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Voice of Experience

Voice of Experience: December 2023

New Years Resolutions for 2024

Stanley Peter Jaskiewicz, Cathy Stricklin Krendl, and Erica C R Costello

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Stanley Jaskiewicz

For 2024, I plan to continue something I realized I really needed in late 2024: attention to my own mental health and wellness.

A long-time client and high school classmate had first introduced me to this concept in the 1990’s, and our firm’s health plan has provided support for it in recent years through monthly “Wellness Coach” visits.

But I have recently become intentional about it for my own (and my family’s) sake. I resolve to remain so in 2025 (and, I hope, for a very long time after that).

Cathy Stricklin Krendl

I had never made a New Year’s Resolution, but I broke that pattern in 2023.

Because of my husband’s six-year journey with Alzheimer’s followed by COVID, I had not traveled internationally in ten years and had never traveled internationally by myself except for business. Hoping that my compulsion to check off items on lists would incentivize me, I resolved to travel internationally by myself in 2023. Although, in the beginning, it took most of my determination and grit, I kept this resolution and had a great time.

One reason I had hesitated about international travel was that the logistics had been so cumbersome in the past. We had to check-in at the airport and wait in lines for passport control and customs. I am glad to report those hassles are now much easier to navigate. I could check-in on my computer at home by downloading my passport. The lines for security, passport control, and customs when I left and entered the United States were relatively short thanks to Pre-Check, Clear, and Global Entry.

Traveling internationally. First hurdle checked.

I took two university trips on small ships, and that was a good decision. One was on the Elbe River in Germany from Prague to Berlin, and the other was on the Moselle River from Amsterdam to Zurich. A university trip worked because I had something in common with the other travelers, and that made it easier to initiate conversations. On the trip down the Elbe River, I had several fascinating conversations with four women who had gone to my law school in four different decades. There were also two distinguished architects who were very willing to explain the unique architectural styles we saw if we were interested, and I was. On my second trip down the Moselle River, there was only one lawyer but several graduates of Harvard business school. One of my fellow travelers had been one of the first women at the business school at approximately the same time I was one of the few women in the law school. Since I had practiced business law, talking with the business school graduates was easy and interesting. As a single traveler, I learned to initiate conversations with fellow travelers who had expertise and interests different from mine as well as those with whom I shared common interests. I had fun and learned more than I expected.

Second, a small ship is better for a single traveler because it is easier to make friends and have dinner companions. That is much more difficult if the group stays in a hotel, particularly at the beginning of a trip.

Traveling by myself. Second hurdle checked.

Lessons Learned: Travel on small ships with a group that shares your interests and engage fellow travelers.

Erica Costello

They say that “time flies when you’re having fun.” If this is true, then 2023 for me was full of fun.  But, it went by so quickly—almost too quickly! For 2024, I resolve to slow down and savor every experience and opportunity that the new year brings. As I am frequently reminded by some of my family and friends, you can still enjoy life by slowing down. By this time next year, I hope to reflect on a year filled with many memories that did not go by in a whirlwind of activity.