As the start of the new year 2012, I have found that a great deal of my life has come into focus a little, various strings of thought that had been out there flapping in the winds of my brain, have seemingly come together, woven together as the result of a some serious time spent thinking about my life, about what I want (and don't want) it to be about. I am struggling to find more positive energy in my life.
On a professional level, my career has come to a crossroads. While I don't anticipate abandoning the law as a profession anytime in the near future, I have begun to think that my current legal practice is filled with a fair amount of negative. I meet clients when the excrement has hit the wind generating device. While I hope they appreciate the effort I and my colleagues put forth (and many have expressed thanks), I rarely see clients in the best possible light, at a time when they are at their best. I don't blame the clients at all, it is the nature of being a litigator. But I have had a few episodes in the past six months or so that have given me a better insight into the kind of law I would like to practice and that involves dealing with clients in a more positive light, helping them achieve their goals as businesspeople and as humans, rather than when it has all gone haywire.
Being a litigator can be a great deal of fun, I am competitive, I like to win and I like a competition that has rules, but allows for some creativity. But litigation is also very negative as well. It is a zero sum game. If you take a case to court, there is a winner and a loser--that is what a court does. Even if you settle a case, both sides win and more likely both sides lose. It is not very satisfying.
But there is so much negative energy that flows from litigation that I believe it has been affecting me on a personal level. The confidential nature of my work (and I take my ethical obligations seriously) forbid me from talking about my work in too much detail with my wife. I talk in generalities, I talk about procedure--which is pretty damn dry--and I internalize things. Sure, I can talk to my colleagues about the cases, but I don't like talking too deeply about my personal life at work. So the separation of the two means that work's negativity bleeds over into my home life and the stresses of my home life bleed over into my work. The result has been that both my home life and my work life have been negatively affected.
Thus, the search for some more positives in my work life means that I can help clients move forward with the things that make them happy. Being the general counsel to entrepeneurs is what I am looking for. So that is where I will be focusing my attention.
But I have also found that so much of what I considered so important for so long is just a load of crap. I used to follow politics so closely, but I am simply disappointed in our leaders of both political parties. I suppose I am not the only one, it is something of a movement in the country I believe. But at the same time, I know that all the shennigans affect my life professionally and personally.
I spent some time seeing my family over Christmas and New Year's and they don't seem as engaged in the whole political farce and they seem happier for it. I was recently asked if I was interested into returning to the political arena as a staffer or as an attorney and I said no. It is not that it would be a step back in my career, rather it was a realization that I am sick of politics.
I have been reading Declaration of Independents and some of the thinking there so summed up my thoughts, I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal., I do believe in free minds and free markets, I do think that neither party is interested in even what they say they believe--they are only interested in prolonging their power.
And so, in the dawn of our New Year, I have decided to attempt to rid myself of as much of the negative influences as I can. I can't abandon politics, but I can limit my involvement. I can't abandon my career, but I can change course. I will pursue my own happiness. I will seek out more time with people who are positive, who are actively pursuing their own happiness. Who knows, maybe we will help each other find our happiness.
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