The newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Senior Lawyers
Musings of an old country lawyer
I am as puzzled as the rest of you about my senior years in the practice of law. Because you are reading this newsletter and participating, I suspect you too have had my experience: I have enjoyed the practice of law. I don’t want to give it up! On the other hand, I am a little envious of my brethren (sisteren?) who have given it up, wholly or partially, and have leisure time on their hands.
If you are ready to give it up entirely, more power to you. Do it. Move to a warmer climate. Take up golf, or gardening, or volunteering, or reading (or writing), or the Internet. (That does sound good!)
But if you’re not ready to give it up entirely, what can you do? I’m going to try this: I’m going to take off another afternoon (I already take Thursday afternoons off). I’ll have to look at the court schedule and see what works best for what I do (Tuesdays look good!). I’m not giving up Saturday mornings (it’s the only time I can get big projects done). I may even try going home earlier in the afternoon, particularly in the nice weather. My golf game could use it and I’m just not as effective as I used to be as the day goes on. My friend Curt told me that was true of him too.
I’ve never been good about taking vacations (the “amen” was from my wife) but long weekends seem pretty appealing. They even publish a magazine to inspire you, called (not surprisingly) Long Weekends. I believe it is published several times a year by Great Lakes Publishing. It provides you with a calendar of events in the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley area, complete with maps, photographs and motivating articles. Buy it; perhaps you will be inspired. Midwest Living (also a magazine) also regularly features great destinations in the Midwest (I’m not much of a flyer either).
Admittedly, it’s hard to get from the “I’m going to try” to the doing. I know from experience that I have to tell my secretary to mark the time off (no exceptions) and don’t even ask me if I’m willing to make an exception for my wealthiest client. Don’t even tell me about the call. It’s easier if you do actually schedule something, a tee time, lunch with your wife or girlfriend (never both), or a movie. Speaking of movies, have you seen “RED”? Cindy and I saw it in the theater and both enjoyed it a lot. It’s a story about retired spies (retired—extremely dangerous) and we thought it was great fun. (It’s worth the price of admission just to see Helen Mirren (Queen Elizabeth) operating a .50 caliber machine gun (I don’t want to get calls from you people who know these things telling me that it wasn’t a .50 caliber machine gun)). I think it’s no longer in theaters but it should be available as a DVD.
Make a resolution. Begin—the rest comes easy. ■