I actually have a fun post coming (tonight? tomorrow? soon?ish…), but I had a thought I really just needed to share for my own posterity– if nothing else. Some day hopefully I will be moved well beyond the practice of law and whatever I am doing will no doubt possess its own share of good days and bad. I hope more of the former than the latter, but if ever I need a reminder of why I left this potentially lucrative if soul-sucking field, I would like to remember this one thing.
My whole job is about fighting. Every step of the process is a battle, and victories are few and far between (we’re talking months between, generally, at best). And some days, many days, I spend all day making phone calls and arguing with people. Arguing about the facts of what has happened. The fairness of what will happen, or what should happen, or what may happen. Arguing about what I did, why I did it, or why they did what they did. Why it was wrong. Why it was right. All day steeped in “I’m right and you’re wrong” and a sense of injustice and impassioned advocacy that you have to adopt to effectively advocate for your clients.
And it is exhausting. You know how they say that with happiness you can “fake it til you make it”? I.e. sometimes the best way to BE happy is to ACT happy and it sort of rubs off on your real live mood. I think it works both ways. And days where I spend the majority of my time arguing with people about causes which I’ve adopted as my own… it is hard not to end the day with a sort of bittered/angry attitude. Because words have consequences, even (especially?) on the people speaking them.
Days like today it takes a serious effort to snap myself out of my work-funk. I think it helps that I realize what it is. I realize I started this day happy. That I am happy. That my mood is not a reflection of my life but rather of the cultivated attitude that I needed to make it through my day and help (maybe?) my clients. But still. It’s hard to spend your days marinating in anger from every direction. And I won’t miss it.