Pack It Up

Pack it up, pack it in, our next move begins.

We military families are the modern nomads.  Some spout off how many moves in the past several years – a true contest among roaming rivals.  We should wear badges of boxes – a true testament to our wandering ways.

I honestly don’t know how many times I have moved.  I could sit down and contemplate the question and come up with an accurate answer, but honestly I don’t have the time.  I really, really need to be sorting through piles of stuff, culling the crap, and focusing on the precious pieces.

You know you are a true nomad when you get the three year itch.  No, not the seven year itch.  Instead the three year itch refers to the declining interest a person has in their current geographical location and the sudden onset of the desire to move.  Immediately.  Now.  Pack it up.  Move to the next place.

I grew up in a military family.  Moving was my normalcy.  Being born in, growing up in, staying in one town, one state, one country – a totally foreign (pun intended!) concept to me.  Moving is in my blood.  I didn’t realize or embrace my inner nomad until right after law school.  Before this moving was due to me being a kid a moving with my family, going to school, and before law school working in a job where I traveled around the United States for a year.  A year on the road, living out of a suitcase, while exciting, is a tiring prospect.  I was ready for three years of law school in one school, one town, and one place.  But then, unexpectedly, it hit during the middle of 3L.  The three year itch.  I needed to move, NOW!  Since I had to wait until law school and the bar exam was done, I did what all reasonable recent law graduates do…pack up a U-Haul and move from one coast all the way to the other coast.

Moving forces organization.  Sometimes this can be painful, looking through boxes and coming across old mementos and memories best left forgotten.  Sometimes it can bring pleasure, tears of joy over finding a precious piece of your life.

So this move, we prepare to move from one foreign country to the next.  We really are being forced to go through our things.  What is truly needed, what is truly necessary.  What are we hanging on to that isn’t helpful?  Why can’t we let it go?

Moving is much like practicing law.  We represent the client trying to move them from place A to place B.  We are the nomads, ushering our client through the rough terrain of modern law practice.  We know where we want to end up.  In order to get there we start looking through our legal house, opening boxes of past precedent; current law; new ideas; the list goes on and on.  Just as going through all the stuff in our houses can be overwhelming and difficult to organize, figuring out what is needed to properly and zealously represent your client can be difficult.  Many times we want to keep everything.  Why throw out this chipped cup…I mean it is a small chip, it could still be used, you never know when you might need it.  It is often just as difficult to throw out an argument we are wedded to for reasons known and unknown.  We want to keep everything in the motion.  We can’t cut it or get rid of it.

I know it is hard, but get rid of the old stuff.  The stuff you won’t need in the new place you are moving toward.  The stuff that doesn’t really advance your client’s position.  Streamline your argument.  Make it leaner, tougher, lighter – easier to move from one point to the next.

On that note, I need to get back to going through the stuff in my house.  I need to pack it up, pack it out.  I am ready to get rid of the unnecessary items to make my move easier, lighter, and get my nomad family to our next destination.

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