Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Same As I Ever Was

Did you ever realize, "all of a sudden" that you are just really the same person you have always been?  (In case the title doesn't ring a bell, it's a line from a song ["same as it ever was"] Once in a the Talking Heads...and if that name doesn't ring a bell, you must look them up on YouTube.)

Here I sit, late at night, trying to enter my hours (the curse of all private practice attorneys) and I realize:  a couple of weeks ago I was doing whatever nonsense I was doing on a Friday afternoon when my boss and another attorney came back from trial.  He could smell victory--or desperation--and had left trial that Friday with an open issue related to punitive damages.  And the judge had requested legal memos arguing our positions filed by Sunday at noon.

He asked me if I was busy and if I "wanted in" on it.  (Yes, not perfect grammar, but that's one of those things we say around here.)  Of course I am who I am and I was happy to be "in on it."  The three of us met and subdivided the issues (I may have volunteered for the two big ones, leaving the two little ones for them--that sounds like me, which would have been a nice thing to do since they had spent the week in trial and were exhausted...but really, I just "wanted in on it!")  I began on the research around 5 p.m., worked until after eleven, then put in most of Saturday on it--I even came up with a new way to approach the issue by analogy. I was actually unhappy when I heard Saturday afternoon that the other side had conceded the issues and we stopped all work on the memorandum.

And now it strikes me, I'm just the same person as I have always been.  Someone walks in with an emergency, whether it's a crashing ICU patient or a mid-trial legal issue, and my heart starts pumping harder, I roll up my sleeves and address the problem.  It doesn't matter if it takes 17 hours of the next 24 or keeps me long after the next RN has signed on, I'll be motivated to do whatever it takes.

But try to get me to do reports of routine junk, practice Chopin I hate on the piano, or enter all of the time I've spent in six minute increments over the last several weeks and I'll do anything and everything I can possibly think of to avoid the tedium. (Yes, including writing a blog post.  I've even cleaned entire houses before starting my hours.)  Wish I could figure out a way to get over feeling such intense dislike of the routine time-consuming tasks that I procrastinate endlessly (almost) and feel like I could reach into my limbs and rip out blood vessels instead of buckling down to the task.  Yes, it's a pretty intense hatred I'm feeling for it.  (Just realized it's the same deep feeling I had as a young-ish teen, forced to sit at the piano late into the night, repeatedly struggling through some Chopin waltz....analyze that!)

So, could this be a plea for help? Anyone have any suggestions for how to force myself to do this kind of boring stuff everyone hates to do?  Cleaning bathrooms...and even the cat litter, is preferable by comparison.