I still remember my first day in torts class. Old man river My respectable professor, called on me to analyze an opinion from some archaic case.
“Ms. (unfortunately easy-to-pronounce maiden name), is this paragraph law or dicta?”
Sitting in the auditorium during orientation, I listened to various deans, distinguished alumni, and student leaders drone on about the rigors of earning a law degree.
There were obligatory mentions of not everyone making it to graduation (or even the end of the first week) and of the intense strain on personal relationships.
But the message I remembered most clearly was about uncertainty.
If I’m a great attorney who's good at my job, why would I quit?
Oh, I remember being in that headspace. For like...years.
The willingness to settle for less than I deserved. And to endure suffering I thought I did deserve. All coming from place of fear.
You'll probably recognize the inner monologue, which goes something like this:
Ever notice how craptastic you feel after engaging in a round of the comparison game?
Pining after a friend’s beautiful new home. Coveting a colleague’s flashy new car. Envying that acquaintance whose firm pays double what yours does.
You know, wondering why everyone else has a better life than you do.
One thing you probably haven’t thought about in relation to your legal career is whether or not you’re being true to your authentic self.
What does that even mean? Enough with the life coachy bullshit already!
I’m talking about being the person you truly are at your core.
Not the person your parents want you to be. Or that your friends see. Or that your boss expects.
I knew I wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. (Don’t even get me started on the fallout I experienced by following an uninformed childhood dream.) I also knew that I wanted to be a mama. And as I got older, I became more aware of the challenges that being both presented.
I told myself I could handle the challenges of doing each well, but deep down I didn’t want to do both. I’m one of those people who just doesn’t half-ass anything. And I knew that if I could have things my way, I’d be whole-assing the mama thing.
At the end of March, I sat down for an hour and reviewed the goals and priorities that I set for the year. And for a little added accountability, I’m totes sharing with you.
But before I dive into the details of my Q1 review, here are some reasons why you might want to do your own personal review.
What do I mean by self-care?
I mean giving yourself whatever it is you need to feel refreshed, relaxed and more like your best self.
For some of us, that may involve setting aside an entire afternoon for an outdoor adventure like running, biking or rock climbing.
For others, self-care may take the form of getting a massage or curling up on the couch to watch a movie with a loved one.
And when times are really rough, minimum self-care can involve an early bedtime, a much needed shower or a healthful meal. Sometimes these basic needs can pay dividends when you're super stressed.
My theory based on thirty-some-odd years of observation is that we are born knowing that kindness is the way to go, then something teaches us to be unkind. Blame a messed-up home life, butthead classmates, anxiety disorders or whatever.
Presto change-o, a jerk is made.
So besides the obvious reasons (e.g., nobody likes a butthole, you get more flies with honey than vinegar, it’s unprofessional), here are some helpful nuggets to prevent you from losing your shit when dealing with jerks in the workplace.
Life is messy. And none of us is exempt.
That being said, it’s so easy to forget that everyone deals with the unexpected and the resulting derailment. It’s so easy to think that you’re the only one who’s gotten off track. To believe that inner dialogue that says everyone on your Facebook feed has their poop in a group.
Ten weeks into my maternity leave with my law firm, I gave my notice that I wouldn’t be returning. Yup, you read that right.
I QUIT MY DAY JOB!
Not only that, but I literally mailed in my bar membership card to the powers that be and changed my license status to inactive.
That is some crazy arse shite. And with it comes some very real changes.
Time to take action!
Sounds simple enough, I know. But if it really were so simple, why do most people fail to take meaningful steps toward meeting their resolutions by the time February rolls around?
Because change is SCARY.
Yup. Even welcome change can be enough to derail the most motivated goal-setter if the foundation for success isn’t solid. Happens to the best of us.
The good news is you can keep fear at bay by using these three strategies.
It’s that time again. The beginning of a new year when we’re bombarded with messages of resolution making: Eat healthier! Get out of debt! Quit [insert bad habit here]!
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against making a resolution or two (or more), but I am against making resolutions that have no chance of being kept.
Wanna learn how to create a New Year’s resolution you’ll actually keep?