Saturday, September 2, 2023

Balancing and Breaking

Right after my last post- the post in which I promised multiple additional posts- I got extremely busy at work. A new matter on a short timeline, a resurgence of older matters gone quiet, new clients- I've billed 9-15 hours a day since mid-August.
And I love it.

I love being a lawyer. I love advising clients, counseling them through complicated situations, working with associates, finding answers, making those answers work for our side... I am never happier than when I am just DOING my job. I only seem to have existential crises about life choices when I'm slow.
But it's been busy and my yoga attendance has been non-existent since mid-August, and I haven't watched any TV since we finished The Bear Season 2 (which I ADORED) a few weeks ago. I'm here for the kids, James, family dinner, and work, and that's about it. I've started wearing satin pants to work most days just to feel like I'm wearing pajamas even if I'm not getting enough sleep.
This past Thursday, I woke up at 4 a.m. to get on a 6 a.m. flight to Houston to give a presentation.
I had my chai latte and work travel backpack and kept panicking that I left my suitcase somewhere in the airport because I'm never in the airport without a carry-on suitcase rolling around with me. But since I was flying back to Dallas on the 2:30 flight, my trusty suitcase was still at home, waiting for the 6 trips I have in September.

(satin pants forever!)

I got to the office, finished writing the presentation I was about to gave, handled a few calls, and then presented an SEC update to a couple hundred people with one of my badass M&A partners, got back in an Uber and went right back to the airport to fly home before a few more client calls later in the afternoon.
Once at the airport, I started getting panicked texts from Claire. She was at home. She'd been sick with a virus the last couple of days and seemed to be getting better. James had been with her, but he'd gone to take Cora to the dermatologist (she has some sort of crazy biological plant-induced allergic reaction on her arm that has created big angry SUPER itchy and burny pustules that I will spare you a visual of) and then stopped at the Y for a swim.

So now I was walking to my gate, talking to a sobbing Claire with intense stomach pain, dizziness, nausea, and a fever, googling symptoms and telling her we had to get off the phone so I could call James or someone else we knew in Dallas to take her to the hospital.
I reached James just before takeoff and he raced home to take her to the ER. My flight took off and the Wi-Fi never worked, so my next update was upon landing that the doctor suspected appendicitis and she was getting blood work and a contrast CT. I drove straight to the hospital, bumping back my calls, and relieving James so he could go gather our other children who had all gone home with someone else at the last minute when James couldn't get there.
Claire was pretty comfortable when I arrived, I ran my call (nothing like meeting a new GC of a client from a hospital room), and then Claire and I hung out until she finished her special drink to go do the contrast CT scan.
A few hours later and appendicitis was ruled out, and mesenteric lymphadenitis and an ovarian cyst were determined to be one or both causes of the severe pain. We got home about 9 pm, ate some dinner, tucked Claire in bed, and I got back to work, heading to bed about 1 a.m. myself, 21 hours after waking up.

So it was a day.

Most days I feel like I balance back and forth between mom/wife and lawyer pretty easily. Sure one side usually tilts down a little more than the other, but it balances out. Like when I found this score sheet from a card game Cora requested when I was working over the weekend that was tucked between a bunch of notes from calls. It works, not perfectly, but perfectly well enough.
Thursday was a day where I felt like both sides pressed down so far the whole balance snapped.

Last night I signed off my computer at 6 pm, ate an amazing vegan bolognese that James made, watched a show with him on the couch, and was in bed by 9:30. I got 9.5 hours of sleep and it's incredible.
Today Claire and I are taking a walk because it's not yet 100 degrees outside. She's feeling better. We've got follow up appointments scheduled and my email inbox is down to 100-something instead of 500-something. James and Landon are at the pool and Cora is trying to explain why she doesn't need to go on the walk with us. The pets are happy and freshly brushed. Everyone is excited about the long weekend.

And so the days roll on, and we build the balance again.