February 13, 2007

The Choice I Have Made

For the last 9 days or so, I've been on two big deals that were supposed to close *today* but things kept going wrong. I was also assigned to the typical assortment of small deals and projects.

Deadlines keep getting missed on the big projects. New deadlines were set. Everyone feels pressure to get things done. And knowing that everyone else feels pressure makes me feel like I *have* to do my part even faster and better than I ordinarily would. Then there's the small deal and projects which keep getting put on hold for the bigger ones. Oh, and the whole first-year lawyer don't really know what I'm doing thing. Basically, I've been disappointing people left and right.

Everything I'm doing feels like it isn't getting done as well as I'd like it to be done. I'm not getting enough sleep. I worked through the weekend. In response to an emergency email, I had to ask to use lucky_girl's office while at her house for a girls' brunch.

Monday night, I had dinner plans with lucky_girl. Both of my deals were supposed to be closed by the evening. One did close. There was much rejoicing. But at 2 PM, I got the dreaded email asking if I would be available after 6 PM to turn the documents one more time.

I sent lucky_girl an email and explained the situation. She came down for dinner anyways. We had a fabulous time. But, I had to check my PDA *every* time it buzzed. Which, was approximately every 15 minutes from 8 PM 'til 11 PM.

I like to be completely present when I interact with my friends and family. If there isn't an emergency at work, I am trying to ignore my buzzing PDA. But when there is a true emergency, I really have no choice.

This is the choice I have made. I love the practice that I have chosen. Most days I want to pinch myself to make sure that I really get paid to do what I do. But the last 9 or so, I haven't needed to pinch myself.

Socially, I've had to be only partially present, both with friends and family. My anxiety levels have been higher than I like them to be, my diet has suffered, my sleep has been poor and I haven't gotten as much as I need, and if I wasn't recovering from a marathon, I'd probably be pissed about how little exercise I've been getting as well.

The madness is temporarily over. But it took a serious toll on me, physically, and emotionally. I woke this morning, refreshed from a full night's sleep for the first time in over 10 days. Learning how to balance my way through periods like this is going to be one of the more difficult things about being a lawyer.

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