Our nervous system does not like surprises. And in most cases, lawyers are (very unpleasantly) surprised by the arrival of a grievance. It is normal to have a period of shock or disbelief when the nasty and unexpected happens. “I can’t believe this is happening.” Give it a little time and the next thing you know…
Many, many lawyers I counsel worry about money. They worry about making enough money to keep their law practice going. They worry if they will have enough money to pay their bills. They worry if they’re saving enough money for their kid’s college education or to fund their own retirements. They worry they don’t have enough money to take that much needed vacation.
What can you do if you are one of the worried-about-money crowd? The answer depends on why you’re worried.
Ask yourself if you think you need and can take a vacation. Then ask yourself if you think your answer might be influenced by fatigue, overwork, overwhelm, high expectations, internal or external pressure, financial concerns, stress, or fear around coverage while you are away. All of these may be symptoms of “psychological hypoxia” affecting your ability to accurately evaluate your need for a deep rest. Basically I’m suggesting you might need to question your own judgment if you don’t think you need a vacation. Do I have any takers?
Law is not a profession which admits the function and value of feelings. Our training teaches us to expunge them from our minds and our work. But as human beings we ignore our feelings at risk to our overall well-being. What do you do?
Raised with the cultural ideal of the solitary hero it can be very easy for solo practitioners to overlook one of the most significant health problems for which they are at risk, as documented by extensive studies and research.
Can you guess what it is? Isolation.