… because I might change my mind.

Change

I don’t generally get into New Year’s resolutions. Not that I have anything against resolutions or people who make them every year. I think we need goals. I think we need things to keep us moving in a positive direction.

For 2009, I don’t really have a resolution per se. But I am in a different position than I was in at the beginning of 2008. It’s a different position than I was in on the last day of 2008 for that matter.

I left my position with the law firm at the end of the year. It was a long time coming. I have been tired of law firm life for a couple of years. I knew it. The firm knew it. But we both tried to make it work thinking that a switch might flip and bring me back to the fold — so to speak. Alas, that switch was stuck in the off position.

We’ve known this situation was coming for a couple of months. The firm and I worked out the transition back in mid-October. If I may, I have to thank my firm for its patience with my efforts to figure out what I wanted to do and its efforts to help me find something that better fit my personality and my desire not to sacrifice my family for my career. I only worked at one firm after law school, and I wouldn’t have wanted to work at another one. But for all the great things about that place, it just wasn’t right for me. Eventually.

There was a time when I thought I’d be there for 30 years. I loved working 60-70 hours a week and the perks that came with it. I loved being everyone’s go-to guy. Being the guy everyone knew they could call at or before 7:00 a.m. in an emergency. Being the guy who could be counted on to work 40 hours in a weekend to get a project done. Being a guy who could pull an all-nighter to get that last-minute brief written.

But all that came at the cost of less time for Jen. Less time for friends. Less time for family. Eventually, people stopped asking me to do things because they assumed I was working anyway. Who could blame them? Often when I was able to make it to things, I was either still thinking about work or too freakin‘ tired from work to be present. Even after I’d stopped working weekends, people still assumed I was working all the time.

Part of me got caught up in the idea that I should do my job with excellence, and that that meant I had to be at everyone’s beck and call. And that meant I had to not be around for everything else that I “said” was important to me.

Even before K-Man came along, I knew I needed to review what I was doing compared to what I said was important to me. I knew things had to change. I tried to step back a little. I tried to commit to less. I tried to work fewer hours. But the firm needed to see performance. Law firms measure performance by the number of billable hours an attorney completes. I understand why. That’s the economics of a law firm. I get why that is important to a law firm. But it’s a crappy way to live. That drum beat never stops.

So it was time to quit pretending. It was time to go.

I don’t know what is next, but I am enjoying exploring my options. I am looking at opportunities to work in-house as an attorney for a corporation. But I am also looking at things outside the legal world. I want to make the most of this opportunity to find something that fits me and fits what we need as a family. That may sound easy, but it’s not. We are doing a lot of praying. And we are trusting the Lord to show us what’s next.

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9 responses

  1. Billy,I am very proud of you for stepping out to make this change. I know it might be scary, but continue to trust God. You’re in my prayers.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm

  2. I will be praying and ask for your prayers as well in regards to work. You will be an amazing asset wherever you land, so enjoy the trip God takes you on!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm

  3. Good blog, son. I like the frankness. You’ll likely see opportunities coming in the door given your new venture. Crank away!DA

    January 7, 2009 at 9:18 pm

  4. wow. thanks for the update. i respect that you have learned what’s truly important and did something to change your life to honor your convictions. i’m impressed!p.s. we still want to get together with you guys..

    January 7, 2009 at 11:48 pm

  5. I will continue to pray for you. I can relate to your feelings on law firm life. Keep us posted with what is going on.

    January 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm

  6. M

    It is very encouraging to read your blog and see God working and you and Jen trusting Him for what comes next. It gives others hope for situations they may have. We will continue to pray for you guys.

    January 9, 2009 at 7:54 pm

  7. We’re trusting God and praying right along with you! It will be exciting to see what God has in store. He always has something better than we could imagine.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm

  8. Good word, Bill. God will show you exactly where you need to be!!

    January 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm

  9. I’ll be praying for you and Jen as you make this transition. And do look at all possibilities b/c lawyer skilz (as Annie says) translate to all kinds of jobs!!

    January 15, 2009 at 8:34 am

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