And I’m not even back to full time yet. I know, you’re dying of shock. 

The other day I added up all the cases I’m working on and oh, it’s hovering around eight or nine. Right now, not too trying, since some are mercifully dormant, but when the day comes – as it will – that they all want a piece of me, it’s going to be gruesome. But for now, I’m busy at that sort of tiring but stimulating level that I could probably maintain forever and ever. And it’s actually pretty interesting work, in that it’s research and writing as opposed to, say, document review. Ahhhh. I try to resist it…but maybe…maybe…I may be a teeny tiny bit of a workaholic. Ugh, no, scratch that. I hate that word. I hate that it gets applied to anyone who would voluntarily work past five or check their Blackberry after hours. I hate that anyone who takes pride in having a career as opposed to just a job is seen as deficient somehow. The phrase “you work to live, don’t live to work” drives me batty (so does “eat to live”…screw that!). 

I just wish work didn’t come with the inevitable attendant bullshyte. Not just your regular office politicky stuff, but managing insane personalities. This surely can’t just be a law thing, but I think that in law we really coddle the crazies. I’m guilty, guilty, guilty. Right now, I’m working with a partner who has the worst case of adult ADD I have ever seen, and that’s saying something. Let’s call him, oh, Willy. Willy is brilliant, educated, thoughtful, confident, and a wonderful speaker. He can have judges eating out of his hand in under five minutes. He is tall, pretty handsome for an older dude, and just inspires confidence. But he is a royal mess to deal with on a day to day basis. He’ll call you into his office to discuss a brief he wants you to write and spend fifteen minutes going off on a total stream of consciousness, raising and discarding ideas at such rapid-fire pace that you leave more confused than you were when you came in. So maybe you puzzle it out at your desk and start drafting. But! Then he’ll call you. Repeatedly. Purportedly to change his instructions, but sometimes I think it’s just to hear himself talk through the theory of the case again and again and again. Cue more confusion. The good thing, though, is that he’s so scattered that half the time he won’t even remember what he’s said, so if you missed a point or just flat out didn’t get it, you can just not include it, and he probably won’t remember that he told you to.

Last week I stayed late to write a brief (an “emergency” of course) and luckily was able to play the flex-time card and leave at 10pm. I would have been fooked otherwise, since he stayed until 4am revising what I gave him (doing what, I cannot tell you, as the “finished” product wasn’t much different from what I did in the first place!). I’ve explained the whole flex-time thing a few times and I don’t know if he follows. Not because he’s a jerk – well, to the extent that a total disinterest in anyone else’s affairs makes you not a jerk – but I just don’t think anything registers other than the task at hand. I guess I can sympathize. You don’t get to be a [redacted redacted] partner without being pretty single-minded and uncaring of other people’s personal lives!

But anyway, that’s the work at work bit. Then there’s work at home…or rather, the impact of work at home. I actually don’t think that my time with Piglet has necessarily suffered much, but again, I’m still home on Fridays for another couple of weeks and have only had to stay late a handful of times. Plus she’s still in the on-site daycare, so I have not yet had to go more than about three hours without seeing her on any given day. I’m a little surprised at how a married couple with kids and busy work schedules can get a wee bit disconnected from one another, though. It’s definitely different…we’ve done the “busy professionals with no kids” thing, and the “busy parents with small child, but one not working” thing. Both had challenges, but we worked it out. Now we’re into “busy professionals with small child” thing and it’s, well, different. We are in the process of hiring a babysitter so we can have our first date night since Piglet’s arrival, but I don’t know if that’s even going to make a dent. I mean, we already have most evenings together once she’s in bed and half the time we’re so drained that all we can do is stare at the TV or our respective laptops. I certainly don’t feel like I have it in me to be clever or conversational. Is this what they mean by “making an effort”? I always thought that was so comical in the context of marriage. “OH GOD, now I have to TALK to you too?” And I mean…obviously, we talk. But the conversations tend to run to either absurdly mundane topics (“How are we for diapers? Did you call Amex? Did the dog have his dinner?”) or depressing laments about our respective jobs and meandering conversations about what the hell we’re supposed to do with the rest of our lives. 

Maybe I’m totally romanticizing the “past,” but I feel like we used to be funnier. Cheerier. Happier in one another’s company. It’s kind of a side effect that I wasn’t expecting from being back at work. I thought it would be all about Piglet and my general anxieties about screwing up parenting, but I find myself more thoughtful about how on earth you keep a marriage interesting after babies. It’s not even about the “romance,” as people like to frame the issue. Forget that. We’re still in love, passionate, considerate of each other…that doesn’t worry me. We’re just…boring, I guess. Disengaged. Tired!?

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