I've had a relatively mellow first half of 2009, as far as being a lawyer is concerned.
I've been averaging somewhere slightly below 150 billable hours per month and enjoying my nights and weekends for the most part, plus taking some vacations.
Last weekend, however, I had to work all day Sunday. This weekend, I'm working both Saturday and Sunday. One of the attorneys in my group just went out on maternity leave, and it looks like business is picking up. I was just staffed on two very large deals, at least one of which will require some cross-country travel for negotiations over the next few months in addition to my regular client-work.
I'm actually excited about the big deals. As I've said many times before, I love the law and I adore what I do. It's just the stuff that comes with it that is sometimes difficult to manage.
As the years have gone by, I've gotten better at dealing with the associated stresses and the last-minute cancellations (we have guests this weekend, so my need to work all weekend has not been ideal, but they've understood).
But I'm certain my feelings of being a well-balanced lawyer as of late have been partially attributed to the reasonable amount of work that has been coming my way: enough that I have felt fortunate not to fear for my job, but not so much as to overwhelm me very often.
However, given the trends I'm seeing and being down one attorney in my group, I suspect the mellow portion of 2009 may be waning and have warned E of as much.
I'll do my best to keep some of the balance I've been better at managing when the workload was lighter, but if my prediction is correct, I suspect my life for the next few months is going to be a little heavier on the lawyering and lighter on the social, family and food.
Wish me luck...