Well, It’s Really Like This

A few weeks ago, I blogged about what it’s like to be a new guy to the whole PCA elder thing. But, I neglected to confess a real point of pride in my work so far: I like to brag about working hard.

I work in an industry that is known to employ people who “live off of 2 hours’ sleep and the fear of lesser men” (I’ll buy lunch for anyone who knows that reference). I hold up as heroes men like Newark Mayor Cory Booker, whom Stephen Colbert once called Batman because of his penchant for riding around with a police detail at 3am to personally observe and stop crime on his city streets. I thought the 60 Minutes report on Stanley McCrystal’s ascetic lifestyle—in a nutshell: up at 4am, runs one hour per day, eats one meal per day—was pretty cool.

And I’m surrounded by downright intense people: my financial services friend who wakes up at 3:30am to feed his baby and send work-related email. My consulting friend who works, like, 70 hours a week and calls it a light week. My religious freedom lawyer friend who travels the globe and advises tribes how to fight for their right to worship as they choose—she basically never leaves the office.

And then there’s me: that slacker kid whom it was doubtful would make anything of his life. Whose guidance counselor had to goad into taking the SATs and whose father had to cajole into applying at the local community college. Who later was laid off of his comfy office job 6 months after graduating from Rutgers and had to learn what it was like to hustle for a job. Whose daughter inspired him to finally take control of the family finances. Who learned what working hard kind of looked like when he had to be at the office at 6am just so he could be prepared for a 10am meeting several times a month.

Denis Leary talked in his recent podcast about how he’s driven to accomplish things in his life because of the people in his life who told him what he couldn’t do (NSFW). I’ve got a little of that in me, I think. And after three decades, I feel as though I know what it is to work hard for something I think really matters.

So, yeah, I get a charge out of waking up at 4:30am to meet someone for breakfast in Times Square before work. But, I think, I’ve done a pretty lame, self-congratulatory job of bragging about that, and caused a fair amount of confusion and dismay about what this elder gig really involves.

To fix that problem, here’s what I’d like to do: I’m going to blog my schedule every day for the next thirty days, until August 4th. I think it will be a fascinating discipline for me, and a helpful resource for anyone thinking about coming on board our session.

I have a feeling that the result of this is going to be that people find I don’t work nearly as hard as I’d like them to believe.