I ran into a buddy today at the courthouse. I asked him how he was doing, and he said, “Living the dream!” That was encouraging and uplifting. It made me feel happy for my friend and reminded me that he and I became lawyers to do what we’re doing and it’s a lot of fun to do. And, as I learned this weekend, it beats the hell out of chainsawing trees for a living.
Then today I had dinner with a very old friend, a guy I’d not really seen for nearly ten years. He asked how I was doing and I said “Things are pretty good.” (I was more positive about the more specific “How’s married life?” since I happen to enjoy my marriage a lot.) Upon driving home afterwards, I contemplated that my response to essentially the same question I’d asked my courthouse buddy was a good deal less enthusiastic.
I guess I’m not really living my dream, or I’d have had the same enthusiastic response my courthouse buddy gave me. I thought I was living the dream back when I first passed the bar and did Constitutional litigation. That dream turned out to have a big dark side. Then I thought I was living the dream when I had my own law firm. That dream turned out to have huge burdens associated with it. I might have been living the dream out in Tennessee, if there had only been enough steady income to keep us supported.
And for now, maintaining our current standard of living seems like enough of a challenge. Certainly, things are pleasant enough as it is — a good job, challenging cases, a nice home, enough money to stay afloat. Don’t get me wrong, Readers, I’m not complaining, not by the remotest stretch. But I can’t really say if I’m living the dream or not; I don’t know what that dream might be right now anyway. But I’m pretty sure this isn’t really it.
To make it worse, I did a Google image search for “living the dream” and found out it’s a Jonas Brothers song and a European soccer movie. Soccer, huh? Makes me think of David Beckham. He’s living the dream.