January starts with a bang and provides an obvious opportunity to take stock of the prior year and dream of the possibilities in the new one. My friend and paralegal of 15 years, Cindy, and I do this together once a year, reflecting on what we want more and less of at the office and how to make that happen. On the personal side, when I think about my hopes for a new year, I always think about my paternal great-grandmother Sarah Crawford and her trip to California. Born in 1883, she lived her entire life in rural Ohio. Her daughter and son-in-law, my great Aunt Pauline and great Uncle Doc, were Ohio State football fans and often attended the Rose Bowl. Grandma Crawford, as we called her, decided she wanted to attend the Rose Parade, and in 1963, at the age of 80, she traveled alone from Ohio to California by Greyhound bus to see it in person. I treasure this photo of her, taken at the Huntington Library in San Marino. What courage it must have taken to plan and execute such a grand adventure!
In 2013, I read Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir Yes, Chef, and took note of the following passage: “I’m always battling myself – the part of me that says I can and the part of me that says I can’t. My greatest gift has been that the part of me that says ‘I can’ is always, always just a little bit louder.” I wonder if Grandma Crawford battled with herself about taking that California trip. If she did, then I’m glad “I can” won out. For me, in the year ahead, my “I can” moments will include working to grow my commercial litigation practice, so that I have more receivership appointments and more litigation in addition to the Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and bankruptcy litigation that has been the bulk of my practice for the past several years. I will also help the MCB take bold steps to add value for its members.
I hope you’ll set aside a bit of time this month to be grateful for the joys and accomplishments of last year and let go of any grievances and resentments. Wipe the slate clean, and then think courageously about the year ahead of you. What do you want for yourself in 2018? What steps can you take now in this dark, cold month to make that a reality? Listen to the part of you that says “I can.”
Wishing you a wonderful 2018,