Friday, October 28, 2011

Out of Office

I fell apart in the parking lot outside daycare this morning. I woke up to a million emails on 3 other, long-ignored cases and a separate email informing me the extension I sought for my article was denied and it needed to be 1,500-2,000 words long, so not at all the little e-lert brief I was thinking of. I had to back out of chaperoning Landon's pumpkin patch field trip (thank goodness I'd never told him I was planning to go), and I forgot his water bottle, and Claire had spontaneously given me the sweetest hug before we left the house this morning, resting her little cheek on my shoulder, and she looked sad when I dropped her off, and I don't know... I got in my car and tears just started falling. I called JP to tell him I was quitting my job, but he was in a meeting and couldn't answer, which is good, because he probably would have advised against that course and I was in no mood to hear it.

I got to work 20 minutes later, closed my door and worked for 6 hours straight. I got a lot done and have successfully cleared my plate to be able to take this Friday, Monday, and maybe Tuesday off. I need time with my family. I need some freaking sleep. I need a strongly worded out of office message.

But first, I need to finish this article (it's 12:48 a.m. and I'm at word 1002; unfortunately, it's a really crappy 1002 words, but they exist and that's the best I can do right now).

In the mean time, iPhone pictures:

At the park yesterday:

My office, after Landon decorated it with post-it flags last Sunday:

"I made it SO beautiful mommy"

My office, as I was leaving at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning:

I really do take more pictures of my kids than my office (though I have undeniably seen far more of my office than my kids lately; that's changing), but I use the DSLR when we're at home and I keep forgetting I have a camera on my phone when we're out.

This is going to be a good weekend and the start of a new, better few months work-wise. I've reached my limit- went well beyond it actually- and I can't do that again.


  1. The end of the madness is near! Although I know that in a law office, there is always more madness around the corner. I hope you get your little reprieve and I hopes its as wonderful as you deserve! I love your office, btw!

  2. I know I have said this before, but your family is lovely. Sorry its been so rough for you. Hope it gets better!

  3. I have been there -- and I don't even have kids yet, so I seriously can't imagine how difficult it must be for you. Ultimately, for me, I realized that I was doing what I thought I should be doing, as opposed to what I actually wanted to do. Made a career change (still law-related, but not practicing) and my life is, no joke, 1000x better. Good call on taking some time off -- it is definitely necessary after an insane trial period. Glad to hear that things should be calmer for you going forward. Sending great time-off thoughts your way!

  4. Enjoy your days off -- you need and totally deserve them. (The "fall apart in the daycare parking lot" event is so familliar to me! I did just recently, and took my much-needed personal day yesterday - it was lovely.)

  5. I love Landon's decorations.... well done!

    So glad to hear you're taking some time off... hope you guys have beautiful weather in Austin so you can enjoy it!

  6. Such cute kids!! I'm so glad you're able to take some time off. Enjoy!

  7. I love reading your posts. Your thinking is great. My husband is a wonderful loving man. With that said, no matter how insane Big Law gets, he never says, "I've reached my limit- went well beyond it actually- and I can't do that again.." I applaud you for recognizing that in yourself and taking a well deserved break. You go girl!

  8. It takes you way longer to "break down" than it takes me. I've figured it out for me -- two days after a night with little sleep (less than 4 hours) ... watch out!

  9. Hope you have a great weekend!

    Love the pictures. All the best moments are captured on my iPhone. I have the DSLR at home and use it a lot, but it almost always is reserved for the more posed moments. My iPhone shows the story of our lives much better!

  10. Hugs to you. I've been there and done that but finally my heath suffered. I wish I had listened to my gut and redirected my career before it was too late. Now my babies are grown and gone and I am left the health conditions that 20 years of trying to prove I could do it all gave me. I worried about people thinking I couldn't cut it. Everyone was so impressed that I was a lawyer! It was really like the emporer's new clothes! I don't even know any of those people now and alot of them decided to leave law anyway! Is there a way to talk to your firm about cutting back a bit? Even switching to a smaller firm doesn't cut the hours. It is just less pay and less support staff. I look back on my life and I feel like I never really got to enjoy it. I have taken a very low level no stress law related job and wish I could have done this when my babies were growing up. I can tell by your blog that you are a wonderful mother. Years ago I looked at my billable hours and wondered what the talley would be if I counted the hours I spent with my children the way I did my legal career. It was an eye opener. I wish I had those hours back and I would even give back the money! I guess what I am trying to say is it is ok to feel this way and there are many who understand what you are going through. It may not be right for you to quit right now but it is ok to think about taking another direction if that is where your heart is leading you.

  11. Thanks Anon, and everyone else-- Anon, this sentence is exactly right: "I wish I had those hours back and I would even give back the money!" JP and I have been talking a lot about that- what will our 50-year-old selves think about our schedules right now and what would we rather they say? Even if we can keep this going, why should we? why are we? what are the goals and how will they be affected by a downshift?

    I've been doing a lot of thinking, a lot of researching, talking, and networking, and now a lot of planning and acting (and so has JP). Quitting isn't the answer, at least not for me because in my calmer moments I do genuinely enjoy what I do, but things are changing. Not immediately, but 3-6 months from now BOTH of our work schedules will be improved.