April 25, 2017

Learning to Adapt to Predictable, Unpredictable Changes

The Hon. William D. Missouri


The song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" was written by Christine Yarian and Freddie Perren and was first released by G.C. Cameron in 1975. Many of today's senior lawyers were young lawyers back then. Today, with about 58,000 members in the Senior Lawyers Division, the yesterdays are slipping away. Aging can take away our yesterdays without us realizing that the years are escaping. Things that once were done with quickness and ease may be more of a challenge. Life has happened and as life continues to happen and as we continue our professional careers, we want to be resilient to the often stressful changes we may encounter.

The theme for this month's Voice of Experience is "Aging With Resilience." This means aging with flexibility, aging in good spirit, aging with pliability, and learning to adapt to the predictable and unpredictable changes that come with aging. Three of the articles have been previously published and are particularly relevant to the theme. The fourth pertinent article details the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being.

Judge Robert L. Childers is the member spotlighted for April. He also has written an article about a survey conducted by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. Read about what is being done in response to drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety and stress among many in the profession.

Linda Albert is a psychotherapist and former program manager for the Wisconsin Lawyer Assistance Program. Her article, "Thriving During Transition," addresses the sensitive issues that challenge senior lawyers and offers some ways to maintain resilience. The article gives resources that are offered by the state of Wisconsin bar.

Members of the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) Mental Health Initiative submitted a compilation, "Aging and Transitioning with Dignity." This article gives some statistics and additional valuable information to help guide and support senior lawyers. A second article originally published by TLAP is an anonymous personal account – titled "With Small Changes, One Solo Finds Way Into Retirement" – the author manages to maintain dignity while facing the trials of aging.

"Yesterday" is another song from our youth. It was written by Paul McCartney and recorded by the English rock band, the Beatles. The decline of physical and/or mental health, substance abuse, family issues and life in general might make us long for yesterday but with persistence and assistance we can age with resilience and if I dare go there, we can remember that the sun will come out tomorrow, so you gotta hold on till tomorrow, come what may.

Respectfully with best regards,
William D. Missouri, Chair
Senior Lawyers Division

The Hon. William D. Missouri