Saturday, April 03, 2010

Looking Ahead: Musings About Work & Career

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Trying to have a career while living with chronic illness is a topic I've often addressed on this blog. My chronic migraines have done a fantastic job of derailing my career as a lawyer and learning how to live without working has been a tough transition. I've lamented everything I've lost so many times in a variety of posts. So in addressing the topic of the upcoming Chronic Babe Carnival, "I can bring home the bacon: Thoughts about work and chronic illness," I thought I might try to bring a different, more optimistic approach to the subject by looking to the future.

Rather than dwelling on what I've lost, I'm trying hard to focus on what I can develop for myself given where I'm at right now. Easier said than done, of course. I feel incredibly fortunate that I've been able to focus exclusively on my health needs since I stopped working. But between the appointments, treatments, research and symptom-imposed down time, I'm starting to feel less and less able to pursue my professional goals.

I would love to be able to help more people with their disability-related legal issues. This would allow me to work from home, for myself and on my own schedule. I have lists of ideas for promoting this as a business and a great deal of enthusiasm for the field. I'm proud of being able to help the people I have worked with, but it has been months since I've felt up to putting any of my business development ideas into motion. I find that so frustrating. I'm still able to read, knit, blog, listen to music, watch movies and chat with friends. But otherwise I'm stuck waiting, hoping I'll soon feel well enough to get back to soliciting clients and working on projects that will fulfill me and advance my career.

Every day I'm unable to practice law I fear my skills and knowledge are slipping away. I try to keep sharp by reading as much as I can and thinking about legal issues (for fun, imagine that!), but it's just not the same. Still, if I get to the point where I can have my own practice at least part time, I know I can brush up on disability-related legal issues and shouldn't have any real problems keeping up. In the interest of taking on a more positive attitude, I know I should focus on the people I have been able to help. They needed my advice and experience and wouldn't have been able to get the benefits they badly needed without my help. I'm working on it.

Related Posts:
Finding a Meaningful Path When Life Changes Course
Grieving My Old Dreams
Being Thankful for 'Bad' Luck
Rebuilding My Foundation

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.