Narcolepsy And The Law
How is it that I’m working hard all day, taking phone calls, meeting with clients, preparing for a deposition or trial- and yet part of me is asleep?
In college three of us watched Hill Street Blues every week – Jan, Terry and me. One of my favorite characters was Vick Hitler, the narcoleptic comedian. He was an informer and a comedian, who could – and did – fall asleep anywhere without warning. It was funny and sad.
There are times that I feel a bit like Vick. It’s not that I literally fall asleep. I go on autopilot doing a good job of all the things I’m supposed to do, forgetting exactly why I AM here in this life. Does that ever happen to you?
Why Is It So Hard To Stay Connected?
The more I stay connected to the deeper purposes of what I’m about while I’m at work, the more meaning I experience – even in the little things I do. And, the less likely I am to fall asleep. But like Vick, I can’t tell that I’ve been asleep until I wake up.
Vick couldn’t stop falling asleep. It was part of his condition. The same can be said about the human condition, with one exception. I can work at waking up quicker.
Keeping my nose to the grindstone and checking as many things off my to do list are made more meaningful when it’s done in the larger context of ME.
It’s A Design Flaw
Keeping tuned into myself and the aspects of the practice of law that are about me – not my clients or the people I work with – keeps me from falling into a deep sleep that requires a crisis to wake up. This is true in any important relationship. And yet, it’s so frustratingly easy to do. It’s a design flaw that I wish I didn’t have to keep trying to fix
The more rooted I am in the deeper essence of who I AM the more I’m tuned into the deeper experience of all that percolates through my day.
In the hallway, elevator, sitting in my chair, walking to my car or for a cup of coffee – I take deep breaths, forgetting all that I’ve done and have to do and I re-center.
Reminding myself of my being, not of my doing.
Share the practices you use to avoid being a narcoleptic attorney. Hearing how you get more out of the practice of law helps all of us live better lives.