My boss is on vacation…

I can’t seem to get motivated to work this week.

The problem with being one’s own boss is having to oversee your own work. When I am not in the mood to accomplish much, it’s very hard to crack the whip at myself and get myself into gear. It’s much easier to pretend I have a million other non-work things to do that are more important.

Dishes, laundry, taking the kids to the park, reorganizing their room, grocery shopping, facebook, blog reading, etc. They can all fit the bill when I am looking for a reason to step away from my desk.

This week has been full of reasons and the days I have cracked the whip have been full of conference calls between fractious opposing parties. It seems I have only gotten a few hours of actual research and writing done in a week when my goal was to finish.

Maybe if I give myself a promotion I will be motivated again…

They’re back…


I’ve been off the Topomax for less than a week and I already have a migraine.

It’s a doozy too, complete with photo-phobia, audio-phobia, and the general sense that my eyeballs are being pushed out of my head by angry little trolls. (Very angry little trolls. Curse you angry trolls!!)

Maybe it’s the weather. Too much pressure building up in the skies resulting in too much pressure inside my head. Maybe it’s the drug, some sort of withdrawal headache.

In the 21 years I have suffered from migraines, Topomax is the only drug that has ever prevented them. It is also the only drug I have ever taken that has stripped my vocabulary right out of my brain, leaving big vacant places where hard earned archaic English language used to be. It offers me a choice between pain or permanent brain damage.

As much as it pains me to say it; I think the migraines are better than the brain damage.


Hurry up and wait…

Working for the environment has a sense of urgency to it. Last week I wrote a complaint for a species that hasn’t been seen alive in nearly a decade. Most of my species are very close to extinction, have vanished from most of their historic ranges, and are unlikely to recover without immediate and intensive action on the part of the government.

Which is why it can be very frustrating to file a complaint, and then wait sixty days for the government to respond. Then, of course, there is more waiting while we answer the response, motions are filed, etc.

All the while the species is degenerating, losing what little chance it had to be saved. Yet I have to fit my filings into my practice and my life, have to schedule savings these endangered species in between dental appointments and back to school nights.

Sometimes I feel as though I could lock myself in a room and do nothing but file complaints on behalf of vanishing species. Sometimes I wonder if my work has any positive effect, or if it’s too late after all. Most of the time I try to manage the sense of urgency that comes with my work, reminding myself that I have a life too and that this is my job, not my life.

Still, it’s mighty nerve-wracking to wait.

Here is the press release from last month’s case.