Thought For The Day

Some of you know that I was a public school teacher before I became a lawyer.  I taught elementary school children, mostly the little ones.  The tragedy of Newtown, Connecticut has affected me as a parent, as a teacher, and as an American.  Here are my brief thoughts.

Someone, some thing, some spirit must take back our country.

There is more gun violence in American than in any other nation on earth.  At some point, personal liberties must give way to the health and well-being of the nation at large.  At some point, the connection between violence in the media and the acts of unstable perpetrators must be acknowledged.  At some point, treatment for the mentally ill must become more prevalent and accepted without stigma.

I hope that the member of our electorate will come to their collective senses, become the wise and brave representatives that we elected them to be, and take the right measures to protect our country.

This is my Christmas Wish.


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Thought For The Day

Law school exams will be over soon.  Keep the faith.  The holidays are right around the corner, including lots of opportunity for partying with family and friends.  Enjoy!

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What You Can Learn From The Greatest Generation

Today, I am making an exception to my holiday hiatus from blogging.  Read on, and you will discover why.

This time of year, I always focus on members of the Greatest Generation.  I think that is because of the observance of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and thoughts of the generation of men and women who lived through the greatest depression in our country’s history and the following events of World War II, which took so many lives and separated so many families for years at a time.  I am a child of parents who lived those experiences, and I know that there is so much to learn from them.  All you have to do is ask.  History repeats itself, so why not prepare yourself for the future.

This is all foremost in my mind today for another reason, however.  My family, including my husband and our two adult children, just returned from spreading some holiday cheer to my favorite Greatest Generation person last week in Wisconsin.  My Mom, aka “Grandma Ginny,” never ceases to amaze me.  I found myself asking her a lot of questions because I do not want the lessons of her life to escape me.  My Dad died unexpectedly years ago, and I did not get the chance to ask him as much as I would have liked.  I hope that I am a little wiser today.

If I told you her age, Grandma Ginny would ostracize me from the family.  Suffice to say that she will be eligible for membership in some centenarian society in a few short years.  She is an amazingly alert, interesting and interested person for her age, and there is a great deal to learn from her.  Here is what Grandma Ginny would tell you if you sat down with her for awhile to share a cup of tea.

Keep Physically Active:  No matter what you have to do, keep on moving.  Walk the halls of your home if you have to, but do not become sedentary.  Grandma Ginny participates in just about every exercise session at her assisted living home, and she practices what she preaches.  She also goes on all the field trips that are offered, and she encourages others to go also.  She knows the price for “settling in” too soon.

Keep Mentally Active:  Grandma Ginny does crossword puzzles, word teases, reads books, newspapers and magazines on a daily basis and watches the PBS NewsHour every night after dinner.  I think she took it personally when news anchor Jim Lehrer retired last year, but she seems to be over it now!  She refuses to watch daytime television, and most of her TV watching involves sports.  She follows her teams—UW Badgers and the Green Bay Packers—religiously, and she can tell you more about the weakness in the secondary than you might have noticed!  Admittedly, it took her a while to warm up to Bingo at the assisted living home, but winning always makes it better!

Be Resourceful and Look For Opportunities to Serve:  My personal favorite daily exercise routine for Grandma Ginny is wheeling some of her fellow residents to and from meals in their wheelchairs.  Her attitude is, “Why not?  I can walk, can’t I?”

Recently, she asked whether she could help out by folding laundry because she knows that the staff at the assisted living home is shorthanded.  So, now Grandma Ginny has a job!

Do Not Waste Time and Energy By Looking Back:  Grandma Ginny believes in looking forward, and she does not dwell on regrets.  She lost my Dad ten years ago, and she has soldiered on in an admirable way.  He would have been so proud.  She also does not waste time on the disappointing reactions of others.  She knows that life is precious, and she wants to get something positive out of every day.  She is fully aware that people are nice to you if you are nice to them, and she lives the mantra.

Be Charitable:   Grandma Ginny supports her favorite charities because it makes her feel good to know that her good fortune can help others.  She and my Dad lived their lives that way, and she continues the legacy for both of them.  She is very generous to her church, especially, and she appreciates the attention that she and her elderly friends receive from the younger church members.  She never forgets a birthday, and she insists on knowing that you did not spend her gift to pay the light bill!  She wants her generosity to be enjoyed.

So, that is what you would learn from Grandma Ginny.  It is also what you can learn from so many other members of the Greatest Generation.  If you and your Millennial Generation buddies want to be known as the Greatest Generation one day, you need to listen up.  Some lessons don’t need repackaging.  They are classics.

Speaking of classics, here’s to my Mom.  Bravo, Grandma Ginny, and thanks for the memories and the excellent example you set for all of us.  Indeed, you are a classic!


Pearl Harbor Day—-Greatest Generation—Ginny

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Happy Holidays from Best Friends at the Bar

This will be my last blog for 2012.  Each year at this time I take a little time off to be with family and friends and to make the holidays as festive as possible.  In other words, I try to achieve work-life balance and take some of my own advice.  So far, it is working out pretty well.

The holiday cards get written and mailed, the presents are purchased, wrapped and taken to the post office, the cookies get baked, and my mother’s recipe for cranberry nut bread never fails.  The tree gets up, the decorations get hung, the ornaments are placed perfectly and strategically among the strings of gold beads, the presents are artistically displayed beneath the lowest boughs, and we all oooh and aaah in unison at the result. The holiday drinks are more festive each year, the to-die-for pumpkin/honey/bourbon pie makes it to the table, and the nut buried in someone’s rice pudding brings good luck for the new year.  The hymns during the Christmas Eve service are familiar, and Santa miraculously makes it down the chimney each year.

These are the traditions that create memories, and I am sure that you all have them.  Cherish them and the people who created those memories for you, and pass them on.  Family traditions are the things that ground you and create the strong sense of self that can take you through better or worse.  Hold to them, and remember to be safe and make each and every moment special and lasting.

I wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season and many blessings for the New Year.  I appreciate your support for Best Friends at the Bar, and I hope that more of you will check in with me from time to time and let me know how I can make the project even more relevant to you.   We have some exciting things planned for the new year, and I know you will want to be a part of it.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Wonderful Boxing Day and Joyous Kwanzaa.

See you in 2013!

Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Lifestyle, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | 9 Comments