|Message From The President
Leslie J. Castaldi
I recently spent two days in another state in a hotel room alone. It was fabulous. I swam laps in the hotel pool, sat in the sun, actually read an entire book, and ate healthy food. I felt like myself for the first time in a long time. Then I returned to the “real world” and that “calm” disappeared.My 23-year old daughter (a college graduate with a degree in political science) recently told me that she was going to be trained as a yoga instructor, take some business classes, and open a yoga studio. She explained that she has been studying yoga on her own and that she is really feeling good about who she is and where she is in life. My immediate reaction was, “[Sigh] So much for the future presidential speech writer or legislative aide” that I had dreamed she would be.It really is a choice about quality of life.I read a recent article in the “Brevard Business News” that cited research that suggested that lawyers who work in public-service jobs have the highest levels of health and well-being. They also consume less alcohol than private attorneys, who tend to be more competitive and more driven by higher income. We all know how stressful our profession is. Most attorneys work extremely hard and devote many, many hours to their work. Moreover, it is difficult, if not impossible, to leave the job at the office. How many attorneys do you know that keep a legal pad by their beds or who carry their smart phones or tablets everywhere they go so they won’t forget an idea that suddenly pops up while they try to sleep or to engage in other life activities? We also are constantly bombarded by the demands of clients (who are often not very sympathetic to our need for personal time), other attorneys, and judges. If you are like me, you probably have a hard time making time for just yourself, not to mention for your family and friends.
The other thing that I’ve learned about attorneys is that they tend to be talented in areas in addition to intellectual ability. Many attorneys are musicians, authors, artists, engineers, and athletes. These are wonderful outlets. Hopefully, we can encourage each other, as colleagues, to engage in these outlets. More importantly, we need to give ourselves a break and make time for our personal interests, health, and needs. For myself, I love sailing; it is such a wonderful escape from the stress of our profession and I feel so free when I am on the lagoon or the ocean, with the slap of the water on the boat and the wind on my face. I also love the physical exertion. I named my little Catalina 22 “Balance” to symbolize my quest for balance between my professional life and my personal life.
We would love to hear from you, our members, about activities that help you to deal with the stress of the practice of law. So, please, send us an article (and photos) about what creates balance in your life.
Now, I think that my daughter’s dream of owning and operating a yoga studio isn’t so bad after all. She’s making a decision based upon how she envisions her quality of life. Maybe I’ll take some yoga lessons from her.