Merry Christmas

Winter Solstice – A Way Forward

Winter solstice began at 2:02 a.m. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the Sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky.

From this point on, the days will be getting longer. Symbolizing hope, change, and a path forward from 2020.

The Great Conjunction

Weather permitting, go outside an hour after sunset (5:30) and enjoy the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Look toward the Southwestern sky.

Getting On

Winter, the holidays, the pandemic… Maintaining hopefulness is more challenging than ever. We know the vaccines are coming, but they aren’t an instant cure-all. What can we do at home, in our personal lives, to boost our well being?

Ways to Stay Positive

  • Reach out to family and friends. Call, FaceTime, watch TV together on Sling, or play an online game.
  • Meet new people. Download NextDoor, a free, private social networking app for neighbors. Introduce yourself and reach out to others with the same interests. Find things to buy or sell. Get suggestions on local businesses or to-go food from neighborhood restaurants.
  • Go outside. Walk, hike, bike. For Portlanders the Lan Su Chinese Garden is a special place to visit in the rain, something the garden specifically encourages. And Lan Su is open! Just wear a mask.
  • Plan a day trip. Make a lunch, gas up the car, and drive. We’ve all been cooped up and each of us is over it. But no matter where you live – especially in our state – there’s a great place to visit within a one or two hour drive. Why not hop in the car and go? Mask up if necessary and shy away from crowds.
  • Find a new do-at-home activity. Etsy is a great place to buy inexpensive DIY craft kits. Go beyond your comfort zone. Revisit a lost or neglected skill or try something new. Have fun. It doesn’t matter whether it “turns out” or not.
  • Do something to brighten someone’s day. If you’re of a mind, Pay It Forward the next time you’re in line for coffee or make a neighbor smile. Cut sprigs of greenery, tie up with ribbon, yarn, or twine, make a loop, then hang on front doors. Herbs like Rosemary or small branches from evergreens work well for this.
  • Volunteer for one of the many Oregon pro bono programs.
  • Thank people you appreciate – nonprofits, colleagues, grocery clerks. Say it, send it, make a day of it. Criticizing is easy. I do it too. But don’t forget appreciation.

All Rights Reserved 2020 Beverly Michaelis

2020 in the Rearview

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

COVID, wildfires, court operations, and closures dominated headlines and our lives. So did the tech world, the hard work of staying productive, and not letting the stress of it all get to us.

Hopefully you found some useful posts in 2020. If you’ve been battling procrastination, there is help. If you need to jump start your marketing, I did a four part series in July. If collecting fees has been … challenging … I have a few suggestions. Here’s a recap of substantive topics covered in the past twelve months. And here’s to 2021!

COVID

COVID Generally

COVID and Marketing

Reopening Your Firm

WFH (Working from Home)

Technology

Motivation and Productivity

Oregon Wildfires

Courts

Well Being

eDiscovery

Ethics

Fees and Finances

Malpractice

Client Service

Staff

All Rights Reserved 2020 Beverly Michaelis

Plan for 2021 by Reflecting on 2020

When was the last time you paused, thought about the recent past, and made a plan for the future?

I know. You’re busy. Clients are calling. Cases demand attention. But you do too. STOP. Now.

The first step is easy

Open your calendar, find a free time slot. Preferably an afternoon, but I’ll take an hour if that’s all you can find. Set a date to reflect and plan.

When the time arrives

Don’t blow it off. Put files, to do lists, and your phone aside.

Set the scene by transitioning away from work. Take a quick walk or listen to music for a few minutes. When you’re ready, sit down with pen and paper. Avoid electronics, as the tendency to stray into work may be too tempting.

Take a self audit

What went well this year? What went poorly? Where do you want to be in 2021? Any ideas about what you might do differently? If no thoughts come to mind, make a list of people you can call. Talking through what to do and how to get there can be a tremendous help.

Access resources

The ABA COLAP Cafe recently reprinted an excellent article on conducting a year-end self audit. Access it here. Take advantage of our own LAP (lawyers assistance program). The Oregon Attorney Assistance Program is free and confidential. If you know you want change and are at a loss about next steps, or just want someone to run your thoughts by, the OAAP can help. Visit the OAAP website to contact an attorney counselor. Consider scheduling a phone conference now as a follow up to your reserved planning date.

2021 is coming. We can make it better than 2020.

All Rights Reserved 2020 Beverly Michaelis