I am surrounded by coziness.
My law office has a comfy desk and office chair; it is very official looking, with degrees on the wall, and it is clean and filled with inspirational items; really, it's very feng shui, if I do say so myself, mainly because my mom picked out most of the decorations. I wouldn't be able to decorate a blank piece of paper if I were given one colored marker and a stencil.
Our reception area is also very comfortable; we have a leather-ish sofa and leather-ish chairs, a coffee table, and again, my landlord-type-person is quite the stylish decorator, so it's the perfect space to set up a well-organized mind to work.
My home also has a very nice desk; it is smaller, but it is made of old-looking wood that gives off an air of competence and "you should work here." It has lots of nooks and crannies for organizing things and a lamp on it for my poor tired eyes.
We even have a fantastically comfortable leather sofa in my house. I have slept on this sofa on many occasions, usually unintentionally. It beckons with cushiony goodness for weary bones.
Of all of these options, which one do you think I select for getting the most work done?
If you picked "Option F, None of the Above," you'd be correct.
No, my workspace of choice is sitting on a bar stool at my kitchen counter.
It's very uncomfortable. While it's a cushiony bar stool, it is nonetheless a bar stool, and after 8 to 10 hours of work, my lower back is usually screaming at me to stop. There is also absolutely no room on this counter. It's usually crammed with discarded junk mail, half-finished household projects, and dirty dishes. It also gives me a prime view of my kitchen, which, despite our best efforts, is typically a great big mess.
However, starting with law school and moving up to the present day, I have yet to find a place where I can accomplish more on any given day than perched atop this precarious stoop, hunched over my laptop, juggling paper and various electronic devices. I credit this barstool with my graduation with honors from law school, my first novel, and now, my successful law practice and freelance writing business.
This is of moderate concern, however, as the house we are moving into in a few weeks doesn't really have space for a countertop and an uncomfortable bar stool. I'm therefore fielding suggestions on uncomfortable places I can continue this practice. The only real requirements are discomfort, an electrical outlet, and a WiFi connection. All other amenities are, clearly, optional.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
|Photography by Ivan Prole, www.proledesign.com|
See, a sabbatical, to me, means taking time off from what you usually do in order to do something that you would much rather be doing. Instead, I had to stop doing what I really wanted to do in order to focus on the things that I really, really didn't want to do, not one little bit, not at all.
Such is the life of a lawyer. So I thought.
In March, after one of the longest years of my life, I quit my steady paycheck job (I won't call it well-paying, especially given the ratio of my salary versus hours worked, although I did manage to make ends meet for a little while), and set off into the great wide world of being a solo practitioner.
I couldn't be happier with this decision.
It's only been a month, but my quality of life has improved dramatically. My clients love me more, I love them more, and I love what I do about 1000% more (yes that extra zero is intentional). I'm connecting with people and looking them in the eye, as opposed to meeting them with a glassy-eyed, barely-there stare. I'm awake.
And, an unexpected benefit, I get to write more; in fact, some of my freelance clients came back to me, and I have a nice steady side income doing even MORE of what I love.
Does anyone have it better than I do, really?
The aftershocks of my prior life are still resonating. When I get done with work at 6pm instead of 8pm, I feel a colossal pang of guilt. Sometimes, if things are slow, I feel crippling anxiety and uselessness, even though the initial numbers are comforting. It's weird the psychological loops we get caught up in, isn't it? I may not have as many hours of work. But they are meaningful hours. And that's important.
I'm still adjusting to this idea that work can consist of things I like to do, instead of things I have to suffer through. I'm glad that I'm coming to this realization now, instead of later, before I suffered some permanent damage.
And now, if I really want to, in addition to being the lawyer I always dreamed of being, maybe I can also be the writer I always dreamed of being.