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?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The more things change.....

Part of the process for matching me to a lead teacher is to do a "speed dating" (their words) event for the school, and part of that is to do a resident biography.

One of the questions was what 3 items would you have on a deserted island; another question was "what else should we know about you?" Keep in mind, I'm already in the program. I am enrolled. This is a matching exercise. So I polled some friends, and got feedback as to what to write from a number of smart, professional women who know me really well.

I just revised it this morning. Hubs and I have been fighting. I've realized he doesn't really know me, and to the extent that it's because I  get my support from my friends and not him, I wanted to try to open up to him. So I gave him my bio, which was 3 pages long, to proofread.

In response to the question "What would someone be surprised to know about you?" I wrote that I won a trip to France in 2009.  He said my answer was stupid, and screwed up his face like he was sucking on a lemon.

I didn't say anything in response.

He kept reading.

In response to the question "What else should we know about you?" I wrote a series of sentences that were  light-hearted and meant to convey who I am as a person. So I mentioned I was a political junkie, but also watched the Real Housewives and loved Kathy Griffin.  He said that was "stupid and unprofessional." He said it with such contempt for me on his face that I took it out of his hands, crumpled it up and threw it on the ground.

He then asked when I was going to apologize to him for the way I treated him. He's referring to Friday night, when he came home slurring his speech, just slightly, and being really handsy. I have a history of alcoholics in my family, and I get so completely turned off and repulsed by him when he is like that. If I'm drinking with him, ok. But he came home, he had gone out with a coworker who had driven him home, and he's pawing me in front of the kids and not listening to what I say, and just being a stupid drunk. I tried to play it off, but it's not right to grab my chest in front of my sons, and grind against me in front of them. I've told him approximately 100000 times I really don't like it when he's like that, which isn't that often. But Friday he was.

So he gets home, I'm putting B to bed and he asks for a sandwich. Fine. I make him one. I was trying to tell him the thing that happened with my ex-boss, and he just kept blowing me off and trying to be funny but he looked just really un-funny and pathetic. And he kept invading my personal space, and telling me to shush, and I couldn't fucking stand it. I told him he was drunk and to back off. He said I was crazy of course. I said, sure, fine, maybe it's my issue because of what I grew up around, but please respect my boundaries. I don't like you like this.

So then, he wants to get to some adult fun. No fucking way. At that point, I was so completely turned off and repulsed by him I said no.

At which point he went on a drunken rage against me, telling me all the things I suck at and how I'm selfish and a loser and he's over it he's done blah blah blah blah blah.

In his mind, I'm a bitch because I rejected him. And that gives him the license to wail on me in a tirade of verbal abuse.  At some point during his tirade, he was so...pathetic, like just saying things with the only goal being to draw blood, they were so over-the-top mean and untrue, that I started laughing. Out loud. To his face. I told him he is nothing if not predictable.

Ok so when I started writing this post 15 minutes ago, I stormed out of the living room and came into the office. He just said to me, "Ok, I'm going to run errands." I didn't answer. I hate him right now. I don't want to talk to him (oh, our sons are with the in-laws today). So. he said it again. What response does he want from me? I don't give a fuck where he goes today or what he does. So I just said, "Uh, ok." And he left.

I swear to god, if I just had sex with him every day he'd be happy with whatever. But I only want to have sex with him when he's a kind, considerate non-asshole.


He leaves for a business trip realllly early Tuesday morning and he won't be back until Thursday night. I cannot wait for him to go.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


My car cost "only" $545 to fix. Dealer said 3 things needed fixing. Our mechanic said only 1.

Gave notice to my firm. They were lovely. They said they were going to offer me a full time employee position- Im part time independent contractor now. It was nice to hear and they are so happy for me. A year ago I would have jumped at it. It was hard to hear in a way, but I know lawyering is not for me. I'm still going to work on project work when I can, maybe keep writing articles for the newsletter.

Hubs is still an ass.

I got a weird text last night from a former coworker who is a phenomenal lawyer and has been practicing for almost 30 years. He's been practicing for almost 30 years, and shares the same boss that I had, the same boss who was a terrible manager and basically ran me out of my last job. He asked me what I knew about another colleague of ours leaving the unit. I told them it was because of our boss and her micromanaging ways. My friend responded that he had had similar experiences with her recently, and he is talked with the remaining two other people in the unit, and they had as well. He's going to talk to my old bosses boss this week And demand some changes be made.

I know I should probably be all forgiveness and peace, but really, I just love karma coming around to kick that woman in the ass.

My friend, P, wrote me an email - in fact a few emails this week- that really made me think. And feel better. Like, really truly helped adjust my thinking. How'd I get so lucky? Seriously.

I thought about two quotes this week after my meltdown. One I found when I was struggling to stay pregnant all those times: that which you seek is seeking you. That's powerful.

The other, the managing partner at my firm reminded me that I said to her. Actually a few months ago SHE had a freak out about the firm and if they were doing the right thing in sinking their life savings into it. Apparently I sent her an email In response to her freak out and told her of the "Leap and the net will appear." She reminded me of that after I told her that I felt like I was about to jump off a cliff in giving my notice, leaving the law, and starting grad school for teaching. She said she has a print out that email that I sent her, and that she looks at it about once a week.

How amazing is that?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I am full of bullshit and self-loathing.
I spew platitudes to friends going thru hard times, trying to convey the message of hope and strength. As if I have any fucking clue what that means.
My anxiety today is about a 15 on the scale of 1 to 10. My 11-year-old car is nearing the end of its life. This is a rather inconvenient time, since I'm about to quit my job and go back to school full-time. I was caught in a blizzard yesterday with no heat working in the car during rush hour in a white out and the god damn thing stalled in an intersection.
I'm surprised I did not stroke out from the rage that I felt. My babies are in the car, there is no heat, and we are in an intersection in a blizzard. On April fucking 15.
I asked Brody to say a prayer that we get home. And thank you heaven, it worked. Through a series of moving a quarter-mile and stalling in the next intersection letting the car cool off and then starting it again, we limped home. Towed the car to the dealership today. Damages? The radiator and waterpump. $1500.
I also got an email from my boss at the law firm today. They want to move me into a bigger role at their firm and they asked me if I wanted to stay as an independent contractor or if I wanted to go on as a part-time employee. So pretty much I have to give my notice to them a month earlier than I had planned. Because I can't very well say yes I want to be a part-time employee and then quit four weeks later. But quitting my job is really the last step in this process for me. It was my last security blanket that I could hold onto and change my mind about school if I wanted to at the last minute. And now I can't because I have to give notice that I'm quitting. I've literally felt nauseous the entire day today because of these two developments.
And then tonight, as I was discussing things with my husband about the car and the quitting the job, he says to me, and I quote, "are you sure you really want to be a teacher? Because there's not a lot of money in it and working to spend a lot of money-- what's the guarantee that they'll pay off the tuition if you work for them, and where is it written down that you'll get a job, and it just seems a little weird that you're switching careers at this point."
Nevermind that for the past year, I've been pursuing this by taking the PLACE exam and applying to this program in Denver. Nevermind that I've tried to talk to him numerous times about why I want to switch, because it's nice to have a life partner be your friend and be someone who you can talk to about these things. Never mind that whenever I've done that, he's been on his phone, watching TV, or simply not interested. Tonight. Tonight he says these things to me and then he says to me "this is your last chance. This is your one do-over."
Like I'm getting a deferred sentence in a criminal case.
This is the support I get? Then, he claims, after six months ago saying that we could take a loan out of his 401(k) if we needed to to pay for the tuition, he appears to be flabbergasted today that there is, in fact, tuition and financial aid. Keep in mind, if you will, that this program is very elite, they accept 60 students out of 300 applicants, and it forgives 20% of the entire tuition for each year that you work in the school system after getting your degree. Which means after five years, tuition is 100% reimbursed.
He said "so you're going to pay $30,000 to get a $30,000 your job? And you're already a lawyer?"
Yes, motherfucker, that's my plan.
I gave him the pay scale for teachers in the school system with a masters degree, which starts at $40k, right from their website, and then I gave him my essays that I filled out that got me into this program. Of course, I shared my essays with him before.
He just never fucking read them.
I asked him what was his salary when he first started out in his career? I recall it being somewhere around $17,000 a year. I recall being the only breadwinner for the first three years of our relationship. Then he got the $17,000 year job. And there was a raise to 23,000. Then there was a layoff then there was a $20,000 your job and then there's another layoff and then there was the job he got that actually started his career.
I also liquidated my pension so that we paid off our unsecured debt, get our mortgage back on track and out of foreclosure and put a little money in our savings account.
So I think I deserve a little bit more respect than my husband of 10 years saying to me tonight, "are you smoking something? Do you have any idea what you're doing?"
I have a giant fucking headache right now. I left him with materials from the program as well as my essays about 45 minutes ago. He's back to watching TV. While I put the kids to bed. I have absolutely no interest in talking to him.
This is what I want to teach my sons: It is not what you say that matters in a relationship with your spouse or significant other. It is the way that you say it. Words matter. Tone defines everything.
Hypocrisy and double standards make my blood boil.
And my head ache.
And do you know what my six-year-old told me today? And I quote, "I think you're going to make a great teacher mommy."
How blessed am I? I thank God for my sons. But it's pretty fucking sad when they are more empathetic toward and supportive of me than my 39-year-old husband.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sign of the lame times

Spent half the night awake last night.

Worried about when to tell current job that I start grad school June 10.

I'm thinking 4 weeks but even that will be tight for them to find a replacement. There are lawyers aplenty but this type of lawyering is mostly customer service, with empathy, and the ability to google the answers in 30 seconds or less. It's different.

I'm really anxious. I don't want to do the stuff from now until June 10, not just resigning but everything. I am so completely bored out of my mind at work now. I'm isolated, I need people. I took a shower last night and just one hour ago - 17 hours later - actually brushed my hair. I'm wearing a t-shirt with holes in it and no bra with Walmart sweat pants. What the FUCK.

So I took this big bold step today: I updated my education on my facebook profile to include the grad school program I'm attending. NOW IT'S REALLY REAL.

Is this what I've become? Good lord. I'm a hermit with no social skills.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I don't know what I'm doing

I'm so bored in my current job.

Yet, I'm terrified of moving forward because of finances.

Is this my job?

Also, a revelation. About working out. I weigh more than I should. Like, a lot more. Yet I don't work out. I grew up an athlete. And now I'm a bump on a log. I'm lethargic in a sedentary job.

Yet one of my fears is dying while my children are young.

I'm willing to die for my children. Why aren't I willing to work out for them?

Monday, March 4, 2013

My first title: I got financial aid!

I got the letter from the University. I received financial aid. I looked at the email right before I was supposed to do a call and started that silent, vibrating, joyful crying that I do when I'm so happy and relieved.

That reaction is proof of how much I want this.

I got tuition and $5,000 more, just for the summer term. I'm elated. I'm so thankful to the universe. I'm grateful to everything and everyone. Several times this weekend I thought, in 3 months, I don't have to be a lawyer anymore.

I'll be a student.

HA! A student. Me. I haven't been a student in this century. I haven't been a student since 1997.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It was snowing so I begged off from visiting the castle.

I just told my 6 year old son, B, to get the toys off the floor. He whined and I said, more firmly, "NOW." in my mom voice.

B: Ok, ok.
Me: And get the samurai castle too.
Me: You hate me sometimes, don't you.
B: No I don't!
Me: (raised eyebrow)
B: Ok, sometimes.

I burst out laughing.
I'm going to someone's new house today. This someone is an acquaintance; former coworker of my husband, and his wife, and their 2 kids.  It's a house that cost literally 3 times more than our house costs. It looks like a castle online because, yes, I'm nosy and I looked it up.

The thing is, they do not come from money. They are regular people. But somehow they managed to finagle this enormous, gargantuan mansion. Is it in a part of town I like? No. It's not. It's in a town I would never live in, part of the sprawl, and it's so new that there are no trees. We live in a house built in the '60s, in a cul de sac, in an area I love with neighbors we adore, who play with our kids and snowblow our driveway without asking, and take care of our dogs when we are away.

But I find myself envious of the gargantuan mansion and it is pissing me off. Not as much as first, because I"ve been working on processing this for a few weeks. Why do I care?

I guess because we are always short on cash. Even though we are both educated, employed people, we never have money to really do home improvement the right way, like our kitchen with cabinets from the 1960s and the refrigerator with duct tape on one of the shelves. Jesus. I'm 42 years old with a graduate degree and duct tape in my fridge.

But do I want that house? No. Do I want that husband? HELL no. He's a control freak. Do I want that neighborhood? No. It's new and cold and doesn't have our neighbors or location or trees or schools.

But I want the ability to have certain extravagances when I want them. And we don't have that. Not even close.

So I'm going to visit the mansion today and then bash it tomorrow at lunch with my best friend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why change careers?

I have done a fair amount of work. Am I sure I want to be a teacher? Why not a respiratory therapist or bank teller or cashier or .... just keep doing what I'm doing?
I work from home 15-25 hours a week. I pick my son up from school.  I'm able to make dinner for my family, no late nights, no weekends.

This is what dawned on me this week. Why the hell am I doing this?

Now I remember.

To start with, I dislike being a lawyer intensely. I don't hate it, because I do have moments of feeling like I'm actually contributing to the good of the world and society, and I love the feeling I get when a client says thank you and says that I'm the only lawyer they've ever known who didn't talk down to them and actually explained things to them so they understood the legal issues.

But the dark side of law is dark. If you're in litigation, which I was for 15 years, it's depressing as hell. I'm never in charge of my calendar because every aspect of a lawsuit is governed by the court rules which state when each pleading or action is due. The client is never happy because they are either accusing someone of wrongdoing that cost them money and/or stress, or they are being sued by someone for money.  I'm only hired once the  bad things have happened, and what I'm hired to do is to fight about whose fault the bad thing was, and who has to pay whom what amount of money, which is always too much and never enough.

I've been doing transactional work for a while, and it is better in some ways. I am part of creating something, helping a business to succeed, make sure it gets the most out of its relationships, and protects its employees. But it, too, has drawbacks. It lacks the human interaction that I have realized I crave. Not with clients, but with co workers. I work from home, by myself, with my chocolate lab for company. There really is no one to bounce ideas off of, commiserate with, joke with or complain to or about - and isn't that what a workplace is all about? The other thing is this: drafting contracts is boring. It's the opposite of the insane stress and sleepless nights of litigation.  It's monotony.

And finally, the thing about practicing law that few lawyers ever confess: there are so many ways to fuck it up. Do you know how many rules and statutes there are? How many cases interpreting those rules and statutes? How many things my client hasn't told me or is hiding from me or doesn't know that I should know? It's damnably stressful. 

Isn't there something in between? No. Not in the practice of law. Except maybe teaching law, at a law school. But my god, law students are worse than lawyers on the obnoxious scale.

So that leaves teaching high school students - which are about the same as law students - or younger kids.

But why teach at all? Because I like that. That's the one part of practicing law that I really like. I like having the answers and being able to explain the process of how to get the answers to my clients. I like seeing the dawn of realization when they get it and knowing that I was part of that process. I've taught clients how to testify, how to write, how to speak and think while on the witness stand. I've taught managers how to supervise their employees and not violate any number of federal employment laws. Here, too, though - I am often the bearer of bad news: I see that slight furrow of their brow as they realize they've probably already violated someone's rights or not done what they should have.

Teaching elementary school, it's the beginning, the dawn of that person becoming who they are. They aren't jaded like adults or teenagers, they aren't only looking out for themselves, they are vulnerable, and don't know it and don't know to close off and act a part. They are raw little humans with no real guile. As an elementary school teacher, I wouldn't be on the tail end of a bad contractual relationship and arguing over the million petty details involved in litigating. My actions would matter, would have a direct effect on wee humans, and hopefully help them to form into the dazzling, brilliant humans I think everyone can be.

So why work at all? Because I need money. We could make it on my husband's salary, but then we wouldn't be able to take vacations, or have a nice retirement, or help pay for the boys' college educations. And I get bored. I suck at cleaning house AND I hate doing it. And the boys will both be in school in 2 years full time, so why not now? The bonus, of course, is that I get 12-14 weeks off every year. I won't insult anyone by acting like that's not a motivating factor. My mother in law was a teacher for 20 years and never ever ONCE not even for a minute admitted having summers off and a month at Christmas AND a week in the spring was nice. The most I've ever taken off is 2 weeks. So yes, the thought of spending the summers with my sons is a lovely perk to this new life.

So I've been accepted to the grad school. The financial aid paperwork is in. Now I need to figure out how to pay for it. Cross your crossables that there is a way.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I am of middling age.
I'm married.
I have two sons.
I am a lawyer, and I want to become a teacher.
I work part time from home, still as a lawyer.
Somewhere I have lost my mojo, my spark, my swank.

I'd like to find it again.