Friday, June 7, 2013

Last day

I'm doing my last day of calls for work. I'm still going to be doing some work for the firm, but this is my last real day.

It's surreal. Nothing is different, or special. Just the end of one career and the start of a new one.

I feel like I want to cry.

I remember the start of law school. I remember thinking I'd be a lawyer for the rest of my life. I remember looking forward to wearing business suits and heels and briefcases and, basically, pretending to be a lawyer. I remember being so proud of my profession and completely identifying my worth by it. I enjoyed saying I was in law school, and later, that I was a lawyer. I liked that look that people got of raised eyebrows and a little intimidation.

I remember telling lawyers I knew personally that I was going to law school. I remember every single one of them urging me to take a year off, or choose a different profession, instead of going to law school. I remember thinking that odd, because I was going to change the world, save humanity, and be perfect and have status and prestige.

But those lawyers knew. They knew what I now know. Lawyering is depressing and hard and thankless. And the people, the kind of the people that lawyering attracts are people who like to argue and fight and win at all costs. The best kinds of litigators are the biggest assholes, because they get a charge out of it.

I don't think I ever liked arguing in person. I did like arguing a point on paper. But I never wanted to rise to the level of jerk that, really, I needed to be. As I progressed, over 16 years, well....I just didn't see the benefit of it. It's so sad and depressing. People who need lawyers, even people who need lawyers who have money, hate to hire them. So that lawyering for me is not just about fighting the other side, but fighting your client to get them to understand they need you. Private practice - I've actually gotten a lot of clients and I realized why this week - because I don't care about their problem and don't want them to hire me. I have unintentionally played hard to get and THAT, that is how I snag them. Isn't that a sad job to have?

And working all the time. You know how many hours lawyers typically work in a year? 2400 is a low estimate. That's BILLED time. And without weekends, that's about 8.6 hours a day BILLED. And no one bills every second they are at the office - it's impossible because you can't bill a client for saying hi or eating lunch or checking in with your spouse or going to the bathroom or drinking coffee or surfing the internet. If you billed 8.6 hours in a day, you're probably AT the office, away from home, 11.5 hours a day. Again, that's assuming you never work weekends, and I have NEVER met a lawyer who doesn't work weekends. And you never see your family, are constantly stressed about clients and work and money, and no one likes you.

My mother, the German native that she is, has said I have wasted the last 16 years. (I did not inherit my emotional intelligence from her)  I don't think she's right. Because everything I do right now, the sum total of me, which makes me want to be a teacher and which I think will help me be a great teacher, is the culmination of all of my experiences being a lawyer.

I hate when people say "this is the end of an era." Well, guess what, today represents for me, the end of an era. I'm still licensed, I still have clients, I still work for the firm - part part time. But my identity is changing. My insides are different somehow, and they've been different from that hungry new lawyer circa 1997 for a while now. And acknowledging the change is daunting.

I have another friend who thinks I'm running away from being a lawyer. Believe me, this thing I'm doing, it is not cowardly. Changing one's career at age 42 may be unwise and silly, but it is also rife with fear and lack of security. Basically I am scared to death.

And I'm going to step off the cliff anyway.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I received fantastic news - I got my first choice in mentor! I love her. She is so cool and accomplished. I have a total girl crush on her. And I will be at the elementary school I wanted, teaching K-5 special ed, which is exactly what I wanted. I am so unbelievably relieved and excited! 

Classes start in 5 days. I ordered books. It's overwhelming to me, this thing. Not the idea of classwork, but how much it's all changed since I've been in school. I sound like such an old person but it's true. Back in my day, nothing was really done on computers. Now everything is, all communications from the school, including signing promissory notes for financial aid, getting parking passes, etc. It's so odd and although I feel like I am somewhat computer literate, I am out of my depth. It seems like it will all change so quickly.

And I'm still working! Not much but enough and of course I have clients coming out of the woodwork.  We need the money but holy hell I'm not in the mood. I don't care about them. There, I've said it. I don't care about them anymore.

And my mom came to visit. We hadn't seen her since September. She and my stepdad came and guess how long they stayed? 3.5 days. I'm really hurt. It's one thing to do several short visits during the year, but 3.5 days after 9 months is ... hurtful. My boys were just getting to know her again. And the reason why? My stepdad. She caves in to him. He's the reason they stayed away for so long - well, his hip is the reason - and it feels like she is putting him first, above us. And above even herself. Example: she said one thing she really wanted to do was to swim with Liam, who is fearless and loves jumping into the pool repeatedly. Before they came, I told her to pack swimsuits, and she did. Then when she arrived, we discussed going swimming. Then the next day, she said my stepdad may just watch, but SHE will go swimming. Then the second to last day - the day we had planned for swimming - she said they weren't going to go swimming but it wasn't her that didn't want to go. What the fuck? I know my stepdad is 77, and maybe kids aren't his thing - judging by his relationship to his own sons - but it's just not right. My mom is turning 75 this year and she won't be around forever, and Liam will never be 2 again. And she's missing it. My dad would have given anything to be here with my boys, but he died when I was 18. And she is here, in good health, and missing it. 

I don't understand that choice.

Which leads me to be even more annoyed than usual with my mother in law who is the most overbearing, competitive, insecure, cloying, boundary-less woman I've ever known. We see her twice a week for the last 9 months and I She took the boys today, and HER boyfriend is also an ass - grumpy old men is a stereotype for a reason. I am enforcing a new policy. I'm done rearranging my schedule so she can see them. I'm limiting it to every other weekend, and Wednesdays. That should be more than enough. And Wednesdays, I'm not letting Brody miss karate anymore because of her visits. I am so done. This probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me, but I just need to get it out. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013



Boston marathon.



I can't do anymore. I'm a news junkie. I never understood, until today, how people want to tune out the news, or turn it off.

Then I saw this video of kids outside an elementary school in Oklahoma screaming and crying. Was it just minutes after the  tornado? It looked like it. And the cameraman was there, already, and just filming it. It made me sick to my stomach. Put the fucking camera down and help the kids find their families.

For the first time in my life, I can't watch the news.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Operation Procrastination

If there was a DSM IV diagnosis for procrastination, I'd have that diagnosis.

What IS it? I've read about procrastination and tips and tools for dealing with it, and still I do it.

Case in point: I've had billing/invoices I've needed to do for a couple of weeks. I originally said I wanted them done by May 6.

It's May 15 and I just got them done.

I feel like I can breathe.

I think of all the time I spent thinking about them for the last 10 days and I want to VOMIT. It's such a huge tremendous waste of time. To worry about stuff to do. What IS that? Why not just DO it?

And to be clear, I am talking about an activity that I should do SO I CAN GET PAID MONEY. If that's not motivation, I don't know what is.

It's one of my least favorite characteristics.

Monday, May 13, 2013

So, YOU'RE the lawyer

Had my matching event with my lead teacher event on Saturday. It's like speed dating to try to find a good match for your lead teacher for the program, the teacher I'll be working with full time Aug-May in their classroom. We got 4 minutes per person, about 15 people.

The title of this post is what almost every potential lead said to me.

I liked almost everyone. One teacher I did NOT like; she talked about herself for the entire 4 minutes, and it was all about how great she is. No thank you.

Also, there are some placements that are in middle school and high school, and I don't want middle or high. I want elementary.

One woman - I really liked her subject area - she teaches k-2. I like that age group. BUT I don't think she is a right fit personality wise. She seems really....calm and proper. I am not calm OR proper. She reads the bible.

And yes, I'm looking at location. Denver is a big district, and there are some schools near me and some 45 mins away. They said that shouldn't be a factor, but it is. Sue me.

I really connected with one woman. I have a girl crush on her. I also like the lead teachers who have children. I think there is a fundamental difference between teachers who are parents too. I want those people to teach me how to teach.

I also learned if I get one C, I will be terminated from the program. I think I got a C in high school. I didn't in college or law school, so that should be ok, but it was nervewracking. Saturday was also the "ways to get kicked out of the program" talk.

Also, I had a fantastic night out with my husband - yes, that one - on Friday. We saw Kathy Griffin, and went out to dinner and it was fun and lovely. And I even had a very good Mother's Day. My husband is not so good at the big days, see last year's birthday, but this one turned out very very well. My oldest made me a card - with really beautiful artwork - and I cried. And my 2 year old gave me lots of hugs and laughter.

Monday, April 29, 2013


If I needed further confirmation that I no longer want to practice law, it is today.

I have a client. He needs immediate litigation help. It involves custody and protective orders and all of that.

I'm not into it. I'm having a panicky feeling in my stomach when I see it's him calling.

And I think he's in the right legally. But I just can't anymore. I'm over litigating.

I'm also over my husband's antics.

But not so over him that I want to see my children 50% of the time.

Because that's the rub. I don't want to not see my children every single day.  I want to be a positive influence on them OVER my husband and because of my job, I see the fuckery that ex-spouses do their own kids to get back at their spouse. I don't want mine going through that, and I know, without doubt or hesitation, that's what would happen with MY husband.

And also, really....I'm not DONE with him. Buried very very deeply is a smidgen still of something real and decent. And I don't believe what he says about me. I don't believe I do. I don't feel like I do. I know it is his way of defending himself when he feels hurt and unloved. He's SO insecure ... my god, he's an advertisement for why you would raise your children to be secure and confident. I've been addressing with him - calmly- this weekend how he interprets everything I say as "against" him or critical of him, even when I'm saying things in his favor. It's almost an illness he has.

It takes the monster asshole out of him. He's just a 3 year old whose dad abandoned his family and whose mother mind-fucked him for the next 30 years.

I think he realized this weekend too - about the kids. They didn't ask about him or miss him when he was away. Not once. That's pretty telling. So when he asked if the boys missed him, I dodged it and said, "I think they're used to you being gone." He then spent every chance he got with them. And he was actually a good and decent parent.

And for now, I can use that. I'm not leaving anytime soon, even though, yes, I know, I deserve better. And I will get better. But honestly, right before going to grad school full time in an intensive program while raising 2 little boys...things are do-able.

Monday, April 22, 2013

He apologized

No, he didn't. Actually he said, "I don't want to fight anymore."

Which means, he does want to fight sometimes?

I know why he did it. He gets very upset about leaving us and he has the business trip tomorrow and he couldn't take it.

Whatever dude. I'm over you. And thank you thank you for the comments of support. I know these things, but it helps a lot to hear them again.

On to more important things: what blogs should I be reading?

I have two on the side now. Any other interesting ones?