Night after night, I worked on projects for important clients who paid for the best legal talent and expected favorable results. The work demands were such that late nights and weekends were the norm. In fact, to keep up with my billable hours, I felt like working nights and weekends was required.
While I was able to get a lot accomplished during the night and on the weekends, these were also lonely times. I was isolated and alone in an office building with no one to talk with. My computer and phone were always by my side, but of course, these inanimate objects are no substitutes for “real” friends.
Alone with my thoughts, I longed to have deeper relationships with my family and friends. However, client demands continued to distract me from spending time building the relationships that matter most. Most of my friends did not practice in the law, so the few times I talked with others, they couldn’t relate to what I was experiencing as a professional. I was incredibly lonely.
It was also difficult to develop meaningful relationships with clients. Most conversations were about getting results. Conversations that veered into more personal territory were few and far between. Most of these client conversations barely scratched the surface. Sure, pleasantries were exchanged, but the purpose of these conversations was getting results.
I longed for better relationships and someone who could relate to what I was experiencing. I decided to take the plunge and move to a different job. Unfortunately, that job also required long hours, and the client demands quickly outstripped my time. The result was even less time to develop close relationships.
I was paid very well for my services, so I continued to work diligently. I told myself that I may be lonely and isolated but at least I’m wealthy and don’t have financial worries. The problem with this type of thinking is that all the wealth in the world doesn’t replace the need we all have for meaningful relationships.
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