Monday, December 10, 2007

keep me motivated to work less.

I very suddenly just realized that I've lost myself and it's time for me to get me back.
It was a very busy fall, which came after a busy summer.  My work days and work weeks have been longer because I've just been trying so hard to keep up.  I seem to regularly be working 8 am to 7 pm, plus at least one day on the weekends.  I'm chasing the idea that I'll actually achieve a point of being "caught up."  With doctor appointments, family commitments, and just generally needing time to do laundry and eat on top of my work schedule, I haven't had much time to be social, or read a book, or make a phone call just to say hello.  I miss cooking. I miss baking.  I miss watching football.  I miss dancing like crazy to a jukebox that my friends and I have dominated. 
My solution to the problems are:
1.  Leave work by 5:30 p.m. at least 3 days a week.
2.  I will not work on the weekend unless I am on trial.
3.  When my friends ask me to go out, "I really just need a night in" will be the occasional answer, not the usual one.
These rules won't last forever, but I think I need them at least until mid-January, when shit hits the fan all over again.
I baked a double batch of snickerdoodles last weekend.  This weekend, I think it's going to be rugelach and peanut butter chocolate bars.  This week I hope to push out some florentines and some sugar cookies.  If nothing else, baked goods will motivate my friends to come find me, which is the beginnings of a renewed social life.


Kelly said...

Good luck. I'm slowly realizing I must make more time for myself. I'm just waiting for a good time to start doing that.

Miss Conduct PDX said...

You know, this job is difficult. I am absolutely of the opinion that if I don't take the time to take care of myself, I'll somehow look up years from now and find that the me that I liked pretty well has disappeared.

I think that if the system is going to continue to pile a work load on me that no rational person should be expected to handle, all the while continuing to pay me starvation wages--then the court can simply wait for me. I will sacrifice neither the quality of representation that I give my clients, nor my friends, family, and home.

You can forget it. I'm too old to be all about the work. Besides, if I'm not good, the bit of me that my clients get is no good.

I am passionate about this work, but I am also passionate about this point. I work no later than 5:30 period. Well, except when I have a trial. I don't work weekends. At least, not much.

When I spend too much time at work, my family suffers. That silly long-haired man, the labrador, and the four cats shouldn't be paying the price for the break down of the indigent defense system. Of course, neither should my clients, but they don't keep me warm at night.

Down off my soap box, now. "They" (whoever that is) use up those of us who truly care. Don't let them.

Anonymous said...

I've been a PD for two decades. I guess one solution is to work less hours. This has not worked for me because the job of being a good PD just can't be done in 40-45 hours a week. Almost every PD I know works 55-60 hours a week, typically 10-12 hours a day and 6-8 hours on the weekend. The key for me has been the home office where you can get those motions done without interruptions, write out crosses and openings, etc. It also helps to work early in the morning so you can quit by 6pm on most days. The other thing I have noticed over the years is that the PDs who don't burn out are the ones who love the work, the long hours and yes, the pressure. In fairness, I should add that most of the prosecutors I go against work the same hours I do and care just as much about their work.

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