For everything there is a season. . .

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Yesterday, I was an attorney in private practice. And today, I’m not.

And all is well.

There comes a time when change occurs. It may be unexpected or predictable. Each has its own challenge and each, its own sort of celebration, a reason to cheer.

I am so freaking proud of the people I worked with, the ones who remain and the others who already have moved on. The ones who challenged me to be the best teacher and guide I could be. The ones who had creative ideas that floored me, and the ones who toiled in the hot summer sun (no A/C on the weekends, you know) and in the dark of many nights. The ones who found themselves. The ones who knew it mattered.  The ones who cared as deeply as I.

And I’m so grateful for the clients and friends who placed their trust in me, sometimes literally on my shoulder, in a litigation bag, footfalls next to me as we traveled to court. What a leap of faith. What a gift for me to receive. They weren’t all battles, though the battles were many. Sometimes it didn’t require a battle at all; all it required was reassurance that their path was not littered with legal road bombs. These clients, too, gifted me with their faith and confidence.  And each made my life richer.

One of the amazing characteristics of the legal community in which I’ve plyed my craft for more than two decades is that the people, the professionals, know and respect each other. They swap stories of kids and schools, gyms and spouses, vacations and red wine. They break bread. They slap each other on the back. Yes, that really does happen.

To be a part of this is to know goodness.

To know hard work. To embrace challenge and, yes, change. And, most importantly, to know integrity. To know, even in the toughest battles, that the scales are evenly balanced. To play tough but play fair.

Who could ask for more?

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When

Anticipating pain was like enduring it twice. Why not anticipate pleasure instead? ~Robin Hobb, Renegade’s Magic

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When the breeze blows warm, like a caress.

When the sun moves into the golden hour.

Take a breath. It’s a moment.

And it all belongs to you.

 

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Tell me.

We buried a seed underneath the ground. We waited to see if the rain would come down. Tell me it’s a good start, I’m a good heart, And this might turn us back around. ~Natalie Closner (Tell Me There’s A Garden)

IMG_4079Tell me your story. It’s just beginning.

There, beneath the eves, is the sanity we crave.

Breathe with me. We know, don’t we?

The cycle, the circle, it’s everything.

 

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Opposition

Instead of being discouraged by opposition, be encouraged by it, knowing that on the other side of that difficulty is a new level of your destiny.  ~Joel Osteen

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I love the notion of being encouraged by opposition.  As a litigator by training, opposition is second nature to me. Often, in fact almost by definition, opposition is at the heart of a lawsuit. We have advocates and adversaries, points and counter-points, winners and losers.

We fight for a living. Of course we do.

Sometimes, though, the fight isn’t a wise choice. It’s then that riding out the opposition makes the most sense. Whether it’s a steep hill to climb or a wave to crest, sometimes – just sometimes – the better option is to breathe into the opposition, still the reflexive action, and simply be encouraged by the path that it’s carving for you.

Because often, especially in those times when we can’t see directly around the next corner, that path leads to grace.

 

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She said. . . .

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.  ~Ella Fitzgerald

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She said, “Thank you for your support. Always.”

She said, “Your words are wonderful.”

She said, “Universe is teaching me patience.”

She said, “Holy crap indeed.”

She said, “You tell the world, woman.”

She said, “It’s just a moment in time.”

She said, “Breathe.”

With gratitude to Hannah Marcotti and her course, Community Grace.

 

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Why I Hate Pink

You’re gonna hear me roar.    ~Katie Perry

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It was bound to happen. After all, October is breast cancer awareness month. As I drove to a dusky early morning meeting this week, the front lawn of a Main Street nursing home twinkled with 2 gigantic, glowing pink ribbons. Pink ribbon twinkle lights. And I cursed the Pink Gods, yes I did.

I tried to ignore the uncomfortable feelings. I should embrace this, I thought. I should want more than ever before to be among the sisterhood and brotherhood heralding Pink.

But I just couldn’t do it. And the more I thought about it, the more it annoyed me.

Angered me, even.

Before I go all postal, let me say that to the extent those who participate do it altruistically [and to be sure, not all do], there’s fundraising involved in the whole Pink thing. Pink socks, pink wind chimes, even pink hair extensions.  So if the fundraised dollars get directed to research and patient care – and they should – I acknowledge that for the good it is.

And, of course, breast cancer awareness is good. No, it’s great. Meaning :: be aware of the risk and take steps to minimize or eliminate it where possible. Awareness empowers women to do everything they reasonably can to ensure their long-term health.

  • Get mammograms,
  • Do self-exams, and
  • Where necessary, explore possible gene mutations that may exist in your family of origin.

But Pink? I think not. Breast cancer doesn’t come close to being Pink. And Pink for damn sure doesn’t come within a country mile of the battle we call breast cancer.

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Breast cancer is black, the blackness that emerges when you feel sentenced to death. Because, yes, in those first few minutes, hours, or perhaps even longer, that diagnosis felt like a death sentence. Walk the plank, strap me in the chair, sayonara sister. And for many who aren’t as unbelievably fortunate as I’ve been, 40,000 each year in the U.S. alone, the disease we bathe in Pink each October is real and relentless. It’s not imagined. It’s not a momentary flash. It’s not pastel.

It’s their life, what’s left of it. And it’s impossibly devastating.

Breast cancer is a slash of red. Red like blood, yes, there’s a fair bit of that, too. Red reflecting pain when parts of your body are deleted as swiftly and surely as the backspace on your keyboard. Red like the emotional bruising that resurfaces. Sure, maybe it gets better and perhaps it fades over time. But there’s hard, often-grueling work getting to better, however amorphously we define that term when it comes to raw emotion. Understand this :: red never completely disappears. And if that’s uncomfortable, so be it.

While I understand that Pink October has come to symbolize awareness and may have a salutary role in fundraising, for me – for now – it’s just too cute for breast cancer.  Breast cancer isn’t cute. It’s not sweet. It’s not reminiscent of bubble gum or cotton candy or Barbie.

I’m grateful for the efforts and the intentions, truly I am. I know that for the most part, those who participate – indeed many of them survivors – do so with honor and commitment. In many ways, I salute them, which is what makes this anger of mine so perplexing. Perhaps it would be easier to stay on the sidelines, ignore this month’s rosy spotlight, and choose to focus my attention elsewhere.

But, dammit, Pink’s far too gentle for a beast called breast cancer.

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Firsts, and all that they mean.

I am here to live out loud. ~Emile Zola

New schools and teams. New bands and choruses. New subjects and topics. New employees. New clients. New organizations and responsibilities.

New chapters.

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The newness echoes, reminding me of the passing of time. I’m drawn to lament it. Aren’t we all, at least to some degree? And then, another reminder, this one more acute. More purposeful. More adamant.

Of course it passes.

It’s meant to pass. Meant to be this way. It’s the order of things. Of life. Stopping, braking, digging in, all of it is futile. All of it is senseless.

Because of course time passes. As it should. Time passing means Firsts, and Firsts mean energy and blessings and opportunity.

Firsts = Life

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