As promised, here is a little insight into my newest project and why now. The crisis of mid-life has led me to a few discoveries about myself. I am restless. I have always been restless and impatient. Those who love me the most will confirm this description and that's not the newly discovered part. What I have uncovered recently is that I value my creativity above all things (I don't mean my child or my family, I mean professional attributes). I am at my most content when I am able to float freely from one creative endeavor to the next, whether it's the chapters in one of my novels or a new idea for a legal seminar or even the new decor for my home office (which looks pretty great, by the way). I have also recognized that my creativity and imagination require some freedom that the confines of my normal day do not provide. So, in an effort to fulfill my passions while also fulfilling my professional obligations, I have freed myself of my office chair, regimented calendar and traditional office hours. I quit.
That's a bit of an overstatement. I didn't really quit my job. But in the traditional sense, I've turned in my punch card and have chosen to be a work at home mom. For the longest time, I could not stand the fact that I was arriving home from my day, and I had missed dinner with my daughter. Knowing that a phone conference or a meeting was going to keep me from picking her up from school and taking her to dance class had been killing me. But there was more...
The stress of accomplishing what "I had to do" each day knowing there were so many things I really wanted to do was ruining everything from my ability to create to my relationships. The pressure of everyday began weighing heavier and heavier upon my shoulders. I started projects that I couldn't finish. I started feeling empty and anxious.
I had felt this way for a few years and the only obstacle, I realized, between what I had and what I wanted, was fear. I had been afraid - who am I if I am not a partner at a law firm? Will I make enough money to live the life I have chosen, support myself, my kid? What will everyone think of the person who "could do it all" if I can't? Will I even like not having a full work calendar? Will I lose my edge professionally if I am not showing up to the office every day? Who will do all the things I do at the office? How do I tell them this is what I want to do?
And then one day, I woke up and decided I didn't care about those concerns. How could I possibly know what would happen if I didn't just do it? So I did. And while I am still working out the details of my professional and personal future, I have never felt so in control of myself and my own future.
Not only do I have time to spend with my daughter, but I have time to devote to writing, developing my newest project, Blue Suit Trial Strategies, the consulting arm of the PI department at my firm, AND of course, laundry. I have time to exercise, to run, to travel, to play tennis and dance. I was trying to jam all of those activities into an already packed work week. But now, I don't need to do that. With the support of friends and family, I'm checking all my boxes, at my own daily pace.
Welcome to the new me. I've crossed to the other side of fear. The path still is not clear, but already, it's a lot brighter over here. Life at the office goes on without me each day, but now I get to be a constant part of my daughter's day. How I spend my time is up to me for the first time in a very long time. It's a wonderful feeling.