Tags: billable hours, what is your hourly rate?
Were I practicing at a big corporate firm, my hourly rate would be about $500/hour by now. Yes, it would cost you $500 an hour for my legal advice. Which is so absurd because I’m only a fourth year associate and I don’t know anything. (The WSJ, in this article, explores the ridiculousness of junior associate rates and the ensuing corporate pushback.)
Anyway, the reality of BigLaw is, if you emailed me, and I responded to your email in my car while navigating the morning traffic on 93N, I’d bill you a quarter-hour’s time. Yup – $125 for an email illegally typed into my iPhone while watching the break-lights in front of me. Corporate law firms are called corporate law firms for a reason: their clients are exclusively (rich) corporations that can afford expensive legal services. In addition, one of the reasons they are paying someone like me close to $500 an hour is that they expect an immediate response to their emails or calls. They are paying me to email them back in traffic.
I won’t tell you what my new billable rate is, but it is quite a bit less. At the same time, I believe it is a fair rate for my level of expertise and experience and service. The upside is that with a lower billable rate, I can actually help individuals, as opposed to corporations. And these individuals have issues that affect their lives and livelihoods — a book they want to publish needs a libel review, a publishing contract needs to be marked-up in their favor, a movie producer wants to buy an option on their book. It feels good to help them. Guess what — I feel like a lawyer!
Am I going to charge these individuals — individuals with whom I have daily personal contact — a quarter-hour’s time just answer an email? Of course not. It’s much less fraught to bill a corporation than an individual, obviously. But at times I also find it difficult to even charge them for my actual time — valuable time for which they should be paying me. Individual clients, it turns out, read their monthly statements carefully and are not afraid to complain about charges. While you may take some sort of professional development class in law school, the whole client-services part of a legal practice is not something for which a standard corporate experience will prepare you. I’m still navigating this transition with some blunders, and I’m sure that where once I erred on the side of billing everything (adhering to the general BigLaw motto of “bill everything and let the partner mark down your time”), now I likely err on the side of not billing enough. It’s not because I don’t think I’m worth it, but more that I feel sorry for the people on the other end getting their bills. (My time does add up quickly!) Would a male lawyer have these reservations, worry about the feelings of his clients? (This actually is a topic of much debate in law-school professional development classes — the “compassionate lawyer”, etc.)
P.S. For those of you as obsessed with billing as attorneys seem to be, my friend MommyEsq., a former colleague who just went in-house, wrote just last week about why she actually misses the billable hour, here.
Tags: affordable child care, Boston College Law School, coming back from maternity leave, Judith Warner, law school with a baby, law school with kids, maternity leave, Perfect Madness, tips for a new lawyer, transitioning to law firm life
My triumphant return to my law school last week as an alumni speaker was somewhat compromised by an emotional hiccup. Namely, crying. If you have been reading this blog for the past few (say, ten or 11) weeks, you’ll know that since the birth of my baby boy in February, I’ve been doing a lot of crying. This time, however, the tears were decidedly not hormonal, but, instead, passionate.
If you have been reading this blog since its inception, you’ll know that I had my first baby in between my second and third years of law school. When she was six weeks old, I returned to campus, armed with a breast pump and lots of coffee. “How did you ever manage law school with a newborn?” I’m often asked. Here’s a secret: by your third year of law school — at least, in 2007-08, when the legal hiring market was still running at pre-recession speed — you can pretty much coast. I chose my classes based on when they met, as opposed to content, for a flexible schedule. I had friends who supported me with notes from missed class and law review offices in which to pump milk. And I had a few professors (all women…) who were stalwart champions of motherhood and the law. It was one of these professors who asked me to come speak. And because one is always flattered to be asked for one’s expertise, I blew out my hair, put on a suit, heels, and lipstick, and, feeling vaguely like the lawyer I only so very recently was, I set out for Newton.
The topic was transitioning from school to practice. My professor also had asked me to speak specifically on transitioning to practice with a child and after a maternity leave. I had typed a few thoughts into my iPhone on the transition in general:
- Ask questions. No one expects you to know what you’re doing for the first year. If a more senior associate or partner is giving you an assignment and asks you, “Have you heard of the 40 Act?” you may nod yes because you kind of remember skimming that part of the 750-page text book, but you don’t know the 40 Act. Better to pipe up and ask, “Well, what specifically about the Act as it applies to this matter?” then to be stuck in the office at 11 p.m. not knowing what you are supposed to be doing when the client wants an answer by 9 a.m. I’d argue that asking questions makes you look like a thoughtful, careful — indeed, intelligent — lawyer.
- Worried about work/life balance? Let it evolve organically. It will become clear fairly quickly how different partners/supervisors expect assignments to be completed and how you can assess the urgency of a task. If I’m given a new task on top of a full plate, I’ll tell the partner, “I have this memo due for so-and-so tomorrow and an upcoming filing deadline. Do you think I can still get this new assignment done in the timeframe you need?” You kind of put the ball back in the senior lawyer’s court. In short: don’t freak out before you start that you won’t have a life. If you want a life, you can make it happen. But that’s a whole other post (and blog, dare I say tantalizingly?)
- Find a peer group. As I’ve discussed previously, I found a support system of other lawyer-moms at my firm. I relied on them heavily, on matters both professional and personal. But I think this advice can apply to new attorneys no matter where you are in life and no matter what your professional situation. Are you newly engaged, juggling wedding planning amongst your billables? Find another attorney in the same situation. Are you single and married to your work? I’m sure you have coworkers who would love to have a beer with you at 10 p.m. after along workday.
Oh, wait, you want to hear about the crying part, don’t you. Eventually, my professor asked me about my maternity leave. She asked if I worried about taking it, and whether I was worried about transitioning back. I was prepared with tips for others, not to discuss my own situation, and she caught me off guard. Yes, I worried about going on leave, I answered: Was I too junior? Would all of my great clients and assignments, which I had worked hard to cultivate, be given to others? Would I forget everything I had learned about tax law? When I returned, would I be able to ramp back up quickly enough to bill enough hours? Should I return part time? Full time? Flex time? In a BigLaw environment, did any of that even matter (which I sometimes suspect it does not…)?
“But I’m grateful for my firm’s generous maternity leave policy,” I said. And as I sat there, dark circles under my eyes, sleep deprived, my mind suddenly obsessed with all of my fears about returning to work, the tears arrived. I’m so, so tired (have I mentioned?). My baby is 10 weeks old and not sleeping through the night. Neither is my two-and-a-half-year-old. What if I, like most women whose companies’ leave policies are not even half as “generous” as mine, were back on the job already? What if I had to worry about keeping up with my coworkers and my assignments and my clients operating on four or five hours of sleep, worrying about who was taking care of my newborn?
Why do I have to qualify my maternity leave with the word generous?
I love being a lawyer, and, for the most part, I really like working, as I suspect many mothers who work do. Perhaps some women drop out of the workplace after having a baby because, instead of the oft-cited, “I just can’t leave my baby,” their harsh reality is that they only have four weeks maternity leave. Because society pressures them to breastfeed but doesn’t allow them the time to get their babies on a schedule, nor provides the space and time to pump milk at work. Because, even when they are senior executives, coworkers refer to their maternity leave as “vacation.”
My maternity leave shouldn’t be thought of as “generous.” It should be standard. Hell, it should be a starting point.
I cried because I’m angry. I’m passionate about my children, and I’m passionate about my career and my education, and why won’t society support this duality?
If you haven’t read Judith Warner’s Perfect Madness, and you care about these issues, please read it. I know Warner has her critics, and I realize that she’s writing about a particular sliver of the population (highly educated, professional women), but I happen to fall into that sliver, and her book has resonated with me to a degree that surprises me in the passion and anger it has inspired. We need a movement. We need quality affordable day care. We need realistic maternity leave. And no one seems to be doing anything about it.
Maybe I can. Maybe we all — I say to you, my small but perhaps similarly inclined readership — can put our collective heads together and do something.
Tags: Gretchen Rubin, Gwen Bell, The Happiness Project
Before you start thinking I have a major crush on Gretchen Rubin (which I do — a major career crush), based on my last few posts (I’ve previously written about her here, here, and here. And here.), I wanted to share my thoughts on her book, The Happiness Project, and why the book attracted me so instantaneously. (Actual reviews can be found all over the Internet — my favorite so far has been by Gwen Bell, here, who puts the book into a larger, Buddhist-oriented perspective.)
This is a bluebird of happiness, of course.
Rubin is a lawyer-turned-writer. If you are not an attorney, you nevertheless might be slightly impressed that she clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. If you are in fact an attorney, you’re probably more impressed that she was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal (I mean, that is as good as it gets in terms of law school credentials!) Obviously, she’s smart and probably inclined towards perfectionism. She loves to write, she has an interest in the law, is driven, and she’s a mother of two. So I can relate personally to many of her motivations.
But the book is decidedly not written for a narrow audience and is relevant for anyone who has wondered, “Why do I seem anxious and ill-at-ease in certain situations?” or “Why do I feel like I’m wasting time worrying about small things?” or “How can I enjoy my life more?” She tackles such questions in what is probably for her a characteristically logical way: devoting each month of the year to examining a certain area of her life and then figuring out how to make herself happier in it. Even if you are not quite as logical, you’ll benefit from her extensive research into studies and literature and psychology — it’s interesting to read about areas such as parenting, marriage, energy, career, pursuing a passion, and friendship on macro level through the prism of becoming happier in them — even if you yourself don’t feel the need to make any major life overhauls.
Just as Rubin herself states that she finds personal anecdotes and shared stories as helpful as abstract anthropological studies, however, her own accounts of how she tried to become happier in these areas of her life were what drew me in. She devotes the month of February, for example, to her relationship with her husband. Her husband, as it turned out, wasn’t that pleased when Rubin tried to dump her anxieties on him right before they went to bed, and would rather watch TV sitting next to her on the couch than gaze into her face for a heart-to-heart. Rubin cites some studies that show that, really, women are best suited for face-to-face conversations with other women and men often are satisfied simply being in the presence of their partner — to them, side-by-side movie watching is as intimate as a dinner a deux. This is probably basic Men-are-from-Mars/Women-are-from-Venus stuff, but it was gratifying for me to see it explained both logically and personally. When Tim and I are finally tucked in bed at night is when I want to turn to him and talk, and I try to do so while he is trying to read and decompress, and he doesn’t focus on me, and then I get upset. After reading this particular chapter, I mentioned Rubin’s conclusions to Tim, and he immediately replied, “I could have told you that.” Of course he could have — but because Rubin has not only read studies and dozens of other accounts of relationships, but candidly examines her own interactions with her husband, her analysis was enlightening to me. And reassuring. For Tim, lying next to me in bed reading is contentment, and if I want to talk through my day with him, maybe I can rethink the time and place to do it. This is not to say that spouses shouldn’t make concessions to each other and strive to be active listeners, but it did suggest to me that there is a whole body of scientific, anthropological, and anecdotal evidence out there to support a slight change in my habits that would result in a desirable outcome for us both. My need to be listened to could be satisfied earlier in the evening (perhaps over dinner) and Tim could read in peace.
Rubin is more organized than I would ever be with her personal “commandments” (which range from “Be Gretchen” to “always carry a sweater” to “act how you want to feel”) and resolutions charts, but I already have gleaned a few tips from the book. For example, her “one minute” rule would greatly improve the quality of life around our house. I’m very clean (hate dirt) but I am not neat (I leave things strewn about, cabinet doors open, toilet paper off the roll, etc.). The one-minute rule suggests that if something takes less than a minute to do — do it! (“I could have told you this!” I hear Tim saying…) I’ve been trying to implement it. Were I Rubin herself, I’d mark off on my chart every night whether I have done so. Not sure if I’m there yet, but at least I have this intention in the back of my head.
She also thoroughly examines the importance of sleep — the lack of which makes us less inclined to do things that make us happy (play with our kids, read a good book, exercise). Duh, we all know this, but, on top of the usual summaries of studies on the importance of sleep, Rubin’s lighthearted account of how sleeping more improved other areas of her life was inspiring. While we’re often aware of good ideas in the abstract, seeing them applied can be hugely motivating. As a result, I’ve tried to get to bed earlier (knowing that, if I’m shooting to be in bed by 9:30, I really have to start the process at 8:30) and have tried to limit my reading in bed to 15-20 minutes. Has it worked? Well, two out of three nights I have committed to doing so it has — but last night I got entangled with Twitter and the Internet and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed (more on that book when I finish it — wow!) — and then it was 11 p.m. And I feel like crap today, and as a result have eaten like crap and am totally unmotivated to exercise — so there you go.
Of course, Rubin is a full-time writer who works out of a home office and has the flexibility to put her resolutions into action. One of her specific resolutions, for example, is to create a house full of memories for her family, which includes making homemade books with her kids. I had to fight to not get overwhelmed by this chapter (how would I ever find the time to make homemade books, assuming I like crafts — which I do not — in the first place?!). I already feel slightly guilty that I am horrible about documenting our family life, and Tim and I often talk about how we really should have baby books and albums. But neither of us has the time — or, more aptly, the inclination — to do so (because if we were so inclined, we’d find the time, right?). Thinking about it only makes me anxious. So, if I’m going to follow the advice in the book, I have to remember to “Be Kathryn” — I hate crafts, and I enough relatives take photos, etc., of Little Buggy that should she decide some day that she wants a photo album I could figure out a way to get it done. Still, I had to remind myself several times while reading the book that there is no way that a person not writing this particular book for a living can actually do all of these things. Instead, the self-improvement junkie in me has to remember that Rubin’s actions are suggestions, inspiration, and context.
This is not, I should note again, a self-improvement or self-help book. It really is quite personal, but I think even Rubin’s reading lists would be interesting to anyone (not just overachieving lawyer types!) — she cites everyone from St. Therese of Lisieux to Samuel Johnson to Elizabeth Gilbert. In short, yes, I’m totally impressed by Gretchen Rubin’s resume, but more impressed that she used her obvious intellect and attention to detail to create a book that goes beyond what seems to be a rash of “I spent a year [cooking Julia Child] [living by the Bible] [fill in the blank]” books and, instead, examines the philosophical roots of happiness and then applies them truthfully, rigorously, and critically to her own life.
Apparently, some people want to know where I have been. Am I not writing because I’ve run off on sabbatical and am now in Paris, typing this into my iPhone (because I bought one as soon as I ditched the firm-issued Blackberry) whilst sipping Cote du Rhone in a cafe on the Seine (with Little Buggy speaking fluent toddler French next to me)? Sadly, no. Well, sad that I’m not in Paris. Not sad that I’m not on a sabbatical (read on…).
A loyal blog reader (and friend) emailed me this morning to see what had happened to me now that I’ve disappeared from the Internet (as you might remember from last year, she is the friend who gave up Facebook for Lent. She has done so again this year, so she cannot keep tabs on me that way, either…) I sent her back a quick email and thought I’d post it here both in the interest of time and for a brief update:
Tags: 25 Random Things, Facebook
Are you on Facebook? No? Then you are missing the internet craze of the month, the viral “25 Random Things About Me.” It’s wonderfully self-indulgent.
The instructions: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.
(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)
1. Waiting nine years after to college to go to law school — and then going to law school — was the best decision I have ever made.
2. Don’t think I’m crazy: I also loved law school, even when I missed five weeks of classes because I was too nauseous with morning sickness to drive to school.
3. I’m a far, far better (happier) person today than I was 5, 10, 15 years ago. As my mother would say (quoting “The Velveteen Rabbit”) I’ve been “rubbed real.”
4. In high school I wanted to be a U.S. Senator. Now I would like to someday be a speechwriter for a U.S. Senator.
5. This is probably because I have career ADD: I am currently on my 10th job since I graduated from college.
6. My daughter is named after my mother.
7. Speaking of my mother, she is the shining inspiration of my life.
8. I talk on the phone, or email, or both with my mother and my sisters every day.
9. And speaking of my sisters, they are without a doubt my best friends. I wish Erin would move back to Boston already.
10. My husband is one of nine children — he and his twin sister are #s 7 and 8.
11. Here is where I have lived since 1996: New York City; Ketchum, Idaho (Sun Valley); Los Angeles; Paris; Princeton, NJ; Boston.
12. Of the places listed above, I would move back to Ketchum, Paris, or LA in a heartbeat.
13. I am obsessed with interior design — blogs, magazines, etc. I fall asleep at night redecorating the rooms of my apartment in my head.
14. On average (even counting the three months or so I had to give them up while I was pregnant, meaning that there has been many a day when two were consumed), I most likely have had a Starbucks soy chai latte every day since the year 2000. I am, in fact, drinking one right now. (Oh, the money! The calories!)
15. I am a certified yoga instructor.
16. Sundays make me slightly blue, but I love our Sunday family dinners with just Tim, Little Buggy, and me eating spaghetti at meatballs at 5:30 p.m.
17. I don’t drink hard alcohol but make up for it in the amount of red wine I consume.
18. Oh yeah, when I lived in L.A. I worked at a wine store and took classes at UCLA to become a sommelier (did I mention my career ADD?)
19. I have run one marathon and two half-marathons.
20. I used to be a rather intense ashtanga practitioner (every morning at 6 a.m. for 2 years) and almost-vegan.
21. I have been to 29 countries and have: trekked in the Himalayas, visited Ankgor Wat and the Taj Mahal, sailed down the Mekong, seen the wailing wall in Jerusalem and Palmyra in Syria, sunned on the beaches of Rio, hiked the Swiss alps, watched the sun set over the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Those days are long gone, and I’m quite okay with it.
22. That being said, my dream is to live with my family abroad someday, preferably in Paris or London. Do you think they need tax lawyers there?
23. Despite my newest career, I still want to publish a novel. Maybe that will get me back to Paris.
24. I am in absolute awe of the fact that I found my husband, and that we made our incredible child.
25. I truly, truly believe in karma and that everything that happens to you in life — good or bad — leads you to where you are supposed to be.
Tags: legal research, Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw
For those few readers who, fortunately for them, are not lawyers, here is some background: Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw the two legal research services out there. It’s hard to overstate how much you use them (and it’s difficult to comprehend the time when they weren’t on line — you had to go to the library and look up cases or subjects in an index and then cross-reference them in huge binders. Actually, I’m not even really sure what you had to do since, fortunately, I was in the law school section with the legal research professor who eschewed teaching us the “old-fashioned” way, as some professors still did. On a side note: my father always swore that it was his idea to put Lexis online but that he just never knew how to get it done. That would have been nice for us, no?)
Anyway, in law school, access to both of these services is free. You can search as much as you want for as long as you want. In addition, each service has representatives at every law school in the country, who set up tables almost daily in the lunch room or the student center, passing out water bottles, highlighters, and candy, or who lure you to free “training sessions” replete with pizza or Thai food. And when you’re a poor law student you tend to hit a lot of those trainings…
And now, as I sit here conducting a search which is getting me nowhere — so I know I need to both redefine my search terms and Shepardize anything I find (a little trick by which you look up cases that have themselves cited to the case you’re looking at) — I realize that Lexis and Westlaw are crack. They’re doled out for free in law school, along with all sorts of other fun gifts, in order to attract your loyalty to one brand or another (I’m a Lexis girl. In part because it’s Lexis-Nexis — Nexis is the journalistic equivalent of Lexis, to which every reporter becomes addicted, so I was indoctrinated a long time ago…). So then you’re hooked, and you search and search, and you get used to the high of always finding exactly what you’re looking for because you can go back and hone your search terms, and hit that “Shepardize” button. And then you get to your firm and learn that every search costs like $225 and every time you Shepardize it’s like another $85. So you sit at your keyboard, almost physically shaking from the withdrawal as you waiver: “Do I just do the search? Will the client get mad? I need that search! I NEED it!” And then you feel slightly guilty, but oh, so satisfied when you find your case…
Tags: July 2008 Massachusetts bar results, nervous anxious about the bar
My blog stats, which tell me the search engine terms people have used to find me here, show that recently more and more people are searching the terms “Massachusetts July 2008 bar results,” “July 2008 MBE mean/passing score,” “when will the July 2008 Massachusetts bar results come out?”
To all you searchers: I feel your pain. I check the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers website daily just in case the passing list somehow went up online before the letter arrived. (And, as an aside, is it like college admissions? Do you get a big letter for passing? A thin envelope otherwise?) I coached my husband on how to handle the (unlikely) situation should letter come while I am in New York. (The command: “Don’t you dare open that letter until I’m home.” Response: “Are you kidding? I’m opening it for you. But if you don’t pass, I won’t tell you it arrived.” Which is a ridiculous approach because every single one of my law school friends will be emailing me instantly, so I’ll know it’s bad news if he doesn’t call…) And I feel ever so slightly nauseous all the time.
I am not at all convinced that I passed. I’m not just saying that. Yes, yes, I know everyone feels that way. But read through my archives and you’ll see: I struggled mightily with the MBE (and ended up filling in at least the final 10 questions of each session with a “B”) and the whole bar review process in general. In Massachusetts, while the MBE score is combined with the written score to get your overall passing score, you also need to pass the written part to pass the whole thing (in other words, if you get a perfect score on the MBE but don’t pass the written part in and of itself, you don’t pass the bar. Please someone correct me if I have this wrong…). I feel pretty confident about the written part; nevertheless, I may be that one person who passed the written part but whose score still wasn’t enough to overcome a dreadful MBE score.
So there. My anxiety is out in the open. If I pass, Tim has promised me dinner wherever I want. (L’Espalier? Sorrelino? Fugaku?) If I don’t pass, my mother said she’d give me $1,000. (Remember, Mom?) Does this reflect the supreme confidence only a mother can have in her child’s abilities, or is it merely a sum sufficient for short-term retail therapy?
Tags: Boston Public Garden, duck pond, going back to work, Legally Blonde the musical, make way for ducklings statute
When I started this blog, I had hoped that I could provide some sort of relevant commentary on being a law student and mother and/or lawyer and mother. But as my days grow busier, I’m realizing that this is probably going to devolve into more of a journal-type blog, to be read mostly by people who know me and want to keep tabs on me. So this won’t be my book-deal making masterpiece — sigh — but at least it will keep me writing.
My last few days of relative stay-at-home-motherhood have been sweet — probably more sweet than they might otherwise be. Morning trips to the Duck Pond and Make Way for Ducklings statue (via Starbucks, of course). The Little Bug goes absolutely crazy for both, jumping up and down in her stroller as soon as she sees the gates of the Public Garden ahead of us. We’ve run into lots of moms and babies every day, and I always have to drag her home. If I were a more prepared mother — or had an iPhone! — I’d have snapped some cute pictures. As I’ve posted about before, I’m not very good at documenting Buggy’s baby-hood — we have a rarely used video cameras, there is no real baby book. I should post a picture of her new hair cut (she looks more and more like I did at that age, probably now due in very large part to the bowl-cut bangs…but what else can you do with a squirmy one-year-old?). I should order pictures for my office. Actually, I should upload our vacation pictures, too. Why is this one area of my otherwise relatively organized life that I’m so bad at keeping up-to-date? I keep telling myself that an iPhone will solve all these problems! (ha.)
But I’m ready. I think. I had drinks with Meg last night, who started work on Monday, and she was visibly excited and enthused about her new life as a lawyer. In fact, we also ran into her walking across the Garden to work, looking adorable in her suit. I’m excited to look adorable in my new suit.
But then, even as I ducked out solo to run some errands this afternoon, I saw a toddler being pushed in his stroller by his babysitter, and I had a pang of sadness. He was so cute, just as cute as my little Bug, who is going to spend more time with her babysitter than with me. I’m not going to rehash the Mommy Wars anymore — at least I’m going to try not to — but instead will approach Monday remembering two things my mother recently told me:
First, I walk out the door every day knowing I am providing a good life for my child. And she’s a happy child, and she’ll be just as happy when I’m working as she’d be if I weren’t.
Second, I am very, very lucky that I have a baby at home to miss. A healthy, happy baby who will keep me focused at work and who will continue — as she always has — to give my life purpose. So missing her is a good thing.
Nevertheless: check in with me Monday to see if I haven’t broken down and bought an iPhone (even though that will make me the woman who is checking her email on her work Blackberry and then on her iPhone!)
P.S. Random aside: my brother-in-law texted me today to see if I wanted him to get me a ticket for the musical Legally Blonde, which apparently is headed to Boston. I was like, “Um, do you have to ask? I am Legally Blonde!!!”
Tags: Coldplay, starting work as an associate, white wine
I got uncharacteristically weepy last night. I spent the rainy afternoon indoors with the Little Bug, dancing to the Dixie Chicks and cooking dinner for us (Tim was coming home late, so she and I noshed on butternut squash ravioli and blueberries — doesn’t it sound like an In Style party re-cap?), while simultaneously trying to keep her away from the unprotected electrical socket and out of the toilet. The song “I Believe in Love” came on (by the Dixie Chicks — the Coldplay came later), a beautiful song made melancholy by its minor harmonies. I just held my Little Bug (and she let me, putting her little head on my shoulder) and wiped away the (my) tears. My time being home with her is almost over. For the past year, except for some crunch times around exams (and the bar), I’ve spent at least some part of every day with her, mostly in the afternoons, strolling around Boston or hanging out playing at home as we did today. I’m not second guessing my decision to be a full-time+ lawyer, but perhaps finally (and perhaps necessarily) I’m feeling acutely the close of this rather wonderous year.
After she went to bed, I opened the Sauv Blanc and put on Coldplay (a combination which just screams “Warning! Warning!”) and organized the kitchen cabinets (not kidding.) When I finished, I realized that I’m now also done with all of the reorganization/cleaning/redecorating/shopping I meant to do in my post-bar/pre-work hiatus. Now I just have to sit around until Monday. And, again, tears. This larger, three-year period of my life also is coming to a close. These three years when I moved out of my longtime holding pattern to what I knew my life always could and should be. I’m very much at peace — surprising for me — with where I am in my life. And, yet, I’m again a bit blue at this crossroads. I loved law school from the very first day; then I met Tim and pretty much loved him from the very first day; then, of course, there was the Little Bug. And in between, the intellectual stimulation of classes, the camaraderie of my classmates, and a deepening and strengthening of my existing friendships as I began to find my footing again. It was a whirlwind, and still it was incredibly grounding. And this interlude in my life is now over.
So, onward (although first I shall spend the next three days drinking wine at lunch, sleeping in, and reading every trashy magazine I can get my hands on!)