From the Editor
Have a Merry Journey
By Joan M. Burda
Everyone spends an inordinate amount of time planning. Our planning involves parties, shopping lists, landscaping, honey-do lists, and, of course, planning our practices. Planning looks to the future; our lives seem to be predicated on what happens next. A prolific philosopher said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Yogi Berra knew how to encapsulate difficult ideas into pithy phrases; he was a pretty good manager, too.
Rarely does a day pass when we do not think about tomorrow, next week, next year. When we concentrate on the future, we neglect our present—and that is where we live. Some planning is essential to the smooth progression of our lives. But we need to remember that what we do now is equally important. Our plans become our reality. Some plans work and some do not. When they do not work out, we plan to make it right. It is in our nature to look for better things to do and say and better ways to live.
Planning well can equal success. Over-planning can wreak havoc. It is a balancing act that helps us through the day. I think this issue poses questions and provides answers to the troubling aspects of planning. A newcomer to the Editorial Board, Laurie K. Redman, edited this issue, and did a bang-up job collecting a series of articles that you will find useful in your practice.
Over the past few issues I encouraged our members to submit their personal bucket lists—their must-do plans for the future. Well, we received two responses. You can read Jennifer Ator’s list accompanying her article “Your In-Box Will Always Be Full, So You Might As Well Plan Your Life” (see page 8). It’s a keeper. I also heard from Dhenu Savla. Here’s his e-mail:
I was born in Mumbai, India. I came to the United States as a ten-year-old with a simple dream: to see snow. You see, I imagined what snow felt like, but had never experienced it firsthand. My family first moved to Connecticut. . . . I am happy to say that my dream to see snow was fulfilled later that year.
But my family’s struggles in figuring out a brand-new country and system made me realize that . . . having access to the justice system and the legal protections built into it is extremely empowering. I realized in order to win any game, you need to master the rules. The desire to master the rules of this country is what drew me to law school. My dream now is to empower others who fear that justice is not available to “them” and who find themselves lost in the legal net. Before I die, I would like to litigate a groundbreaking case that brings us closer to achieving justice. I graduated Loyola University Chicago School of Law in May 2007 and will be licensed in Illinois in May 2008.
Most of us went to law school with Dhenu’s dream and had plans. Maybe that’s why we plan so much. We look at where we are and where we can be.
As I write this, the Cleveland Air Show is on; the Navy’s Blue Angels are wrecking the sky with thunder above me. I’ve added to my bucket list: I want to fly with them . . . just once. A fighter pilot takeoff—clear the deck, wheels up, pull the stick back, and straight on up until morning.
In the last issue of GPSolo
we published an article by Robert Ostertag. After the issue came out, Bob contacted me:
I don’t know whose bright idea it was to produce . . . a picture of a poor soul who is not I.
Would you kindly inform your readers that there is no resemblance whatever . . . between the subject of the photo and me, that I have a full head of hair, am robust and am not about to die—at least not yet. I’ve received a number of responses from the article, including phone calls from people who haven’t seen me in years. Some got a laugh from the photo. A few wondered what had happened to me. One who didn’t know me thanked me for writing about his life which he said mirrored mine, but prefaced it with, “Although we don’t look alike. . . .” That’s the one that did it for me. Anyway, it appears that the magazine has readers. Am I handsome? My mother thought so.
I promised Bob that I would announce to the world that the photo on page 50 of the July/August 2008 issue is not
that of Robert Ostertag. I have it on good authority that he is much better looking. We use stock photos for each issue. I hope Bob and his friends and admirers will accept this announcement and heave a sigh of relief that the guy in the picture ain’t him.
As always, let me know what you think of the issue. What do you want to see in the future? You can reach me at email@example.com
. Here’s to planning and futures and bucket lists.
Joan M. Burda, editor-in-chief of GPSolo
, operates a solo practice in Lakewood, Ohio, and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org