Country Road

Today was one of those wondrous, wide-open autumn days. And since my 3 year old desperately needed a nap, I packed him in the SUV and did something that these days is politically incorrect: I took a drive.

I drove out toward the country, in a big loop whose return followed a gorgeous creekside road. Curving through the dappled shade, beside running water, the road then becoming a furrow line alongside the fields. Azure sky, purplish pastures, the whole nine yards.

And the point of all this country rambling? The same as my assignment to you yesterday: I went and did something fun, something that filled some deep well inside me. And something a lot of people wouldn’t approve of.

Let me tell you, it was hard to let myself do it. Even though I had the perfect excuse of a tired, napless preschooler, I kept thinking of all the practical reasons I shouldn’t:

  • The price of gas;
  • The environmental cost of driving an SUV (a small one, but still) for miles;
  • Nothing checked off my to-do list; and
  • Nothing to show for my time, except a rested kid (maybe that is tangible, but it didn’t feel like it).

Even when you’re not practicing law, it is hard in this society to put necessary spiritual needs ahead of hyperventilating task lists. We’re American, we’ve got STUFF TO DO. And if you’re a practicing lawyer in a firm, you have to worship at the billable hours altar. That makes it 7 times as hard, at least.

But believe this: You will cut your journey out of the law firm battlefield by half if you make time for these forays of fun. They may be the only time you have a chance to hear yourself think. You need to practice tuning into that voice. I won’t tell you it’s easy, but ultimately, it’s what will help you the most, if you let it.

Jennifer Alvey is a recovering lawyer who coaches unhappy attorneys on getting what they truly want out of work and life. She offers discounted sample sessions so you can try out coaching and experience its unique power. Email Jennifer at to schedule yours today.

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