Later than normal, traffic is unsympathetic to a schedule that is wound tighter than a ten-day clock. Emails bring the iPad, iPhone or blackberry to life earlier than the morning sun and the coffee pot that sputters your wake-up call as you hit the door running. Another case, another client, another fire. More meetings, more deadlines, more decisions. Solving the world’s problems makes lawyering a difficult profession. It’s just another day to run through, run over, and run out of steam. And it’s just another manic Monday.
The reality is, I don’t drink coffee and Just Another Manic Monday is a Bangles song from the eighties. Truth be told, I never liked the song but I sympathized with the person late for work and lamenting the waiting work week. Fast forward to today with a world of iTechnology and our workday begins before our eyes have even opened. Sometimes, you get so busy that the weather out your window is as foreign as a fat-free Big Mac. Sometimes, you just need to stop and be inspired.
I walked to another meeting yesterday. This one was Bar-related; no clients, no controversy. A block of gray in a white outlook calendar that occupied one hour. As it turns out, it took less than an hour to be reminded to exhale and enjoy the day. We had a special guest with us. Not a dignitary or famous sports figure; not a television personality or war hero. A lawyer. Fighting her own fight. She sat at the table as we all did. She came to be with us, to be a part of the meeting and to contribute. She was happy to be there. She was, in all respects, an inspiration.
This lawyer is fighting cancer, as many others are. She is in the middle of treatment that would bring even the bravest and strongest to their knees. Yet, here she sat. Happy to be in this meeting and with the most radiant of smiles it would stop you on the street. She could have been so many other attorneys that we all know, who are battling personal battles and working every day to win their war. But yesterday, it was her and she was a beautiful sight to behold; a very real reminder that inspiration comes in so many different forms and should never be overlooked.
I talked to my son last night about this lawyer. I talked to him when he was predicting that he would be too tired from his football game to run the mile in gym today. I talked to my daughter this morning when she woke up red-eyed, tired and unexcited for the day. I am looking out my window as I write this, appreciating the beautiful sun.
HEAL@indybar.org is something the Bar has created to receive information on attorneys who are grappling with illness or personal crisis and need anything from words of encouragement to help with dinners for children. IndyHEAL, Helping Enrich Attorneys’ Lives, is an IndyBar member-volunteer driven group who will respond to requests, anonymously and discreetly if necessary. Whether a peer, partner, or opposing counsel, we could all use the support of our larger community of lawyer friends to get through trying times.
For me, I am reminded to pass on a smile, to ask the name of the man down the street who waves every day as I bustle by on my way to meetings, and to be happy to be busy. I am glad the sun is shining out my window and even as I squint and duck to see my computer screen, I refuse to shut my blinds. Not today. I have turned off my iPad and turned on iNspiration and I encourage you to do the same.•
Post-script: The gentleman’s name is Frank, and my daughter was sent home with pink-i. The message remains the same!