All posts by James

Husband. Father. Lawyer. Picture Taker. Thought Thinker.

Why My Wife’s Job Is Harder Than Mine

I work at a large, top-200 law firm in one of the ten most populous cities in the country. The hours can be grueling, there are constant deadlines, and the work is mentally demanding.  Any partner in my particular practice area can assign me work, which means I have more than 30 potential bosses.  At any given time, I am working on projects for three to five partners, all of whom believe that their assignment should take priority over any other work.  As a result, there have been many long days (and long nights).

Moreover, being a lawyer at a large firm is a high-stress endeavor.  Even small mistakes can have significant implications and, as a result, tensions can run high.  And of course, because excellence is expected, partners are unlikely to give much positive feedback for a job well done; instead, the reward for good work is more work.

It doesn’t get much better when I venture outside my office.  Lawyers are often the butt of jokes, and society, in general, has little regard for my profession.   In fact, 34% of Americans say that “lawyers contribute little to nothing to society“?

I do not share this to complain or to engender any sympathy. I’m well compensated for my work and am grateful for the opportunity to work at my firm.  My point is simply that the position of “associate” at a major law firm is generally regarded as a very difficult job. With that said, I make the following observation with great confidence: my wife’s job is harder.
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Christmas Can Be So Much More

I’m all for Santa, stockings, cookies and milk by the fireplace, presents, a Christmas tree with lights and ornaments, and all the other traditions that make Christmas a magical time for children.

BUT

If you are a Christian, Christmas can be so much more.

My two-and-a-half year old son and I were at Target a couple days ago and when we went to check out, he said, “there’s Santa!”  I could understand his confusion, as the Target employee was wearing red and, frankly, looked a lot like Santa.
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Duck Dynasty Star Shot Down By A&E

The news of Phil Robertson’s suspension is all over the internet.  The twitterverse is abuzz.  Lost in many of the stories and tweets is the full text of his relevant comments to GQ, so let’s start with those:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
. . .
Continue reading Duck Dynasty Star Shot Down By A&E

Driving the Wrong Way?

Overheard in my office today:

I’m italian…I have rage, I’m going to end up in trouble some day. You should hear me when I drive, I curse like a sailor.

This matronly woman (in age and appearance, not behavior), proceded to justify her attitude toward other drivers and to recount with glee the tactics she utilizes to prevent other cars from merging into her lane. If it isn’t perfectly clear already, the tone of her monologue was boastful, not remorseful.

C.S. Lewis once said:

Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can’t really get rid of it.

I wonder if we, as a society, are starting to shed that little voice.

“Love Yourself” – Really?

Most people are familiar with Jesus’ proclamation of the greatest commandment:

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ~ Matthew 22:34-40

I heard a Christian pastor give his explanation of the second part of this commandment; he said that it is essential that you love yourself.  He said that you can’t love your neighbor if you don’t first love yourself. I’ve heard this theory on more than one occasion and it always strikes me as ridiculous. Here is my take on it.
Continue reading “Love Yourself” – Really?

The Best Way to Ensure Your Children’s Success

There is no shortage of advice on what it takes to be a good parent and, specifically, on how to help your child be “successful.”  For example, a quick Google search for the phrase “being the best parent” revealed the following tips:

  • “Give lots of hugs and some kisses.”[1]
  •  “[A]llow ourselves to be the parent we inherently need to be.”[2]
  • “Be involved in your child’s life.”[3]

Admittedly, this is not exactly earth-shattering in terms of its insightfulness.  Nonetheless, it is advice we welcome, because it is vague and simple enough to not expose any of our shortcomings or selfishness.
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Health Confessions (or, Why I Don’t Do Crossfit)

  1. I am not enrolled in a Crossfit class. I have nothing against it, but there are very few situations I encounter on a daily—or even an annual—basis that require that level of fitness. While I enjoy physical activity and endeavor to stay reasonably fit (with varying levels of success), there are times in life where a daily 30-minute workout, in addition to the travel time and obligatory post-workout shower, must take a backseat to other obligations. At this stage in my life, the daily workout I get involves playing on the floor with my boys, taking them for “airplane” rides, and occasionally using one of them as a barbell for curls. And I wouldn’t trade that workout for the world.
  2. I do not eat “all organic.” Continue reading Health Confessions (or, Why I Don’t Do Crossfit)

Black Friday

People are already talking about Black Friday at the office, or as I like to call it, “The Dark Day After The Thankful Day Where We Wait In Long Lines Push People Out Of The Way And Spend Without Conscience, Often Using Money We Either Don’t Have Or Could Better Use, All In An Effort To Try And Synthesize Happiness Instead Of Focusing On The Blessings All Around Us.”

Disclaimer/Explanation:  And yes, I get that it is possible to find some great deals and that there are sometimes good, and even financially sound, reasons for hunting for the Black Friday deals, and I admit that I have definitely taken advantage of such deals, BUT I also think that is often not the case and it is often just an excuse to satisfy our wants. In other words, it often is not – “oh, I’ve been planning on getting a such-and-such and I can get it for 50% off”, but rather, “let’s go out and buy a bunch of crap – after all, it’s on sale!”

The sad reality is that the day AFTER Thanksgiving has–for many–become the most important day of that weekend, at the expense of Thanksgiving and the attitude of gratitude that it is meant to cultivate.   (Similarly to how Christmas has in many ways become more about “what am I gonna get” or even “what am I gonna give” instead of commemorating and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, but that’s a topic for a different post in about a month!)

Disclaimer/Explanation 2:  Yes, I realize the disclaimer/explanation part was longer than the substance of the post.