GPSolo Magazine - October/November 2006

Chairs' Corner
What Will It Take?


Just before I was called to service to help her, 92-year-old Aunt Ethel decided to quit smoking—as she likes to say “cold turkey, none of those patches or stuff like that for me.” Although she had started smoking some 74 years earlier at the age of 18, she decided that enough is enough. Curiously, she committed to this course, not for health reasons as you might expect, but because she feared that her gradual blindness would lead her to burn down the house. She’d already burned plenty of holes in her clothing and tablecloths. Regardless of her motivation, the point is that she did it. So how about you?

Do you need to address something in your life? Have you been dreading the all-too-necessary colonoscopy? Is some bad habit keeping you from enjoying life, doing your job, or dealing with personal relationships? In this year when we have dedicated ourselves to “Do Something,” please try to find the strength to fix your life.

This issue of GPSolo is the third dealing with “Bumps in the Road.” You will read about certain maladies, issues, and pitfalls; maybe you’ll become more aware of the frailties and traps that can befall lawyers and their clients. But the purpose of this edition is much more than that. This issue will make you think. It will make you think about your own life and the bad habits that might be affecting your relationships with others. Do you wake up snarling at your spouse and family because you had a few beers the night before? Do you hate the way you look in your clothes because of the extra pounds you put on over the years? Do you lose your patience with your support staff because you procrastinated on a project? It is time to Do Something.

After reading this issue, make the decision to Do Something. The step doesn’t even have to be a major lifestyle change. You don’t need to scale Everest; a simple commitment to something as little as giving up beer for broccoli for a month, or spending 30 minutes at the end of each day for a week clearing off your desk—these all count as Doing Something. It’s perfectly all right to Do Something one day at a time. After all, a major organization premised itself on that very concept.

While writing this column, I kept asking myself what I could possibly say that might finally put you over the edge and convince you to Do Something. We all know the obvious (and tragic): a car accident after working too late and driving home tired, a drunk-driving charge after having one too many at happy hour, a divorce because your loved ones can no longer deal with your depression. But must it come to that? What little things might convince you it’s time to Do Something about those bad habits? In the end, we all know the answer. Only you can convince yourself that enough is enough. That is what Aunt Ethel did. How about you?


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