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    Side Bar: A cultural smorgasbord

    May was super busy, super fun, and boy did it cost me. More on that later! This month was sort of the calm before the storm because summer kicks off some serious and important engagement events. It also marks the first month since December where we did have multiple huge community events (just one, so not so bad!). I leaned into it by attending a ton of cultural events that always makes me so proud to call this city home. First, with a Cinco de Mayo celebration hosted by the Mexican consulate—who confirmed this is not a holiday celebrated in Mexico but that it exists in the imagination of Americans…

  • SideBar,  Work Life Balance

    Sidebar: Rest and Relaxation

    April owes me nothing! It was a great month full of rest. Much needed. It started with a big professional accomplishment—I facilitated my first city-wide town hall meeting by myself. How grown up lol Basically the city often puts on open meetings to discuss important issues and receive feedback from community. And of course depending on the topic, things can go south. Thankfully, my years of experience training other attorneys, facilitating discussions, and camera work all prepared me to take this on. I was really nervous for lots of reasons but not only did it not go terrible, people enjoyed my approach so it was nice to be able to…

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    Side Bar: Aries Szn

    March was—very march like. Which for me means a lot of energy, ups, and some downs. Always. March is my bday month and when I was little, I think up until I went to college I used to get really sick around my bday. Like clockwork. So there was always some melancholy around my bday of not always feeling the best. This year’s drama was that I accidentally exposed Javert to lilies which are fatally poisonous to cats and he had to spend a night at the hospital. I was a wreck. Even though the prognosis was good (thankfully the flowers were still bulbs so not a lot of pollen…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Two Years Later…

    Two years go by so fast that you don’t even notice how things change. I  want to take some time to reflect on the past two years (times BC) because I think it’s important and also because, in general, people are so quick to dismiss the trauma and the shift we’ve experienced and that’s not healthy, bestie. First, and most important, there are so many people whose lives were upended because of this illness (to put it lightly). And as a country we’re really quick to overlook the loss of millions of people gone and what that means. I don’t have any solutions on how to make us more empathetic…

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    Sidebar: Surviving a Chicago Winter

    Happy new year (a month and two weeks late)! It’s so funny because in the fall, I wrote about how things felt a little more normal and then of course the next wave came and put everything back on pause. How much longer is this going to take? Very frustrating. But easing into the year wasn’t a bad thing, it let me really plan out my time and focus on my health a little more. And that was really the theme in January–getting more in tune with how I feel/making healthier decisions. So, I think I mentioned that at my annual the Dr realized I had extremely low vitamin D.…

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    My Nightstand Routine

    The thing about me is that I love routines. And routines within routines? Omg, forget it! I think the stability of it really scratches some itch in my brain. So of course, I have a nightstand routine that I totally recommend. What is a nightstand routine? It’s simply items I keep on hand that I use before bed but if you’re a night owl, like me, then little things that help my brain underscore that it’s time for sleep help me not just scroll on my phone until 1 am (which of course I never do 😬).   Here is what I keep on hand: St. Jane’s Body Serum. This…

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    Easing Back to the Office

    I know the idea of going back to the office strikes fear in a lot of us but it is likely many will be easing back into a hybrid or a new routine where you are back in the office full time (I don’t wish this on you, unless you really want it!). Seeing as I’ve been back since July (yes, five days a week!), I wanted to share some things that made the transition easier for me. Because there is a shift in terms of time, attention, and energy that comes with being away from home 9-5 and it’s nice to be prepared for it. First, working from home…

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    Proud of You! Recognizing Your Accomplishments During Difficult Times

    We talk a lot about stress and frustrating aspects about this work or school because it’s important to dissect that and figure out solutions. We’ve also all gone through two really tough years that includes loss in different areas of life. I know it’s easy to end this year by just steeling ourselves for whatever’s to come but I think that would be a slight disservice to ourselves. Instead, I want us to wind down the year recognizing all the great things we accomplished. Ok, caveat, I’m the last person to lean into posi vibes only–I literally wince when we have to do calming techniques or centering exercises during workshops…

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    Sidebar: Grateful

    This month felt a lot more like the “before times” than ever before and that is a good and bad thing. So the good, because of the booster, we felt comfortable enough visiting my in-laws, which I haven’t seen in a long time. This meant an overnight trip the farm! I haven’t been there in forever and while some things were a little different (no more cows), everything else was like nothing had changed. Good food, E got to play IT expert to make sure his parents stay connected to the internet and it was really nice to get away. It’s hard to describe how calm and quiet it is.…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Feeling the Pressure: How to Respond to Stress

    We talk about stress, burn out, vicarious trauma, whatever you want to call it A LOT. For me, it’s important to discuss what stress and trauma look like in this profession because it impacts not just how much we enjoy the day to day practice but ignoring it  can result in real negative physical/mental effects. This has been at the forefront of my mind lately because of a recent incident at work. It was an unusually hectic week and it culminated with an in an incident that caused a huge adrenaline rush (in a bad way). In the heat of the moment, I felt fine and in control. But a…

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