The Pleasure of Wandering

Black and white photo of stacks in a library

Last Saturday morning, my husband asked if I wanted to drive to a nearby town and have breakfast.  I glanced at my to-do list and replied that I had too much on my plate for the weekend and would rather just stay home and start on my chores.

One of those tasks was to replace a perpetually leaking tire on my car, so at about 11:00 AM, we drove together to the tire shop.  By the time we left, I needed to eat something (pregnancy hunger can be sudden and intense).  Rather than swinging through a fast food drive through lane, we decided to stop by a downtown coffee shop that we rarely visit.  Though they had healthier options, I indulged in a delicious cinnamon roll and a chai latte.

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My Parents’ Parenting

Line drawing of a mother embracing her young daughter

A friend who has two young children asked me to write about some positive things my parents did when I was a child that have shaped who I am today.  So many things contribute to why we are the way we are, from genetics to early friendships to traumatic experiences in our youth, but there’s no denying that our parents’ choices, behaviors, and attitudes have a significant impact on the people we become.  Reflecting on our childhoods is valuable for all of us, and it holds particular value for me at this moment, as I prepare to become a parent. Read more

Quote of the Week

Ink sketch of dancing woman

“‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.”

–Brene Brown, quoted in the Washington Post

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” To “I Am Enough”


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Making Apologies

Pencil sketch of two people standing a few feet apart

The Grammar Girl podcast did a great show this week on how to write an apology.  For a while now, I’ve been meaning to write a post about making tough apologies, so I thought I’d piggyback on Grammar Girl’s discussion.  The show advised listeners to avoid four kinds of non-apologies (the “if” apology, the passive voice apology, the reverse apology, and the florid fauxpology) and to follow a formula for apologizing effectively:

  • Acknowledge the offense clearly
  • Explain it effectively
  • Restore the offended parties’ dignity
  • Assure them they’re safe from a repeat offense
  • Express shame and humility
  • Make appropriate reparation

(Credit to Dr. Aaron Lazare and his book On Apology.)

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Grammar and Usage Rules that Aren’t

An abstract image of crumpled fabric.
Monotype, 2004.

As a lawyer, writer, and general nerd, I consider myself a bit of a grammar and usage stickler.  Language is always changing, though, and there are many rules to keep straight, so when I’m not sure about something, I look it up.  That’s what I did recently when I came across a post on social media declaring that people shouldn’t use the word “entitled” when they really mean “titled” (when referring to the name of a book, for example).  This person vehemently insisted that a book could not be “entitled” anything, but could only be “titled.”  It turns out he was wrong, though I’m not sure he could be convinced. Read more

Quote of the Week

“I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.”

Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Pencil drawing of a young girl holding a ball

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Advice for Newly Minted Lawyers

*Updated to add some great advice posted by readers on social media – see below. 

Photo of a shelf of law books
As we enter October, some states have already released the results of the July bar exam, and other states will post their results soon.  I thought this would be a good time offer some advice to this year’s class of new lawyers as they embark on their careers.  I spent my first two years after law school working at a fairly large law firm, and the following tips might be less applicable to those working in other settings (i.e., in-house legal departments, government agencies, etc.), but I think most of these points apply across the board.  Lawyers, please add your own advice in the comments below.  

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Snapshot: September 28, 2017

Photo of the author

In this occasional series, I share what I’ve been reading, watching, thinking, and doing.

What I’m Reading:

What I’m Watching:  The Good Place

What I’m Listening To:  The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast, “Taking 100% Responsibility for Your Happiness with Okeoma Moronu”

Current Guilty Pleasure:  Long naps (although truthfully, I don’t really feel that guilty about them!)

Where I’ve Been Recently:  Athens and Santorini (in June and July)

What I’m Looking Forward To:  The arrival of baby D!

Latest Personal Project:  Cooking more and trying new recipes with the help of PlateJoy

Recent Moment of Joy:  Feeling another being moving around in my belly.  It’s pretty amazing!

Currently Inspired By:  Several smart, driven, all-around-impressive women lawyers I’ve met recently through the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.

Grateful For:  The many kind and understanding people in my life who have graciously listened to me complain about the less fun aspects of my pregnancy, and who have cut me some slack while I don’t feel like my usual self.  Thank you!

Cheers,

Alexis

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.