By Lizzie Schuerman, Paganelli Law Group
When I first heard of the COVID-19 virus, it was happening where a lot of things happen — somewhere else. It was far away, and it was not something that concerned me. That has rapidly changed. COVID-19 is now here and affecting all of us.
There are members of our legal community who have been impacted more than others. We know lawyers who are or have been ill themselves or who have close family members or friends who have been infected. We know lawyers whose legal practices have practically ceased as well as other lawyers who are working harder than ever to serve clientele whose needs have increased. We also know students whose legal education has been interrupted and career paths changed.
I, like most of you, am worried. I am worried about my career, family, colleagues, our community and our country. The hardships wrought by COVID-19, throughout the world and right here, are tragic and real.
On the evening of March 12, I learned that my son’s school was closing. The next day, I went to my office, packed up my monitors and case files, and moved home. The several weeks that have now passed have been challenging. I have had to balance working remotely while also managing my son’s e-learning. However, other things have been happening too. I am seeing more of my family and we are having regular family dinners. We are also taking walks and bike rides, building forts, playing board games and having friendly encounters with neighbors in the streets.
I have to admit that some of the changes COVID-19 has forced on my life have actually been very good. For so many years, my life has been controlled by my busy calendar. I would often schedule too many depositions, meetings and phone calls, the result of which was that I was running from one thing to another always in a hurry. My life is calmer now than it has been in years. I have been forced to slow down, and I’m tremendously grateful.
I am still working almost fulltime, yet I am fitting so much more into my life. This pause that I am being forced to take has reminded me that I am more than a lawyer. I am a wife, mom, daughter, friend, neighbor, runner, gardener, reader, baker, music lover, movie watcher …. the list goes on. Yes, I’m a lawyer too, but perhaps it’s time I make little more time for the other roles, too.
Don’t get me wrong (especially for my clients who may be reading this!), I am not suggesting that I no longer want to work hard. That’s just not how I operate. But after we return to “normal,” I am going to try to work differently. Perhaps I need to change my mindset about how to be a lawyer, because some of these changes that have been forced upon us are changes that I would very much like to keep in my life.
I am hopeful that something good can and will emerge from our shared ordeal. It is with this in mind that I’m excited to announce a new social media campaign started by the Women and the Law Division Executive Committee — Find the Good. The goal of this campaign is to highlight IndyBar members who are finding good in life during this extraordinary time.
We ask that IndyBar members take photos or videos of themselves doing something fun during their time at home, whether that be cooking or baking, mastering a new hobby, working out, enjoying the outdoors, or simply enjoying time with family, and then send the pictures or videos to Kara Sikorski ([email protected]) at the IndyBar. We will share these on social media so that we can all see how our legal community is striving to #findthegood during this unprecedented time.•