Friday, June 12, 2009

Real Life

Last week, I realized that this blog, although entitled "My Life As A Lawyer's Wife," doesn't always fully reflect my real life. I realized that most of what I discuss consists of activities - fun things we do, sights we see, places we go. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is very much a part of our life. We love doing all that stuff, and I love sharing it with you (and hopefully you enjoy hearing about it!). But by mostly sharing about activities, I keep this blog very light-hearted most of the time. Sure, I've opened up a few times about what's really going on in between the fun outings, like when I was having mixed feelings about leaving D.C., or when I found out I was not accepted to graduate school. But I would say those posts are the exception to the rule.

I've been moderately stressed lately, but I've been hesitant to post about it. I have been thinking about why that is. I think it's largely because I would hate to give off the impression that I'm not happy. I know that I am very blessed. I have a husband who loves me so much (and I, him), a dog who makes me laugh on a daily basis, an awesome apartment in an amazing city, etc. I've got it pretty good. Really, I have nothing to complain about. I am very happy with my life, and very thankful for what I have.

But in real life, people get stressed out from time to time. People worry about the future (and the present). THAT is real life. And those are the realities of my life these days.

Basically, that was my long-winded way of saying I want to try to "keep it real" here. I want to share the bad with the good...and thanks in advance for listening.

A lot of my recent stress has been financial. As you may have noticed, the economy is not in the greatest shape right now. Eric has been coming home with story after story about law firms cutting back, rescinding offers for new associates, cutting salaries and making layoffs. Up until last week, his firm has really avoided any of that. They had made cuts where they could to avoid direct impact on their employees. But, last week they couldn't avoid it anymore. They laid off 55 support staffers firm-wide, including about five in Eric's office. They also cut all attorney salaries by 10%. So, it finally hit us.

Again, I was hesitant to post about this because I don't want to seem selfish or ungrateful. I'm so sorry for the staffers who were laid off. Sadly, I know they are among many these days. At the same time, I'm so thankful that the layoffs haven't reached the attorneys. I'm thankful Eric still has his job (which he is very good at, by the way), and that even with his reduced salary, we can pay our bills. Unfortunately, the pay cut comes at a bad time - those law school bills are finally catching up with us. All of Eric's law school loans officially go into repayment this month. And let's just say law school does not come cheap. So needless to say, our financial situation has suddenly changed pretty drastically.

Naturally, the pressure is really on for me to find a job now. This is another thing I haven't really updated you about lately - what's up with me? Well, I haven't updated because I don't really know. Honestly, I took the grad school rejection much harder than I expected. I didn't want to believe it really was not going to happen. Now I do believe it, but I still have had a hard time getting myself in gear to pursue the next step. I kept putting off getting the job search fully underway for various reasons - visitors coming, travel plans to tend to, etc. Just other things to do. But there's really no time for excuses anymore.

Now I'm just overwhelmed. I'm going to try to find something in jury consulting, hopefully similar to what I was doing in D.C. I've got my resume all ready to send out to local firms. I'm not super optimistic about this option, because I haven't seen many openings posted in this field, and jury consulting firms have been dealing with extensive layoffs as well. But, we'll see. You never know, and I'm going to give it my best shot.

If that doesn't work out, I really don't know what to do next. What else do I want to do with myself? Do I just go back to being a receptionist for the time being? Is there something else I would be good at? Something else I could love to do? Or does that not even matter in these economic times?

You see? These are the questions that keep me up at night. THIS is my life as a lawyer's wife lately.

Last week, I came across a Bible verse that has really brought me some peace. I have a Daily Bible Verse widget on my Mac dashboard, and this one popped up, as if on cue:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
- Jeremiah 29:11

I read this and was filled with such comfort. To me, it is just reassurance that no matter how confused, stressed, or worried I am feeling, God has plans for my future. He knows what they are, and He will lead me down the right path. Let go and let God, as they say.

Although, I certainly wouldn't mind being filled in on His plans soon.

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