - not really. Some might say that I am being unrealistic in my expectations - I should be happy to have the education I have, I have the potential to make the big bucks, blah blah blah. The bottom line is that I don't WANT to spend the rest of my life slaving away to make money by solving other people's problems. I desire something creative, fulfilling and inspirational. And if I could make enough money to earn a living doing it, that would be great, too.

So I am assessing my options, but discreetly. I don't want anyone thinking that I am ready to jump ship immediately. I am willing to continue practicing law for several years but just don't want to do it forever. I need to have another option, another dream, if you will, out there on the horizon. As I explore these options, I will share about them here. Sometimes just writing stuff down helps me to realize my own wants and needs - it makes things more concrete and REAL. I just need to start focusing on this issue now - I can't wait any more. I'm OLD, for God's sake - and not getting any younger! I will be 40 in 2 years (well, really, 1.5 years, but I like to think of that as 2 years) and can't keep stalling and just hanging in, hoping for something to change. I need to change, is the bottom line. Hmph - food for thought, in any event.

In weight loss news, I am extremely close to dropping into the 140's - a whole new weight decade. YAY!!! I was reading backwards through my older posts and happened upon this one (http://starkravingflab.blogspot.com/2007/04/flabbster-at-law-flabby-esquire.html) discussing my Trying On of the Pants Ritual, also known as my "fashion show." Wow - reading through that helped me really see how far I have come - I have moved through most of the pants listed in the first wave and have moved into (and almost out of) a number of the pants listed in second wave, such as the hot Nordstrom khakis - almost too big now! Not quite to the black Ann Kleins but hey - I've got 15 to go still.

And last but not least, I weighed in this morning at 150.4. I hope tomorrow will show me 149 point something - anything!


amma15 said...

Congrats on the 40s! I'm struggling like crazy to reach the 50s, I've been in the 60s for the past 2 and a half months now!

It's a misconception that lawyers are rich you're right, I know quite a few broke lawyers, I also know quite a few broke doctors as well.

Anyway, have you ever thought that you can incorporate your law degree into something else you're passionate about. I just met someone whose a lawyer by profession but has enrolled in a masters in health administration program because they wanted to do something different and were interested in that field. Maybe you'll feel better if you worked less, if it's possible to cut down the days or the hours that might make a big difference.

Roni said...

Good luck on the 40's!

I'm trying to get back to the 130's myself!

Ditto Amma above, what else can you do with the law degree that may not be law. I'm sure you have a lot of opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Did you hear how Julia Roberts said her dream job was actually to be a wife and mom? I think most women feel this way but have been too shamed by women's lib to ever admit it. Of course you want more time at home with your son. You're a mother! That is THE most rewarding and satisfying career you'll ever find. I say ditch the secondary job of lawyer and get back to doing what you really want.

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