“One of these days, I’m gonna get organizized”

“Taxi Driver” image from http://shakyghost.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/taxi-picture.png

My goals this year are:

(1) Find wonderful opportunities, pursue them, and succeed in them.

(2) Have more fun. Laugh much more.

(3) Stay organized, efficient, and ahead of deadlines.

They are lofty — I don’t like setting goals I won’t have to work to achieve — but not inaccessible. They’re somewhat reactionary, but that’s what growth is about: recognizing where we fall short and establishing posts along the way that will give us satisfactory indicia of progress.

They’re also broad. The first is about setting up for the future, while the second and third are corrective. They are all heavily applicable to life in general, but especially poignant in law school. And they’re all urgent!

The first goal arose around the time of the first On-Campus Interview deadline. OCI is the scheme through which  incoming 2L students apply to big-firm jobs. I agonized about whether to apply, thinking about the money and prestige that awaited at the end of the daunting tunnel.

In the end, I realized it wasn’t for me. I’m interested in family law, particularly child welfare and custodial issues. Unless there’s a magical, invisible big firm unicorn out there that focuses on these issues, that world is mostly closed off to me. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other opportunities — public interest organizations, small and mid-size firms and solo practitioners, policy advocacy groups, nonprofits — but it does mean I’ll have to work that much harder to find the best fit, apply, and be hired for the summer and beyond. I’m slowly finding these opportunities.

The second goal arose around the end of last year. When I reflected on my attitude, I was shocked to realize that I wasn’t laughing nearly as much as I am used to. So I’m taking the time to eat lunch with friends, enjoy on- and off-campus events, set a fun tone in my student organizations, watch a silly sitcom or two once a week, and enjoy evenings with my great goofball of a husband.

Still, it  took me most of a year to realize what I was missing, so it will be easy to fall back into the oh-so-serious law school trap. Making this a conscientious goal will hopefully have the happy side effect of staving off the Boston winter/finals blues, too.

The last goal is a less of a challenge and more of a reminder or mantra: Don’t stop putting things in the calendar just because you “know” they’re coming. Don’t put off to tomorrow that which you could finish today. Don’t let that pile of papers on your desk get too big. Don’t sacrifice the little things for the big picture. Outline before your notes get out of hand. See deadlines as red lights and the days leading up to them as increasingly dark yellow. Keep papers in the proper folder. Eat three (or so) healthy meals a day. Get to bed at a decent hour. Go to yoga when you can. (BU Law has free weekly yoga at FitRec!)

The obvious has a way of getting obscured when you’re hyper-focused on the big picture, too. With a clinic, moot court, three different student organization leadership roles, a journal, and a full class load, I’m setting these goals so I don’t get lost in the future.

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