Law school drives home the reality that my son’s childhood years are fleeting, and that his time as my baby is limited and constricted. If I don’t take advantage of my time with him now, he’ll be off to college before I know it and wincing at the thought of his ole’ mama planting a wet one on his cheek.
Prior to law school, though, this reality seemed so distant. I would always have tomorrow to do that fun activity with him; there would always be next month to visit Disneyland together. Law school changed that. It created a sense of urgency—one that I had not previously felt—and I’m grateful for it.
So, when my winter break rolled around, I meticulously planned each week to accommodate family activities. Not a day was wasted (although I did fantasize about a day of doing absolutely nothing but watching Netflix in pajamas). Family activities weren’t the only ones on the agenda, as I was able to catch up with my life outside of law school in general.
Here’s a brief recap of my winter break:
• Trimmed the Christmas tree.
• Attended work-related holiday parties.
• Took my son to Disneyland.
• Caught up with non-law school friends whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time.
• My cousin and her kids came to visit me for a week.
• Took my family to Costa Rica and we snorkeled, swam, relaxed, zip-lined, and trekked through the rainforest.
It doesn’t look that intimidating in list form, but there is no way I would have been ambitious enough to fit all of those activities within the span of a few weeks had I not felt a distinct sense of urgency to utilize every moment of my break from law school to pop back into the lives of those I care about. And, boy, were epic memories made! My son thought I was fun and cool again. My friends remembered why they were friends with me. My dogs wondered why I was crazy enough to let a peculiar 3rd dog sleep in my bed (just kidding—they all got along swimmingly).
So, while law school does cause me to take a break from the things I love to do and, at times, to retreat from the people I love to be around, it also teaches me how to do what a fictional English teacher, John Keating, once said: “Carpe diem, seize the day...make your lives extraordinary.”