19 November 2016
This isn’t my first, or only rodeo. Let me explain.
I’m 45. The ripe old age where, if I was born in the early 20th or late 19th Centuries, I would probably be face up underground, melting away into the dirt. But, being born in 1971, a greater life span was afforded me. Thankfully.
In these 45 years, I have done a lot. I’ve aged gracefully, or really tried to, although it has been hard at times. I drink a lot of water, and let’s face it, my fair share of red wine. I try to walk a few times a week. I love my Sweetie and the life we have built together. I love my kids, my family, and my furchild, the latter of which is laying in the sun on the deck as I sit in the shade and write this. I have worked at so many different jobs that sometimes I forget one when going through the list. I have been a majorette, first chair trumpeter, dog walker, bookkeeper, dispatcher, customer service rep, marketing manager, worked retail and all it entails, been an executive assistant in two different stints, a newsletter writer/editor, a professional cross stitch pattern tester, a building / campus planner, a real estate guru, a gardener, an attorney, an animal caretaker, a babysitter, a cat sitter, a dog sitter, a party planner, a decorator, and several other things I’ve definitely forgot. Currently, I probably do three or four of those things at one time. Like my parents, it’s hard for me to sit still idly and watch things happen around me. I typically want to be up, doing something, making something interesting. I also get bored pretty easily, although that has lessened as I have grown older. It’s easier to sit around and watch TV, although you’ll probably find me reading a book, crocheting, cross-stitching, or playing a computer game on my iPad while I sit on the couch watching whatever it is on TV. The movies, as in where it’s dark and you sit there with the popcorn, are about the only place where it’s a one-minded show for me.
Because of all of this, I know that I can do just about anything I want to do, so long as someone will give me the chance or I make the chance myself. I think work, in reality, is a means to an end, but one should enjoy what one does every day, or it makes life a little less fun. You’re there for 8 hours every day; you might as well make the most of it and do something you feel is worthwhile and that you don’t dread every day if you can help it. Every year, about this time, I get the urge to go work at the mall, to feel the excitement of the holiday season, see the joy (or madness) on the shoppers’ faces, and to just be in the middle of something exciting. I should totally do that this year. I work for myself as my day job, so as long as it’s okay with my boss (me) then it should be okay to do, right?
When you’ve lived a full life, you are more satisfied than if you have not. What a “full life” is varies greatly for people. Some are content to stay on their heritage farm and raise cows. Sometimes I wish my parents had owned a farm so I could have just done that, but then again, I’m not a morning person and farming seems to be a morning job (or maybe an all the time job). Sometimes, a full life just means getting married and having kids. Watching them grow up, under one’s tutilege, can be life’s greatest joy, if that’s what one is into. Sometimes, it’s a big career in the big city. Sometimes it’s the pursuit of education, when being what we used to call a professional student really is just that, but it’s all enjoyable because one loves to learn. Sometimes it’s having a day job just enough to pay the bills, whlie your passion is your being an actor on the weekends. It is wide open – that’s the coolest thing about life. You can be anything you want to be, within reason of course, so long as you try and work for it. Sometimes you’re just luckier than other times.
Since I have done so many things, when I took a leap of faith two years ago and quit my day job to jump into law, I was scared, yes, but I was also not. I knew that I could do anything I wanted to do, if the law didn’t favor me or my career there didn’t work out. I had also in the back of my mind reopening my own law firm, which I had part-time before I leapt. So, this August, when I decided finally to do my own thing, again it was scary, but not nearly as scary as staying where I knew I didn’t want to be. I knew that I wanted to be on my own, and I knew that, even if it didn’t work out, I could always go back to doing one of any of the 50 things I’ve done before, or trying something new. That’s, again, the cool thing about gumption coupled with free will. It’s your choice, and it’s your prerogative. You get to choose – no one else chooses for you in the end.
These past few months have been exhilerating, exciting, scary, fun, enjoyable, and immensely satisfying. I have been able to help clients in a way that I would never have been able to before. Setting you own schedule, your own fees, your own methods of payment, dealing with vendors, utility companies, landlords, and others on your own terms. All of this is something I’ve pictured myself doing since I was young. I always though working for myself would be a good thing for me. Just like with anything else I’ve tried, I have the drive, the “push”, and the work ethic to make it successful, if I like to do whatever it is that I’m trying to do. I have been much busier than I ever thought I would be. I am now a certified ad litem, and I was appointed to my first case not too long ago. I have helped so many families get to a better place. I have so many kids I’ve helped who will have a better life, better holiday, and better existence. I may not make a bunch of money, but there are so many things more important – including a kid smiling at you because they know they aren’t with a bad parent anymore and are safe in another home. There really isn’t a price for that.
In the end, though, this isn’t my first or only rodeo. I have made a lot of good friends along the way. I get calls or visits weekly from attorneys and their staff, all seemingly happy to talk to me and try to work out the issues at hand (for the most part). I love being an attorney. But, if tomorrow that were to end, I could go back to being something else. I have the support at home. My family loves me. My dog definitely loves me and could not care any less if I was an attorney or a street sweeper. So long as the treats continue and the blankey-with-Mommy evenings exist, she will not love me any less.
For some folks, this will seem flippant. “She doesn’t care if she fails?!?” No – not that at all. I don’t take failure well. I don’t like it. Most people don’t. But – and this is the big BUT – I won’t let it define me. It won’t be the end of my story. I will survive, carry on, and do something else that I love. There are still other dreams in this fuzzy haired head of mine – zookeeper, travel writer, cat herder, dog show announcer, and the ever-present beach bartender. Stay tuned.