By Sarah Valdes • December 31, 2020•Ms. JD, Writers in Residence
As we wrap up 2020, and I sit down to write my final post as a Ms. JD Writer in Residence, I can’t help but laugh. You read that right: laugh. When I applied to write for Ms. JD, I set out to cross off one of my resolutions, to get outside of my comfort zone. I decided that I would focus on community and our place within certain groups. After the first quarter of the year, the world looked very different than what I expected. Group yoga classes turned into a short session where I rearranged the coffee table in my living room. Voluntary bar association events turned into meetings where everyone was reduced to square boxes. Needless to say, it was different. But what I learned in 2020 is that different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. For all my fellow lady lawyers out there using the last day of the year to reflect, I wanted to share some of what I have taken away from being a Ms. JD Writer in Residence this year:
Carpe Diem: I realize this sounds a little cliché. Ok, very cliché. Ok, it sounds like something you’d yell at a college party, but this phrase resonated a little differently this year. I took for granted that at any point in my life, I could easily visit family that lives nearby. I could take up that group fitness class. I could always join whatever professional development group I wanted. It would always be there, right? While I, like many others, found ways to adapt, I realized that even the most mundane things weren’t necessarily always going to be there. My reflections in preparation for each post, created a sense of urgency. I realized that I couldn’t always put off things I wanted to do for the perfect time. The time is now.
Resilience: To the moms out there juggling virtual school while taking depositions, the young moms trying to practice ABCs while preparing discovery, you all have taught me so much about putting one foot in front of the other to keep things going. To the law students reading this post, I see you and you are amazing. These students have had to adapt to the pressures of law school, home life, a global pandemic, racial injustice, and more. And I’m here to tell you they are figuring it out.
Let Go of the Plan: This year I had to let go of my meticulous outline for this column. I quickly had to realize that I would have to be more flexible with my writing schedule as I juggled new responsibilities. I learned that I was going to have to shift the way I thought of community. It wasn’t all going to be about attending activities in person. And you know what? It all turned out fine.
Thank you to all those who have read my column in the past year. I am grateful for the opportunity to share a piece of me and hope to see many lady lawyers continue to contribute to Ms. JD and this blog.