If you’re like me, you’re surprised and somewhat astonished that the new year has rolled around again – already! A new year is often symbolic of resolutions, a fresh start and as Oprah said above, another chance to get it right.
Every year people make resolutions to improve themselves and set about lofty goals – that often are unmanageable and therefore the implementation and maintenance of these goals fail. The fitness and diet industry alone thrive on the resultant cash injection into their businesses annually each January. I can’t even begin to quantify the sums of money that I have… well donated.
When I reflect back on 2017 and the years that came before that one, I see that I have had a slow and progressive change in my professional and personal viewpoints that I think have made me not only a better person, but a better lawyer. And, with this I realize that there is so much more for me to learn and do.
I have always loved to read and write. Any kind of creative outlet, soothes my soul and brings me peace. For the last twelve years that I have been practising law, I stopped all of my creative hobbies, in favour of practising law or thinking of practising law 24/7. This has lead to poor health, neglected personal relationships, burnout at times, a general feeling of dissatisfaction and this recurring and pervasive question “Isn’t there more to life?”
A perfectionist by nature, the thought of publishing a blog – while intriguing – is scary. What if my grammar isn’t absolutely perfect? What if people think I’m full of … well you know? What if people criticize what I think or publish – ugh internet trolls are so disheartening. However, I have decided that I will be brave and give it a go. Worst case scenario, I fail, people may criticize me, I may have poor grammar and if so, I can always stop. There comes a point where not trying something becomes more painful and scary than moving forward. I think I am there…
I do think that there is a better way to practise family law and I have been trying to do so for some time. Family law is a melange of social, psychological, interpersonal and complex legal issues that the current model of litigation doesn’t serve well. That’s one reason I became a family mediator, in addition to being a family litigation lawyer. I’m not saying that I have “the” answer, I just think that we – as a profession – and people can do better.
And so with that thought in mind, I intend to write and publish this blog weekly (maybe more often) and address a variety of psychological, social and legal issues that are involved in families and their restructuring post-separation. As well, I suspect that from time to time, I will probably publish some articles that have little to do with family law and more to do with being better parents, better daughters and sons, better co-workers, better friends, better partners, better colleagues and just better people. After all, we are fresh upon a new opportunity to get it right… Happy New Year!!