My wife's family (8 grown siblings and their mom) has been struggling to come to grips with a recent diagnosis of cancer (multiple myeloma) bestowed on her dad who is 84. Because my wife is the only daughter close by, she has taken a lot of responsibility these last weeks as her siblings have struggled to get control over their dad's care and comfort. Only last week did her family emerge from the denial and embrace the seriousness of the situation. All of this is going on as I cast off from my medium-sized law firm and work diligently on all the details of office space, technology, health care, clients, upcoming trials and on and on.
At 4 AM this morning the phone rang. Nan's dad was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, apparently having fallen out of bed and hitting his head. It wasn't until 10 AM that word came back from Nan at the hospital of a possible stroke, some paralysis and a lot of other unknowns. As Nan and I spoke on the phone about my ability to watch the kids all day at home, I think we both realized that this move is going to be a key part of our new responsibilities for her dad (and her mom as well). The flexibility of staying home today to watch our 3 boys (snow day - no school for the oldest) without anyone looking over my shoulder felt very settling. By 10 AM, I had dealt with numerous office issues by cell phone, had logged on to my office computer through my Citrix connection provided by gotomypc.com for phone numbers, calendar events, witness names, phone messages, etc. I had also gotten the kids dressed and outside for snow forts and shoveling. By noon, I had drafted mutual release on a large commercial settlement agreement reached yesterday which had to go out the door today.
I spoke by cell phone to three attorneys and one key witness psychologist who I persuaded to attend a Feb 8 personal injury trial live. All of this was a blend of serious multi-tasking, reliable technology and of course Jenny coordinating things from the office.
On a sad sobering day, I am struck by how much is possible in today's wired world without being tied to a desk. I am gratified that my decision will allow for more days like this one which are inevitably ahead. Non-solos only answer to themselves, their family and their clients (as if that isn't enough). Thank goodness that I will no longer have to juggle partners, associates, politics and appearances who/which would otherwise and inevitably be vying for attention and priority in a life already filled with as many challenges as my family can handle. It is not that partners don't support each other in times like this. It is just different not to have to rely on notions of support, latitude or consideration, especially for those of us who don't like handouts or consideration in the first place.
It is time to put my 2 year old down or a nap and refocus on finalizing business cards, lease terms on office space and DSL issues. Computer systems were ordered yesterday with delivery expected by Feb 1. My drive to succeed has multiplied exponentially today as I taste the flexibility of non-solo life so necessary for me and my family.
p.s. Thanks for picking out carpet and paint colors today Jenny.