Wednesday, November 17, 2021

My Career

It's over. Finally.

In truth, being a commercial litigator (i.e., a lawyer who fights business cases) was never a natural fit for me. I'm a kind, gentle soul who prefers to improve the world, not tear it down. But this job I've had for 40 years involves confrontation, aggravation, stress and public speaking -- things at which I recoil but deal with because I have to. I never wanted to do this kind of work; I simply fell into it when fate dropped me into this position at the start of my career in 1982. I developed valuable skills for the work during my first employment and ultimately became good at the job. But I've always hated it.

My plan, from about 20 years ago until now, was to steer my career toward self-employment (so I could stop enriching others at my expense) and when I had enough money, quit. I've achieved that goal. I can afford to "retire" -- which for me means steering my energy and talent in different directions, not lounging on a couch in front of a TV. I have intense passion for numerous interests and multiple activities. I want to actively pursue them, not sit in an office. Work inhibits those pursuits; not working will create opportunity to explore my passions.

I've studied retirement options and plans during the past 2-3 years and have a firm, educated grasp on what I need to finance the rest of my life and how I want to spend that time. Rather than labor for clients merely for money, I want to tackle bigger, more meaningful goals without having to worry about money. That means not having to compromise my ideals for a buck. I can chase goals independent of financial outcome.

Today was, hopefully, the last trial of my career. A big case, I conducted it before a civil jury and devoted serious effort toward it. The case had been pending for ten years so I didn't want to retire leaving it unfinished. Today it wrapped up (successfully) and I can now gradually wind down my law practice without guilt. 

It'll take several months to do that. I'll have to turn down new business during that time which is hard; it runs contrary to my ingrained business instinct. Just today a colleague was bragging to his client about  how good I am and wrote that the client wants to come into my office ASAP to give me a fat check. How do you say no to that? I'll figure out how tomorrow.

Freedom. Freedom from stress and agita, that's what I want. Freedom to explore new ground, travel to new places, deepen my understanding of intellectual and artistic subjects. I won't run out of fun things to pursue so I want to get started without delay.

Wish me luck.  :-)

30 comments:

  1. Wishing you all the luck, but honestly? I don't think you need it. You put in the hardwork to get there and now, there is here! You made it. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks! Honestly, I'm pinching myself, finding it hard to believe I'm actually at this stage.

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  2. Woo! The last trial, the last one! I'm so happy for you, Ally, and I know you will leap into the next adventure with élan. I have about 8 years realistically before I can afford to retire (thank goodness L has a government pension), but I want to make sure we can keep doing the things we love.

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    1. Thank you! And elan is such a perfect word. :)

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  3. Congratulations and best wishes :)

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  4. I'm excited for you attaining that Goal and moving on to the next Chapter of Life. I do not miss the Corporate Grind even tho' I was good at it and attained the Success that used to be important to me when I was younger and ambitious. I prefer Retirement, it is a Freedom to now pursue my Bliss. Had I been braver in my Youth, I would have been the Starving Artist and joined some Commune... living Happily Poor ever after. I don't totally regret the Path taken to make Money, but at the end of the Day, Ally, I think pursuit of what brings you the most Joy and doesn't seem like Work will bring you more Joy and Contentment, whatever the 'cost' it exacts, it's worth it my Friend. Good Luck and enjoy where ever it takes you.

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    1. You're right. Exactly right. My only regret now is that I didn't realize earlier what you're saying. Most of us throw away our youth pursuing culturally-directed, personally-unrewarding work. Thanks for the support.

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  5. Good luck in escaping the red tape machine and email ping pong.

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  6. I'm wishing you all the luck in the world, Ally! Congratulations! xxx

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  7. Wishing you all the best in your retirement Ally. Enjoy your new freedom and make sure you have plenty more ‘Allly’ time.

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  8. I'm so proud of you, Ally! This is an amazing achievement (and way to go out on top!) but you have to do what makes YOU the most happy and fulfilled! Excited for your new chapter!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  9. Congratulations! Best of luck for your new adventures- I look forward to reading all about it :)

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  10. This is a big, big, BIG step. So often, many of us just do things on autopilot. Work for the check. Work work work. It sounds like you've thought long and hard about this. This is a conscious and intentional decision. And I send you nothing but love and positive thoughts as you make this next jump that feels more aligned for you.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it's a huge step and I thought about it for a few years. I appreciate your kind words.

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  11. Bravo! New adventure awaits!

    Suzanne

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  12. Good luck in your new adventures. For the past three years I've been postponing retirement. Finally retired this past August, and I have no regrets! Enjoy!

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  13. Congrats on your last big case! I wish you luck. I can imagine how hard it must be to turn down new business since it ruins contrary to business instincts, but I'm sure you'll be able to figure it out and make that transition so you can start pursuing your true interests freely and full time. Maybe it will make you feel better if you know some good lawyers you can direct your new business offers to, because you might be helping someone out that way.

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    1. I've already set up a referral path and sent several clients down it.

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  14. May what lies ahead bring your heart more joy, contentment and creative inspiration than even your wildest dreams, my dear friend.

    You have worked extremely hard, earned and deserve all have + accomplished, and are going to continue to make the world a better place in all manner of ways (that bring you soul enriching satisfaction).

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

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  15. Congrats, Ally! I'm so excited to see what the next chapter brings you.

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