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Work-life balance

I always hated that phrase.

Back when I started, I was convinced that there was no such thing as work-life balance and, if such a mythological creature existed, it should be heavily weighted in favor of work. I would see lectures on the topic at AAJ seminars, but I never went to one, choosing instead something about evidence, trial strategies, technology or preemption.

Even for a new lawyer, life must move forward. The dating turned into marriage, and consideration of my other half was clearly important. I could work late many nights, but not every night. Indeed, I didn’t want to work late every night.

Once kids entered the picture, it was even more important to spend time at home.

I can truly appreciate the difficulty working parents have — if I don’t leave Columbia at 5:00 p.m., I can’t make it home before Baby T. goes to bed at 6:00. Spending time with her and her baby sister is the most important thing in my life, right now.

The result is that I continue to get into the office early every day. Now, I spend a portion of my Sundays in the office, and I work from home even more than before. I can only remember two days where I did not bring my bag home from work.

I went to the library last week and checked out a book for fun. It still lies unopened on my desk at home.  I’ll probably never crack it open for more than a couple of minutes because the mountain of work, which continually moves upward, creates a corresponding mountain of guilt whenever I try to do something else for fun (though, I did manage to watch the new episode of Doctor Who on Saturday. Wow. ).

The “balance” is a continual work in progress.  I doubt that many of us ever achieve true equilibrium. For example, this is going to be a particularly trying week — motions due, hearings, new client interviews, and the de jure emergency du jore (seems like a new one every single day!).

Family will have to manage a little more without me, and I’ll have to manage a little more without them. But, I’ll make it up next week. Thanks to a loving wife and two terrific little girls.

2 comments

  1. Maryland Esquire

    I’m curious about where you work. Are people without children allowed to have the same flex time schedule?

  2. To paraphrase Mike Royko: “If you can’t do your job and still have enough time to goof off, you obviously aren’t qualified for your job.”

    Not able to read a book? Or watch some TV? Really. Quit screwing around writing blogs. You’ve got the same 24 hours that we all have.

    And who puts their baby to bed at 6:00 pm. See, Talking Heads “Stay Up Late”.