Retired? NO! Restructured? YES!
Some days my new schedule does feel like I have retired, and I love it. I’m not a big believer in a work/life balance. However, I did realize in 2015 that I needed and wanted to change my lifestyle. Many of you know the impact of losing a close friend and how it can change your life. The loss of one of my close friends gave me the strength to make changes I should have made earlier.
A little background about my routine. While my kids lived at home it was easy for me to allow time to attend their activities, participate in weekend events with other families, fit in my workout time and prepare dinner and eat as a family every night. All very important things to my husband and myself. Once all our children had left for college and it was just my husband and I somehow work took over and my schedule became overwhelming. I was the person who always said “I’m so busy, I’m too busy, I can’t believe I’m this busy, I can’t do anything because I’m busy.” My answer to all invitations were the same, I would love to go but I’m too busy.
You are never quite sure what will resonate with yourself or others and what may impact you so significantly you will make a big change. The death of my friend, the way he lived his life, supported his friends and family, never missed a thing and always made you feel like you were his best friend and his ultimate example of living up to the day he died made me realize I had quit living. During this same time period a colleague of mine, Alan Gassman invited me to several day long seminars that provided the opportunity to think about what you really wanted your life to look like. Not so much a focus on work/life balance but taking time to figure out what a great life may look like for me, and how to do I go about getting it.
Restructuring my life and schedule has taken awhile. Old habits are hard to shake and developing new habits takes weeks or in my case, sometimes months. The biggest realization has been understanding every time I say “Yes”, I say “No” to something else. Each day I review my calendar and make sure my commitments are to what I want to do and are focused on my passion. My lifelong passion remains focused on improving the lives and treatment of our elders.
I love my legal practice as well as the services we provide through EasyLiving Homecare and Care Management. My mind never stops thinking about how we can improve, new ideas of advocacy for clients, and how we can systemize what we do for quality assurance. I love thinking about all of that. But I also love spending time with my husband, taking time to be with good friends, cooking healthy meals, being available for my family and friends when they need help and focusing on improving my life and health. In order to make the change I wanted I had to do something drastic. After reviewing everything with my husband selling my law practice and joining a firm made the most sense to allow me to start living again. I was fortunate and blessed that the attorney I’ve shared space with since 2001, Travis Finchum, was willing to explore the possibility of buying my practice and having me join his firm, Special Needs Lawyers. Sealing the deal literally took about 2 hours, and now almost two years later we both are very happy with the decision.
Joining the firm has allowed me to restructure my time to stay focused on my passion. While I’m not ready to retire anytime soon — I am sensitive to the fact that I need to work differently to have an impact on what matters to me most. The smart use of technology at the law firm and at EasyLiving enables me to make a difference daily. I have quit saying “I’m too busy,” and now remain focused on the choice. If I say “Yes,” what am I saying “No” to?