I Miss My Desk Job


This afternoon around 2:30 pm, when I finally arrived at the treadmill in my building’s gym, I missed my desk job. 

Don’t get me wrong — I didn’t miss the tedious contract, email and other document drafting and review that filled the bulk load of my legal career. I didn’t miss sitting still for 9+ hours in front of UV ray-emitting monitors — often utilizing 2 at a time forincreased speed and efficiency. And I certainly did not miss building someone else’s dream in exchange for a good, but never really good-enough wage instead of manifesting my own vision, which is priceless. 

What I was present to missing, as I finally started to sweat, was the easy, practically mindless push of unsatisfaction. You see, many things seemed brilliant, unequivocally appealing, when I was bored and not engaged in work I loved. The grass was always greener. When I build my resume, when I find a better position, when this contract ends, THEN I will be closer to leading a life I love. 

Today I realize the push was both strong and necessary. Most of my life, I was that person career counsels and life-coachie types hate since I’m terrible at answering their silly, “What-gets-you-out-of-bed-in-the-morning” question. Um, the alarm clock? Honestly, the first time someone asked me this, I didn’t realize getting out of bed was an option. “What are you passionate about?” they’d continue. Shoot. I don’t know. Since I’ve always been good at most anything I do, could it be that my passion was being awesome? Apparently not. 

All of these thoughts ran through my mind as I ran on the treadmill. In the past, running was something I thought about all the while sitting at my desk; it was easy to run 6 miles along the Embarcadero before work instead of immediately schlepping in to my cube. 

With no away-from motivation this afternoon, finally arriving on the treadmill required several conversations in my head. I negotiated things I really wanted to do — giving the dogs an extended morning walk, chatting about the weekend ahead with mom over breakfast, spending time preparing to teach my next class, giving my dad a much-needed pedicure — with working out. 

I have to admit, exercise was much easier when it beat the alternatives. But I suppose I’d rather be happy and chubby than fit and frustrated. I think this is the same trade-off people make when they get married…

2 responses »

  1. I totally hear you, Laura! I have the same thoughts everyday when I walk to work. The alternative usually involves exercise, or writing a book, or something productive like that. However, my actual days off usually consist of brunch, coffee shops, and shopping – funny how that works out.

    My big fear is when I retire I will stay home all day watching reruns of Streets of San Francisco and buying life insurance polices for a $8.95 a month. According to Sumi, I do that already (minus the life insurance). Point being, you are not alone. But you are living the dream and for that I salute you!

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