Hi! Welcome to my new blog! I am so excited to finally have a forum for my thoughts and experiences.
As I’ve mentioned in my About page, I am a relatively new law grad, and so I am still learning to navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of the working world.
As we recently celebrated the calendar New Year, as well as the Lunar New Year (also known as the Chinese New Year), I have been reflecting on 2013, and what 2014 has in store. Last year was the Year of the Snake – a year of planning and getting things lined up. But this year, the Year of the Horse, is a year of action! It’s also a year of “fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance.”
I decided to start documenting my life to keep myself on track to success, and so that I can hold myself accountable for making big changes in my own life this year.
Where to begin? Where to begin? For me, big changes usually begin with my lifestyle.
Last year, I worked many 60, 70 and 80-hour weeks. I worked through holidays, weekends and even on Valentine’s Day. I joked that lawyers and accountants are the only ones in the office on St. Lover’s day. Accountants have an excuse –tax season – but for us lawyers, there’s just always a new development in a case, a new deadline, rain or shine. In 2012, I even worked on Christmas Day – get this: because I wanted to work! So the first big change is to learn to work hard, but also say no when my body cannot take the long hours anymore.
Also, in a quest for balance, I am going to keep fresh air and exercise a priority.
When other lawyers feel the pressure to keep working, it’s often tempting to just stay in my seat and keep at it. But I’ve been reading a lot about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle to our health – especially in causing heart problems. I used to sit for ten, twelve hours straight. Now, I began carving a half hour break into my day just to take a stroll outside. I get up every hour – it’s crazy, but just a simple walk to the restroom is makes a huge difference. Even if it’s three minutes away
from my screen, it really helps. I’ve also started walking to work, rain or shine, which has also really helped me feel a lot better. It’s not always easy, especially when my peers choose to stay in, but I’ve decided that peer pressure (even unspoken) is not worth risking my health. Obviously, I can’t always make it to the gym or my yoga classes after work if I work late, but I have been making it a big priority to go 5-6 times a week. The change has been gradual, but I really do feel much better!
I’ve also decided to work on being less self-centered and leading a more balanced life.
The rigorous nature of any kind of graduate program really makes it hard to prioritize giving to others. And of course, your studies/career do need to be high up
on the list for you to succeed. But it’s important not to get caught up in all that. There is always, always time to give to others. For me, I’ve always loved volunteering with children, so 2013 marked my first year as a mentor to a child with Big Brother Big Sister. It has been the single-most rewarding experience of my life. It forces me to carve out some time in my weekends to get away from work and do fun things like hiking, canoeing, going to kid festivals and concerts,
and face painting! So now, I need to keep finding new ways to give back, whether on a personal level, or on a larger scale. Even a genuine smile or compliment can make someone’s day, right?
I want to land a job that leads to a fulfilling career.
My biggest goal career-wise is to finally get a permanent job with benefits! Who’s with me? Obamacare is expensive, and I really can’t afford to put down $300-$400 a month when my law school loans, rent and credit card bills are piling up! But more than that, I really want to enjoy what I do, instead of feeling like a drone working for faceless entities that could care less about me, their customers or their impact on the world. Right now I’m taking new classes in web development, and learning about other fields in case law might not be the right field for me. And who knows, even if I do decide to keep pursuing the law, then I will have chosen to stay as someone empowered with new skills and a more well-rounded knowledge base.
Don’t forget to chronicle and reflect on memorable events!
My last step for this New Year is to document my life. I’ve always been a journal-keeper. But sometimes, I thought that a more interactive setting like a blog would be helpful in making big changes. Who’s with me? Let’s do great things this year! And who better to share it with than some old and new friends?
What do you plan to do this year? Are there big changes on the horizon for you? What do you do to give back to your community?
Please comment, share your thoughts and let me know what you think. Please help me keep this a positive forum, though. I am so excited for some debate, but let’s respect each other please. I reserve the right to monitor and delete any inappropriate posts. Thanks in advance!
Featured image: A pretty horse I once met – My own picture