Wednesday, November 19, 2008


As we all try to catch our breath from the political marathon we have just run, we step back to survey what lays before us. We have trouble on so many fronts, it seems impossible to put our fingers in all the holes to stop the water from rushing over us. In the months that lay ahead, there are monumental issues that will have to be tackled.

What is clear is that the landscape is unlike that we have previously encountered. The economy appears to have come to a standstill. Everyone is frozen in place, unable or unwilling to venture forward. The trickle down effect of this inertia can be seen all around us. I am an attorney who relies primarily on an active real estate market for my livelihood. Enough said.

I have been working since 1977. While many of my friends would argue with my definition of working, I would submit that I have been as diligent as I could be. In the years where the pace of my practice has been frenetic, I have met the mandates of the workload. I do everything that my clients require, to the best of my ability.

That being said, I have often envisioned a time when I could choose not to work. I have discussed how good it would be for all of us to get a sabbatical in the middle of our careers. If we could get 6 months away from the daily grind, when needed, and then pick up exactly where we left off, I thought we would all be better for it in the long run.

Like many others, I now face a slowdown of indeterminable length. This is not to ask you to feel sorry for me. I tell my daughter specifically that everything is fine and we are in good shape financially. But, I am a facing a forced sabbatical and that makes me uneasy. I so much want to say that the diminished time working will be an unanticipated gift for me. I can do more writing, if I choose. I can spend more time in the Berkshires. I can kick back and relax.

Yet, I am a natural worrier. While I know somewhere in the recesses of my mind that the world is not likely to come to an end, that the next client's call will come this morning, I cannot capture that feeling in my heart. I understand that next year, or the year after, the economy will start to right itself and then everyone who has been waiting to deal in the real estate market will explode onto the scene. But, until that day arrives, the gnawing in the pit of my stomach is very unlikely to disappear.

So, I am conflicted. While I know that my son does not really like these pieces about middle-aged angst, this is what I am. I thank all of you for being my collective psychiatrist while I try to work through these issues. Your patience and understanding is appreciated. I will definitely get back to you if I need some more of your sage advise.


Jared Alessandroni said...

This sounds silly, I'm sure - but wouldn't it be neat to learn some really random skill and just see what you could do with it? I always thought you could start some silly company with Richie Jay. Neither of you exactly have anything to lose. I'd invest!

Robert said...

I agree. Now if you can only figure out the appropriate vehicle for us, and get the funding together, we are off and running.