The Weekly Edit: ‘No’ Is a Complete Sentence.

Nov 15, 2019

Today, I sat down to plan out a schedule to finish my continuing legal education hours by the end of the year, and couldn’t believe it was November.  This year has both raced toward the finish, and held minutes that felt like days.  Of course, it’s never the minutes that you’re hoping will last that drag on forever.

As I’ve mentioned before, the past several weeks have been very hard.  A friend asked me to help her on a case because she needed another set of hands for research.  We found out this week that we lost; the consequences for the client are dire, and the remedies are few.

When I started law school, I knew being a lawyer would be stressful.  My Father never hid how taxing the practice of law was, and the emotional toll it took.  But when it’s your client, and you know their situation and their struggles, it’s heavy.  I don’t know how other lawyers process it.  My own coping mechanisms seem sorely lacking to handle this challenge.

But regardless of how I’m feeling, the blog must go on.  Even when it feels a little silly to be writing about hair dryers and wrap dresses given the things that happen in the world.  But, hey, we all need an outlet to lighten the mood.

Kyle and I can rarely agree on what to watch, but documentaries are usually safe.  Our latest choice is Explained from Vox.  The episode on the rise of athleisure was very interesting.  I also enjoyed the episode on Billionaires.  And, best of all, the episodes only run about 28-minutes, so you can binge a few without it taking up your whole night.

Vox also has a column of “explainers” on their website, and a podcast on the same topics.  They’re very informative.

I love my Beauty Blender makeup sponge, but I hate cleaning it.  The microwave makes it easier, but it’s still such a process.  So when a friend posted this Beauty Blender washing machine to Instagram, I was intrigued.

It seems someone re-purposed a child’s toy washing machine, and turned it into a makeup sponge and brush cleaner.  I don’t know who this genius was, but I would like to meet her.

As for efficacy, putting in a filthy BeautyBlender will not give you the results you’re looking for.  The sponge will be, at best, 50% cleaner.  Putting in a rinsed or moderately used sponge will yield a much cleaner sponge, but not spotless.  For under-$10, this machine is great for in-between washes.  Just remember to use hotter-than-warm water to kill the bacteria.

When Kyle and I sent out our wedding invites, we knew that some of our guests would be unable to attend.  It’s not easy to travel to Montana (or cheap).  Our invited guests had busy jobs, families, and other obligations.  And some, might just not want to attend.

Yes, it was disappointing that some of the invitees couldn’t make it, but no feelings were hurt when people said no.  What did hurt a bit was that, in the days before the wedding, it became clear that some people were ignoring our communications out of a sense of guilt or just because they wanted to avoid an awkward interaction.

So when I spotted this article from The New York Times about how to say ‘no’ when invited to a wedding or asked to help with a wedding, I was so grateful.

Saying no to wedding obligations isn’t easy, especially when you value the person getting married or will need to continue a relationship with them for professional reasons.  But the faster you say no, the easier it is on the couple and the your relationship with them.  This is a great article for dealing with a variety of sensitive topics related to weddings, and I am bookmarking it for later.

I promote Amazon’s Daily Ritual line a lot.  I have purchased many things from this brand, and had only two rejected pieces.  More often, I buy something and adore it so much that I become an evangelist for the product.  This fine-gauge open cardigan is one of those items.

It’s made of a soft fabric with an easy drape.  It’s a good Goldilocks length — not too long, not too short.  And it comes in a number of colors.  My one mild complaint is the slouchiness of the pockets, because they look a bit casual to me, but it’s not a big issue.

The cardigan looks great over slim dresses.  It’s a cozy addition to a professional dress if your casual Friday is more professional than relaxed.  I’ve also thrown it on over leggings and a tunic for running errands.

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  1. HH says:

    Thank you for keeping up with the posts this week, despite other things that are going on. It’s brightened up my day – and I’m sure countless others. (Not the part about the case being lost, to be clear. That sucks.)

  2. Cait says:

    My answer to people who ask, “How can you [frivolous and self-indulgent thing] when [massive serious problem] is going on?” is How can you NOT have anything frivolous and self-indulgent in your life? Do you really sit there all day, every day, and only think about/work on huge problems in the world? How can you continue to give your best to your work and to the world if you don’t have an outlet of some kind to give your brain and your spirit a break?
    If there’s someone out there who truly never needs a break of any kind, then more power to them. But I believe that everyone needs something in their life that is a respite and that those things are valuable because they allow for the moments of rest that make it possible to continue doing important work well.
    So thanks for writing about the wrap dresses and hair dryers this week (and all weeks), because this blog provides that necessary break for me.

  3. Naomi says:

    As a lawyer in a similar boat, I find solace in doing as well as I can, and knowing that ultimately, that’s all I can do. In our system, lawyers are the advocates. We do not make the decisions. All we can do is our best. Try as hard as we can. Do bad results still hurt? Yes. But you have done your part.

    ….And, the universal esquire’s drink can’t hurt. Bad result? Bourbon. Good result? Bourbon. Today’s client, who insists the FBI is monitoring his misdemeanor case (sigh)? Bourbon.

    Hang in there, and best wishes on appeal.

  4. Joy says:

    As a fellow lawyer I can definitely sympathize. It’s so difficult to know that as hard as you worked for your client, you couldn’t get them the result they wanted and deserved. Unfortunately we can’t guarantee outcomes, but being by their side during difficult times is a role in and of itself. And without your assistance she assuredly would not have won her case.

    Give yourself some space to recover.

  5. Sarah says:

    I was a public defender, and my practice is still high stress and fairly high volume, helping people through sad and difficult situations. I still grab a look at your blog most days. Looking good and professional helps me feel more in control. And your interesting posts make me feel connected to issues I care about that I don’t see in the regular news. I look forward to your gift guides. As for advice on how to handle the sadness and stress of lawyering, I’m still working on it 12 years later. I fiercely guard my personal time. I exercise and can tell the mental effect when I exercise less. I was also thrown in the deep end when my first day, with lots of clients. I find that I can’t wallow when there is still so much to be done. I just keep doing my tasks and doing the best I can. There’s rarely a thank you but when they come it means the world. Might be a good topic for the Facebook group. So many lawyers in this area.

  6. Jessica says:

    Another comment from another lawyer. I read blogs to clear the workday from my mind. Better than happy hour every night of the week.

    Though – often not cheaper, since you share so many great finds!

  7. Martie says:

    Also a lawyer and completely understand- my anxiety on behalf of my clients even lead to some medical conditions – gerd and jaundice – so I was finally forced to face my poor coping skills head on. Some of the techniques that have helped me to get a hold of my stress are yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation (pmr). You can tell yourself to relax all day long, but sometimes your body just won’t listen. These techniques, especially PMR (because it’s so easy to employ mid-work cycle), multiple times a day (basically every time I could feel the heartburn creeping up) helped me to chill out and adjust my perspective. This is a work in progress, and probably always will be, but has reaped huge, measurable benefits for me. Hope they will for anyone else reading this!

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