Jump to content
pzabbythesecond

How do you stop to take a moment and smell the roses?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hey all,

Anxiety is obviously an issue in our profession. As are high achieving people who are relentlessly and perpetually aiming for the next step.. or 5. While this drive is good, it can also be bad (see note on anxiety). Beyond that, all the incessant planning can stop us from taking a moment to appreciate what we've already achieved. My graduation passed without much celebration, as I was planning out my next 5 years, not even started articling yet. My family helped me take a minute and it was really nice. But I still forget to do it often.

How do you get yourself to stop and smell the roses, while still staying driven and planning your future?

Edited by pzabbythesecond
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Agreed - putting the phone away is huge.

I also try to leave work at a semi-reasonable time every day and fit in one post-work activity whenever possible. A bunch of my coworkers do the same. From speaking to people in my practice group, these activities range from playing in a rec sports league, going to sit in a sauna, hitting the driving range, or just going for a walk. I personally find exercise is key. Doing some sort of post-work activity (almost) every day allows me to turn my brain off for the day once I leave the office, and makes it easier to enjoy day-to-day life instead of waiting for the next big trip or accomplishment to reward myself. Plus coordinating your activities with a family member or friend gives you a clean break from thinking about work.

Edited by hitman9172
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dog's fur colouring has this big mark. Sometimes, while hugging her, I just scream into the existential void that is her fur. Ambrosia.

In an seriousness, I'm taking the opportunity to (safely) go out. I've been WFH since March 17. I'm a sociable introvert. Suburban life means backyard BBQs with enough room to safely distance, or my spouse and I just wear our masks. It's been helping. Lots of walks too. Plenty of trees and water here to refresh. I agree with hitman - I fell in a funk when I stopped regularly exercising (save for walks). Getting back into it, with stretching, has really helped.

It was a really weird time for me post-graduation and pre articles. The K-JD crew spent 20+ consecutive years being a student. It's a huuuuge shift. The important thing is creating and maintaining some semblance of a routine.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately for me, many of the ways I stop and smell the roses are not available to me right now. In normal times, I try to be conscious about grabbing time to see my good friends, whether it's for a coffee, lunch, or beer after work. Even though it's permitted to do those now, with everyone scattered around the city instead of all coming downtown every day, it's impossible practically speaking.

Not that I'm really complaining - I have lots of walks and baby time, and some bike rides for exercise - but I'm really looking forward to being able to do that again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a veggie garden. I spend about 20 mins first thing in the morning picking what I want for the day and 15 mins after I get home just to investigate, minimal weeding, etc. On some weekends, I'll do more work sowing, watering, or planning a new bed or next year's crops, or reading about strategies, setting up to track yield by weight, etc. It's not a huge commitment and I enjoy watching everything grow.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jaggers said:

Unfortunately for me, many of the ways I stop and smell the roses are not available to me right now. In normal times, I try to be conscious about grabbing time to see my good friends, whether it's for a coffee, lunch, or beer after work. Even though it's permitted to do those now, with everyone scattered around the city instead of all coming downtown every day, it's impossible practically speaking.

Not that I'm really complaining - I have lots of walks and baby time, and some bike rides for exercise - but I'm really looking forward to being able to do that again.

Me too. And playing sports. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Video games. Lots and lots of video games.

Fantasy novels. Lots and lots of fantasy novels.

Sports. Lots and lots of sports.

Memes. Lots and lots of memes.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I have been putting Super Mario Kart up on the projector in the living room. It's fun at any size, but fun as hell when your screen is an entire wall.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I refuse to answer work emails after 6pm, unless we're in the last days before a closing or it's an extremely urgent matter (those don't come up often in my practice). I'll still work after 6pm if there's stuff to do, but I don't want to set a precedent that I'm available to clients at all hours. Clients do not have my cell phone number.

Like others, I try to do one thing most evenings that gets me out of my apartment and/or connecting with other people. Bike rides and walks around Vancouver are *chef kisses*, even on slightly drizzly days like today. During covid, I've set up a regular Netflix Party night with some friends who live all over the country, which I hope will continue once things are back to normal. And if I don't have something planned or am feeling low energy, I'll cozy up in my reading nook (which, goddamn that was a good choice) and listen to podcasts and do whichever hobby I'm into this week.

Also, the anti-anxiety meds help a lot. Honestly. I used to react to all stressors at DEFCON 1 because I was so anxious. My body couldn't tell the difference between an important stressor and a mere annoyance, and it became absolutely overwhelming to make even simple choices. The meds stabilized those reactions and I have so much more capacity to triage stressors, and therefore relax, now. So, if you're feeling anxious past the point of normal stress reactions, you might want to speak with a doctor or therapist to see if there's a combination of coping mechanisms you can start working with.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been rewatching the Sopranos with a few friends (not in person, of course) every weekend. Since we are never going out, it gives us a social occasion each weekend to look forward to, which is nice. I usually go to the market later in the week and buy some delicious snacks for the occasion.

I can't always avoid working after 6 p.m., but I do my best. Things are usually pretty quiet after 8, so if I need to sit on the couch with my laptop for an hour I don't mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think being able to stop and smell the roses requires somewhat of a shift in the way you might be thinking about life generally. Life is not about achieving the next success. No one wakes up 40-ish years old and says "Yes, I've done it. I made partner. I have a nice house. I have a family. I have succeeded. Now, it's just time to live." Most of us continue to set goals all along the way, some personal, some career, some family-oriented. I'd say that's a good thing to do. But it's equally important to remember that life -- the beauty of living -- is the moment to moment, rather mundane existence. The universe has no plan for you. You're not meant to do anything. You placed expectations around your life based on the way society has suggested you should: go to university, go to law school, become a lawyer, work hard, make partner, earn money, retire. Of course, I think we all fall into this trap sometimes. Like you said, most of us are quite driven, and part of having that ambition to succeed is setting goals. But I try to think of Alan Watts' anecdote that life should be like dancing, or playing music. The point of music is to make music. To play music. It is not to work music. Similarly, the point of living is to live. Don't worry about how to get to point x as quickly or efficiently as possible. Leave that to your morning drive into work. Learn to appreciate the smallest and most inconsequential aspects of life and you won't have to think about stopping to smell the roses.

And that's all for "TdK Philosophy" today, folks! Tune in next week when we discuss existential dread!

Edited by TdK
  • Like 11
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, TdK said:

I think being able to stop and smell the roses requires somewhat of a shift in the way you might be thinking about life generally. Life is not about achieving the next success. No one wakes up 40-ish years old and says "Yes, I've done it. I made partner. I have a nice house. I have a family. I have succeeded. Now, it's just time to live." Most of us continue to set goals all along the way, some personal, some career, some family-oriented. I'd say that's a good thing to do. But it's equally important to remember that life -- the beauty of living -- is the moment to moment, rather mundane existence. The universe has no plan for you. You're not meant to do anything. You placed expectations around your life based on the way society has suggested you should: go to university, go to law school, become a lawyer, work hard, make partner, earn money, retire. Of course, I think we all fall into this trap sometimes. Like you said, most of us are quite driven, and part of having that ambition to succeed is setting goals. But I try to think of Alan Watts' anecdote that life should be like dancing, or playing music. The point of music is to make music. To play music. It is not to work music. Similarly, the point of living is to live. Don't worry about how to get to point x as quickly or efficiently as possible. Leave that to your morning drive into work. Learn to appreciate the smallest and most inconsequential aspects of life and you won't have to think about stopping to smell the roses.

And that's all for "TdK Philosophy" today, folks! Tune in next week when we discuss existential dread!

Honestly, law school did this to me. Before it, I was still goal oriented but it didn't feel as make or break as it does now. Though I was pretty obsessed with getting into law school, and a specific law school, from very early on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

As are high achieving people who are relentlessly and perpetually aiming for the next step.. or 5.

For some reason I read this at “.5” and really emphasized with you. 

Gotta get those billable hours!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Honestly, law school did this to me. Before it, I was still goal oriented but it didn't feel as make or break as it does now. Though I was pretty obsessed with getting into law school, and a specific law school, from very early on.

I like reading this post when I think about putting together goals:

 

Edited by setto
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guided mindfulness meditation just 10-15 minutes a day on most days. I resisted trying it for over ten years. I'm glad I've managed to work it into my days. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I joke with my friends that my need to plan has led me to schedule my existential crises. What it really means is that I’ve set out several times in the year when I’m supposed to re-evaluate my career, where I’m living, things that I want to improve on, etc. This helps me deal with the unscheduled sparks of “Is this what I am doing with my life?” that end up wasting my afternoon or evening on a busy day.

Pre-pandemic, I had made it a practice to call a friend on my walk home once a week to catch up. If I have positive news to tell them, such as achieving a small milestone, I let them know and they’re happy for me in the same way I’m happy for them for their achievements.

I come from a lower socioeconomic background, so a few years into practice, it’s nice to mentally say while looking at the view from my office (pre-pandemic), at a vacation spot (pre-pandemic), or while closing my laptop after a workday and think: “You fucking did it, now what’s for dinner?”

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/9/2020 at 7:07 PM, rziegler said:

Guided mindfulness meditation just 10-15 minutes a day on most days. I resisted trying it for over ten years. I'm glad I've managed to work it into my days. 

Thanks for this. I'd been doing guided meditation daily for probably six - seven years. Somehow I slipped out of the habit over the past couple of months. This reminded me to do it, and what a difference. Mind clearer. Anxiety down. Focus improved. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/9/2020 at 7:07 PM, rziegler said:

Guided mindfulness meditation just 10-15 minutes a day on most days. I resisted trying it for over ten years. I'm glad I've managed to work it into my days. 

Is there a website or app you would recommend? I've been interested in starting this for a while, but not really sure how to get going with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Cabaret said:

Is there a website or app you would recommend? I've been interested in starting this for a while, but not really sure how to get going with it.

I like Headspace. But there's a bunch of other ones too now. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Recent Posts

    • Thanks for the input! The U of T ones are really throwing me off because they all seem to tell these grand stories. While I do have actually a similar story to one of those candidates, U of T is not a school I'm applying to, and the prompts for the schools I am don't really say much about what they're looking for. They seem very succinct and to the point and I don't know how much I'm supposed to let my creativity flow on these things! I mean it's law school, we aren't meant to be creative right??
    • How much can an articling student and lawyer make in Saskatoon? I can’t find any information about this. any articling students here? What is your pay? how much do you expect to make in 5 years?
    • This will become a lot clearer after first semester exams. Nearly everyone changes their strategy going into second semester. For the most part, people typically do way too much and realize doing their 120 page constitutional readings every single class did not materialize into much on the exam. On the other hand, you'll find that some of your habits did contribute to a better exam answer and you will focus more on those. Unfortunately, it's not a one-size-fits-all approach so there isn't really a magic formula to this. Some people will find doing detailed readings more helpful in building their understanding, while others will find that spending more time synthesizing the information and doing practice tests/hypotheticals is more important. To each their own.
    • I keep finding myself focusing on the literal text, rather than why I'm reading a particular case. Wrapping my head around the reasoning behind having a self-service pharmacy was more difficult than the issues re: offer/acceptance.  Yes, they were technically over the counter drugs. But they also contained codeine. If my elementary school Lil Wayne phase taught me anything, that can be some serious stuff! What really felt crazy was the signup for Student Legal Services. I feel like the average person who's frequently at odds with the law knows more about criminal law than I do. I know I can only deal with relatively minor matters and have proper supervision, but still! 
    • Whenever the prof asks a question, answer it. As long as you're right, you'll be fine.

×
×
  • Create New...