Saturday, January 17, 2015

this too BETTER pass

Those New Year's resolutions? Um.

I did great the first week, but last week was a bit shaky. My excuse for this week is that my favorite race, the Charleston half, is happening right now and I spent too much time mourning my continuing injury and yet another race I'm longing to run in, but am not. Not helping=the number of people I know who are running, including one I helped convince to run. I probably should have stayed off social media this morning, but what can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment.

My resolutions are really all about getting balance, both physically and mentally, in hopes of getting back to that 2.5-year equilibrium that allowed me to run healthy and finish all my races.

I so want to run my fifth half this year. I veer wildly between "I can do it" and "duh, obviously I have no control over this." I've done foam rolling, chiro, massage, Rolfing, acupuncture, the chinese herbs the acupuncturist gave me, switching to flat shoes, yoga (ended up blowing up my old hip injury--the one with the torn cartilage--so yay, now I have 2 issues), strength training, Pose method exercises and drills, Ready to Run mobilizations, increased hydration, and of course greatly reduced mileage. And next Friday I'm going to do a private Pilates reformer session. So, I mean, what else could I possibly do? No stone unturned, yo.

So, I just power on, doing all my drills and exercises and being smart and determined and hoping for the best. My dream goal=a half the weekend of my birthday (March 6). My slightly more realistic goal=the Palmetto Half on April 7. Hear that, universe?? Make it so!

Friday, January 2, 2015

resolution one:

blog weekly.

This morning I woke up full of motivation and focus. It's D's birthday, and he had stayed up late watching the Sugar Bowl, so I didn't want to wake him. I inched over, grabbed my phone, and quietly devised a plan to rule the world (my world!) in 2015. On Wunderlist (my new favorite to-do app).

My 2015 Intentions list

  • Cook dinner 3 times per week
  • Do yoga twice per week
  • Bill 21 hours per week
  • Limit social media (measurable goals TBD, I think there's an app for that?)
  • Do Ready to Run mobilizations daily (10 minutes)
  • Read one book per month, starting with some of the dozens I have on my Kindle and haven't read
  • Drink 70 ounces of water per day
  • Get 7 hours of sleep per night
  • Have no more than 8 drinks per week
  • Eat vegan 15/21 meals per week
  • Do circuit training 4 times a week
  • Meditate 4 times a week
  • Figure out how to run again (thanks, 7-week IT band injury, you asshole) and run at least one race of each distance: 5k, 10k, 12k, half marathon
  • And, yes, blog weekly.
I know we're supposed to get away from these kinds of resolutions nowadays, right? But, I run my entire world right now, and I need some structure. I also respond to this kind of thing. I'm hoping to update these after January after I've become so amazing that these are too easily attained.

Happy New Year, y'all!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

equinoxing it

It's a slower week with work, and the weather just turned cool as though someone flipped a switch, and I have a short week (going to Charleston tomorrow!), so naturally I've been pondering the nature of existence.

Or at least how to improve my productivity, my health, my mindset--otherwise known as my constant obsession. I should write a self-help book just to occupy the obsession.

It's been 6 1/2 months since I launched my practice, and I've learned an amazing amount and come a long way. But I have the overwhelming urge now to reassess my philosophy, improve my processes, streamline my workflow. Yeah. I've been reading a few business books, websites, blogs..just a few. I'm hoping this weekend will give me the chance to step back, ponder, and then put some improvements in place.

Some of my ideas:

  • setting office hours, rather than deciding ad hoc when I will or won't be in
  • moving my home office into the home office and off the dining room table
  • getting up earlier and running or working out first thing everyday
  • meditating everyday, I mean, I have the subscription
  • networking lunch or happy hour once a week minimum
  • creating written policies and sharing them with clients (i.e., I will not answer your call at 9 pm)
  • blogging more often
  • updating professional facebook and twitter at least once a week
  • reducing time spent on personal facebook and twitter
  • going to bed before midnight most nights
  • convincing D to take more 3-day weekends and leave town
  • drinking more water
  • and OF COURSE, lose 5 pounds.
You get the idea. Happy Fall! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

back to school

Nothing like taking the ENTIRE summer off from blogging, eh? From Memorial Day weekend until the day after Labor Day. Awfully impressive for an unplanned hiatus, if I do say so myself.

The practice is still cruising along. I still can't believe how much LESS stress I have, despite the fact that I don't usually know from week to week what my income will be. It's truly amazing. I have control over my schedule, the work I do, the way I spend my days. Complete control. The liberation is almost too much. My primary goal is no longer to make tons of money, but rather to reduce my expenses so that this freedom expands.

In other news, I am back to training for a race for the first time since January, and only 2 weeks in, I'm remembering how much I love having a plan on paper and checking off miles and workouts. LOVE. I'm running my favorite 12k in about 6 weeks and debating a local half marathon. And of course I'm doing my absolute favorite race, the Charleston Half, in January.

The summer was low-key and uneventful, though I procured my dream car (Fiat 500c, and Gucci trim to boot) and got my porch redone, finally. Of course it's too hot to put the top down on the car or sit on the porch, but soon. Soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

i'm the boss

Yes, I've been a horrible, horrible blogger. But I've been a good lawyer, business owner, doggie mama, wife, housewife, and champagne drinker.

Y'all. This whole self-directed life thing is AH-MA-ZING. I make my own schedule, 100%. I mean, of course when a client requests a certain time, I give it to them if at all possible (see: 6 pm appointment this evening for a client who gets off work at 530). But for the most part, I am running my world and it is a beautiful thing. After 5 1/2 years in state government jail--in a position in which I was expected to be in one building 99.9999% of the time--this is pure heaven. It's going to be a damn long time before I take for granted things like going running this morning with D from 830-915, having a 3 pm chiro appointment today and an 11 am Rolfing appointment Tuesday, and still sitting here in yoga pants and a tee drafting pleadings for clients. The other day I was sitting here in a similar outfit when a client wanted to stop by to notarize some documents. Since my office share is half a mile away, I told him I'd see him in 10 minutes. I threw on a dress and was there in 8.

I love helping people again, I love going to court weekly (or more), I love getting to know the staff in the clerk's office. Learning a new area of law has been scary/exhilarating, and very good for my aging lawyer brain. Networking lunches and getting involved in "civilization" (what I call downtown, because the state job was also in the suburbs of the suburbs) again with professional organizations and just being in town during the day? Icing on the cake.

That said, it's been a long 12 weeks of being in Columbia in an uninterrupted rut of the aforementioned lawyering, business owning, doggie mama-ing, wifeing, housewifeing, and champagne drinking. I'm a little burned out on being so available, emotionally and otherwise, to my divorcing clients. I'm more than a little burned out on Columbia. Luckily, tomorrow midday we head out (with Ruthie!) to Charleston for Spoleto opening weekend. We have an amazing itinerary of theater, dance, and live jazz, and meals at 2 new restaurants, and hope to pack as much sublime enjoyment into 2 days as possible.

Because we return Sunday and I have a client coming in Monday, so she doesn't have to take leave from her state job.

Isn't that just totally appropriate?


Friday, March 14, 2014

mine all mine

I turned 41 last week, on Day 2 of my new practice's existence. It was a horribly dreary day--raining, windy, and didn't quite make 40 degrees--and D was out of town, and I didn't really celebrate on that day. But I worked on firm startup tasks, ran 4.1 miles, ate healthy, lounged on the sofa all evening (working on firm startup tasks).

I had such an extravaganza of a going-away from my government job--we're talking a couple of weeks' worth of lunch out everyday, an epic happy hour, an official party with cake and punch on my last day--that a day alone to absorb and adjust was just what the doctor ordered.

I've yet to freak out. I've done two small jobs and made 2 small fees, and I'm about to launch an ad on a local news website. My firm facebook page has 150 likes. I have almost all of my systems set up: website, dedicated e-mail, google voice, google apps for business, credit card processing (including the ability to e-mail a client a link that takes them to a credit card form), online fax, letterhead, logo, twitter account, facebook page, post office box, practice management software, client intake forms (to be completed today), retainer agreements, accounting software.

I've been lunching with fellow attorneys like it's going out of style, and have three more lunches next week. And I'm going with D to Charleston because he has a hearing and WHY NOT? My boss allows me to work in the hotel room!

There have been lots of jokes about how great my boss is--but at the root of the jokes is the truth. Despite the pittance I've earned so far, the knowledge that everything I do, how I do it, when I do it is up to me is simply amazing. The 5 1/2 years of bureaucratic soul-crushing are melting away. No one has to have a meeting to discuss the pros and cons of software options (though the research has still been ridiculously time-consuming). I can work from 11-1, 3-5, and 7-11 if that's what works. I can work at home or at the office.

But most importantly, what I do is mine. I can build a practice just the way I want, handle cases in the way I feel is best, and change my systems and practices with changing circumstances. I can take the cases I want to take and politely decline the ones I don't. It's mine, all mine. And so far, it's wonderful.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

blossom

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anais Nin

I've neglected this old home of mine for weeks as I've been devoting hours and hours to my new venture--starting my own law practice.

As you know, for at least a year I've felt stifled, underwhelmed, unstimulated at my current position. I've interviewed with several firms and have been everyone's second or third choice. My theory is that not many firms want to hire a lawyer with 16 years' experience. I'm not malleable, and I have my own ideas about how things should be done, and I can't say I totally blame them.

Because the thought of doing it ALL on my terms is so exhilarating right now that I'm dizzy. Someone at the office today told me that I looked like a different, lighter person. I certainly feel that a huge weight has been lifted off me, and I still have 8 more days at the old crushing bureaucracy.

I'm going to focus primarily on family law, because I haven't had anyone I felt good referring folks to for quite a while, and I know I can pay the bills with it. Though, my bills will be few because I'm walking into an unbelievable situation with D's firm. I'm paying nothing and have access to all of their resources. I'll pay for my usage of things that cost money: copies, support staff hours, postage. But to walk into a furnished office and need nothing but a laptop and malpractice insurance? So rare, so lucky, so unbelievable.

I start March 4. I can hardly wait to build something of my own. To help clients again. To create the life and the career I want.