On Saturday, I had JOMO, FOMO, YOLO, and then finally decided to go solo.

A note of explanation. Lately, I’ve been trying to do a better job of following my own advice. I tell my own clients to make time for things that matter to them (i.e. besides work).

Part of that is making time for self-care. But another part is making time to do the things that are important to you (e.g. like spending time with friends and family, taking real vacations, pursuing hobbies and other interests, etc.)

In that vein, for a couple of weeks now, I’ve had been thinking it would be nice to go to Vermont to see the eclipse. By the time the next one rolls around, I’ll be in my 80s (if I live that long!)

But by last week, I had pretty much talked myself out it. I had already been away visiting friends the prior two weekends. I have a lot going on at work. There was no guarantee that the weather would cooperate. The roads might be crowded. My wife couldn’t take time off.

My thought process was classic lawyer brain 🧠!

When I woke up on Saturday, I was resigned to the self-care part and thought I would spend much of the day relaxing (that’s the JOMO part–the Joy of Missing Out).

I went to my club to work out and planned to catch up on some reading later in the day. But a little voice in my head told me that I really wanted to go to Vermont. FOMO set in!

I spoke to my wife and she suggested I call our friend in Stowe to see if they had space. And they did!

That’s when YOLO took over (you only live once–in case you aren’t familiar).

Ordinarily, I like to do things with my wife. But in this case, YOLO overtook my thoughts about going solo.

I made it to Vermont, there was no traffic on Sunday afternoon, I got myself situated on my friend’s deck at 2 p.m. and for the next two hours, I enjoyed the cosmic show. The weather cooperated, it was nice being at our friend’s house, and I patted myself on the back for not talking myself out of coming.

One of the good things about the pandemic is that it got many of us thinking more about doing what matters. There is always more work to do.

I’m now part of a men’s choir, I’m working on improving my squash game, I making much more effort to travel and see friends and family, and when opportunities like the eclipse along, I’m more apt to seize the day.

Taking time off is important to your mental health. It’s not emphasized in the legal profession where in private practice, the billable hour reigns supreme. But working 24/7 has consequences.

I may not see another solar eclipse in my life time; but at least I can say that I saw this one!

If you are a lawyer in Massachusetts who is experiencing mental health challenges, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Massachusetts offers free and confidential consultations. There are similar organizations in most states around the country.

By |Published On: April 10, 2024|Categories: lawyer wellbeing, work/life balance|

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