Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Balancing Act

I suspect we all struggle with striking the right balance amongst those things in life that pull us in many directions. I believe there are people who have achieved the perfect blend of balance and harmony and after some thought, I've decided that the attainment of a balanced life is not accidental. We have to work for it.

I try to keep that thought in mind each morning as I sit in bed with my first cup of tea (Lipton, splash of skim milk, thank you) mulling over what the day has in store for me. I find that I am best able to fill my many roles if I start each day with some quiet time before the household wakes up and the day begins.

This is particularly important on days that I stay home from the office. On those days, I am both Attorney and Stay At Home Mom. On those days, quiet time involves writing a physical To Do list blending the requirements of running a law firm with the requirements of being a stay at home mom: work on firm newsletter, get advertising quotes, bank deposit, put kids' winter coats in dryer, grocery store, change bed linens, etc.

Regardless of whether I am headed to the office or not, my children wake up at 6:30 a.m. and thus begins The Crazy Hour, the hour in which they are all fed, watered, dressed, brushed, groomed and out the door for school. Well, not all of them - the younger two stay behind with me on non-office days (have I mentioned that I have four girls?).

Two days a week one of the younger girls has preschool - which means The Nearly Crazy Hour follows close on the heels of The Crazy Hour. The Nearly Crazy Hour involves me chasing the two stay-behinds around the house, encouraging the wearing of clothing as an alternative to spending the day (again) in Tinkerbell jammies, packing yet another backpack, and finding time to get myself out of my pajamas and the three of us in the car and off to preschool.

Then I return home with the littlest one, put a Scooby Doo dvd in (What? Like you haven't?), make another cup of tea and focus on the lawyerly tasks on my list. Don't need to pick up the preschooler for 2 hours, so this is my work-at-home time. The time that I can balance out the Morning Crazy with the Attorney Work that needs to be satisfied. I spend the afternoons blending Mom-ish tasks with random texts and emails in an attempt to accomplish something of lawyerly substance before the day is done.

At the end of the day, I find myself with a cup of tea (Celestial Seasonings, Sleepytime Tea, thank you) and go over my morning list. Was I more of an attorney than a Mom today? Did my Mom-ness get in the way of managing my law firm?

For me, it is not about balancing all things at all times, at the same time. It is about finding the time - creating the time - in each day to acknowledge, nourish, fulfill, accomplish, and complete those things that life requires of me. I look again at my list and mentally shuffle anything leftover till tomorrow, taking no small measure of joy in appreciating the balance of my life.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day

Woke up this morning to snow-covered trees and school cancellations. It's going to be a good day!

The Mom part of me looks forward to snowsuits, snowmen and hot chocolate. Gloves and hats drying by the kitchen fireplace, red cheeked children planning snow forts, snowball wars and snow angels. The smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven, the crackle of a fire.

And then there's the attorney part of me that understands the realities that a snowstorm such as this brings. Slippery roads, icy conditions, idiot drivers trying to outwit Mother Nature. Unshoveled sidewalks, wet walkways, dangerous conditions.
I think of these things and a smile spreads across my thoughts. People getting injured, people getting hurt, people needing the assistance of a certain counselor at law who focuses on protecting the rights of injured people . . .

I no longer attempt to reconcile these two distinct parts of me - mother, lawyer. I understand that the two are not mutually exclusive and that together, they make me the person I am.

It is going to be a good day.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Did you ever see that movie? Early '90's, Richard Gere. Facets of life, past and present intersecting. (Unfortunately for Richard, things didn't work out so well for him. He died at the end of the movie - thus never having to deal with the intersection of these events. But I digress.)

The theme of 'intersection' describes 2010 for me. Lawyer, mother, daughter, wife, friend, student, novice, blank slate. A carnival of thoughts and emotions initiated by specific events - pneumonia and much time on my hands within which to ruminate, the rekindling and reworking and redefinition of old friendships, the buying of a new building into which we will move our office. It is curious, the ability of the past to thrust into the reality of the present. Past and present intersecting.

How do we become who it is we find ourselves today? When did our conscious choices take on a life of their own, leading us to places we did not consciously choose to go?

I've been mashing these thoughts, truths, realities around in my head for weeks now. I'm optimistic that I will come to a place where the sense of it all no longer eludes me. Till then, I am enjoying the surprises, the depth and understanding of myself and the remarkable sense of calm I feel.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Deposition Etiquette

I sat through a deposition of my client this afternoon. OC (Opposing Counsel) scheduled this as a 'discovery depo' in an effort to learn what it is my client had to say about the issues at hand. Since I already knew what my client had to say, I didn't have much to do except make sure OC didn't ask any innapropriate questions and give my client the occasional reassuring smile and nod of the head. There I sat, the model of poise and attorney-ness, legal tablet on my lap and pen in hand. Saying nothing. Listening. Smiling. Nodding. For an hour and ten minutes.

I myself have taken numerous discovery depositions and have frequently been awed by the lackadaisical attitude of so many OC. Some fuss and fidget through papers and file folders. Some read magazines or newspapers. Still others text message with hands and phone under the table - a very questionable position at best, and rude at the least. Very few OC actually pay attention to what it is that I am asking or that their client is saying.

I think that the next time I am involved in a discovery deposition I'm going to let OC get themselves busy fidgeting, reading, texting - and then I'll ask their client something like "so exactly how many times have you been to jail for beating your dog?" or maybe I'll simply demand "I WANT THE TRUTH!!".

Just to see if OC is paying attention. Then again, maybe a better thing to do would be to text OC during the deposition: "I no u rnt pyng atnshn".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Post of the Year

Here it is! The much anticipated First Post of 2010!

As the name of this blog suggests, I am both an attorney and a mom. But the ringing in of the New Year has reminded me that I am things beyond my degrees and my daily routine. I am a writer. I am a creator. I am an embracer of life.

Bought myself a sticker at the Life is Good store. I made it into a magnet and put it on the back of my car. Can you guess what my new magnet says?

"Life is Good"

And so in between being a lawyer, in the rare quiet moments of being a Mom - I will write. I will create. I will embrace life.

Life is Good. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yay me!

I'm proud to share my first publication in over a decade: http://www.pabar.org/pdf/vvfall09.pdf

Yay me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I need a Blackberry

Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. I think it would help me in my multi-tasking, Type A world.

For example, this morning I'm getting the kids ready for a trip to the park. I'll make sure the older girls get exercise by riding their bikes and I'll work on my 1/2 marathon training by pushing the younger 2 in the jogger. Sounds productive and multi-task-ish, right?

But once we're at the playground . . . I have nothing to do but sit around and make small talk with the other Moms. I'm not good at sitting and I really dislike small talk. Neither are very productive.

But if I had a Blackberry, just imagine all of the great law stuff I'd get done while also being SuperMom Who Takes Her Kids To The Park . . .

I think I need to add 'review finances in effort to justify Blackberry purchase' to my To Do list. You know, I'd be able to do that from the park - if I had a Blackberry.