Sunday, December 13, 2009


I haven't posted in a while.

Business has been horrifically off this year. I've made less money than I did when I was 29, which at 49 years and 263 days old is extraordinarily depressing. I'm very good at what I do. My peers generally recognize that fact. My firm has had more business than many others in our field.

It still hasn't been enough. Add to that, despite all of the free time that lack of work has afforded me, I've accomplished nothing. I really could not tell you what I did last Monday.

One thought keeps going round and round in my head. Should I see a doctor about getting medicated? There are some excellent non-addictive anti-depressants out there. But I have seen too many doctors this year, I don't think I could bear seeing another one. Add to that, if business turns around, I will not continue being depressed. Anti-depressants are great if there's an organic reason for being depressed. They are not such a good idea if the depression has other causes.

The other part to that is that despite inflation and an overall rise in real estate prices since I started doing this, our fees have actually gone down. When I first started doing this most title examiners in Georgia were either law students (like me) or lawyers. These days only a small minority have a legal background. The prospects for my field are not great.

At age (almost) 50, I need to make a move. I need to generate more business or I need to switch fields. My problem is that I hate practising law. If I have to, I will, but the whole wearing a suit and tie and giving advice that will be ignored and not getting paid for said ignored advice palled two decades ago. I have excellent computer skills and I am a great researcher. But my l33t compy skillz are non-academic and graduate students are the preferred researchers. We all know how well paid grad students are as well.

I'm a decent writer in a job market flooded with writers who have proven work records.

So I'm stuck. One consolation is that there have been others who have been mired in much the same place. I have been reading St Augustine recently. He battled with depression as well. Boethius, who wrote the first self-help bestseller, had similar problems. Actually his were worse what with the whole imprisoned and executed thing. John Bunyan wrote about the 'Slough of Despond'. He knew its geography well.

The trick is finding the path through the mire. The problem is the silence when I ask for help.