Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seconds Older Than

Professionally aught-nine has been an odd year for me. At year's beginning, chasing a feeling in my gut and in my head that I never could properly identify and am still unable to hang a name on, I pulled up stakes from the Firm that had been my home for eleven years.

I know not now - and candidly I knew not then - what motivated me to do it other than, perhaps, an impending sense of dread one associates with aging. I have practiced law for more than a decade and a half now and I think that in part I was driven by the need to prove to someone other than those who know me best that I am pretty damn good at what I do. It might have been fueled in part by my inability to come to grips with the fact that one of my two kids was being shipped two time zones away - and four decades backwards - and required to begin his career and the full-time adult portion of his life far away from home. It might have been simply a mid-life crisis. Whatever it was, it was a hellaciously bad decision.

Can one have a mid-life crisis in one's early forties? As a boy, I watched my old man drop dead when he was but 57. As a young man - before I met Margaret and went from being a solo act to one-quarter of the whole - I took little care of myself. I used to believe that I could drink my body weight in alcohol on a nightly basis and before you scoff at my bravado let me assure you that I conducted the field research necessary to prove my hypothesis. I never would have anticipated - at age 22 - that my breakfast at age 42 would consist of black coffee and a grapefruit.

Perhaps, if one does not reasonably anticipate when one is young that he shall live to be old, then "mid-life" can occur in the early forties. Presuming that is what it was, you might wonder why I did not live out my crisis is somewhat more typical fashion, such as shaving my head or buying a sports car. Trust me, if you know me and know the grandiosity of the size of the casaba melon atop my neck then the reason for not going the Kojak route is self-evident. As for the sports car, I simply could not part with my rockin' 2006 Toyota Corolla under any circumstances.

Yesterday was the 22nd of September. It marked four months to the day since I stopped "wintering at the Reservoir", which is how Theresa and I refer to the time I spent away from driving her nuts on a day in, day out basis. I have now been "home" (lap two) longer than I was away. It is incredible to me how quickly (work-wise) the past four months have passed particuarly when laid back-to-back and belly-to-belly with those that immediately preceded them. Einstein was on to something after all. Or so it appears.

And based upon nothing more comprehensive than my own life experience, I am no longer convinced that the prophet MacManus is right. Home is not simply anywhere you hang your head - or hang out your shingle. For while I was away from where I am now, I was most definitely not here. And I was most definitely not home.

Now I am.

-AK

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