The sun will come out tomorrow…
Those are powerful words made famous in the musical, Annie. The little orphan that really was more like a giant because of her positive attitude about life. She loved, and in the end, was so loved!
I know, it’s a story. But the message is universal.
Right now in Rochester, we would literally LOVE to see the real sun come out. It has been a long, cold, snowy winter, and spring has yet to show up. We feel as though we are living under a grey, wet blanket. We are so sick of the rain. That is all everyone is talking about. The doctor has increased my Vitamin D and told me with a smirk, to “spend more time in the sun”! When will the sun come out?
I hear from members how over the top busy they are, both at home and the office, and for many of you, at the MCBA and the Foundation as well. When will you get some breathing room? When will the sun come out so you can get out from some of the tasks lists and enjoy life? Rake the yard? Plant your garden? Take a walk without a coat? Play some golf or tennis?
So this morning, like I do most mornings, I go to the gym, I scan several newspapers on my phone. Once home, I turn on the national news as I am getting ready. the headlines are depressing:
- 111 tornadoes have gone through 6 states in the past week. The destruction is overwhelming. 35 lives are lost. People are injured. And the storms are still coming.
- The floods in Florida are the worst in decades.
- A beautiful 17 month-old girl died here in Rochester, leaving heartbreak and people asking why?
- And last night two people in Rochester were shot and killed in two separate events within a period of 3 hours. This is happending on almost a daily basis, the lives of young people in the city are dying as a result of drugs, guns, and the systemic issues that plague our city. Again, families left with heartbreak and asking why?
- The NBA did the right thing in banning Donald Sterling for life. But the fact that this outrageously offensive incident is even taking place in 2014 is incomprehensible.
- The Ukraine and Russia are on the brink of cold war.
- Our country has soldiers defending our country and other countries all over the world, with their lives at risk, and their families simply wanting them home and safe.
- There is unimaginable heartbreak in Malaysia and in Korea as families grieve the losses of their families and their children.
- Not in today’s headlines, but on the minds of the MCBA is the numbers of unemployed new lawyers that are either still looking for work, or having no choice but to hang their own shingle because they are facing thousands and thousands of dollars worth of law school debt.
- And the list goes on…
I finally had to set the papers down, turn the news off, and just reflect a little about all the sun that I do have in my life, and I thought I would encourage you to do the same. Here is my inventory about where the sun is shining in my life:
- I woke early. It was grey and cloudy. I went to the gym, where it felt sunny inside, had a great workout, and am feeling ready to conquer the day.
- I am having a good hair day, which is great considering the Law Day Luncheon is a few hours away, and “good hair days” are not a guarantee in this life.
- I left my house in a great new raincoat today that is smaller and much cooler than the BIG old one I had for several years, because there is less of me.
- When I left the house this morning, the house was standing, the roof was in tact. It is a great little house, and nothing is falling apart. The yard does need some spring cleaning, and in time, I will get to that.
- I drove to work, walked in the front door of this incredible Telesca Center for Justice. The satisfaction of walking through that lobby with no dusty escalator is a highlight of my daily life. As I turn the corner to the elevators, I am greeted by the beautiful portrait of Hanna Cohn. Every morning, I say a quiet, “Good morning Hanna!”
- I then arrive on the 10th floor, with the new carpet that resulted from the flooding last summer. We had to re-carpet, and do quite a bit of painting. But the good news is, the insurance company covered it in its entirety, and that included a modest carpet upgrade which will wear even better with all the foot traffic through this office.
- There was a meeting underway in one of the conference rooms with a dedicated group of attorneys, so committed to this bar that we are the first stop in their day. This group reflects all of you that show up every day and work so hard for the MCBA, the Foundation, or one of the partners in the Telesca Center.
- I look around the MCBA office, and am surrounded by a great team of people that are all so dedicated to you, the MCBA members. With the Law Day Luncheon today at noon, final preparations are underway. Ginny’s phone has rung with a few last minute registrants, and with a smile she is taking care of you. Liz and Dae are making some changes to the presentation and doing a double check on all the other details. It will be another great luncheon where we celebrate the profession, all of you, and the mission that we are all about — ensuring justice for all.
- My kids are all great! Aidan is graduating from MCC this month, and going on to St. John Fisher in the fall. I am so proud. Claire has secured a PAID summer internship in Boston, and will graduate in May of 2015. Wow! Brian has been selected to lead a group of his golf club members on a trip to Scotland in August to play for a week. What a gig! Mom is good. My brothers are all good. I’m good. Life is good!
- Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of challenges, like we all do, but when I do the inventory, the sun is out in my world.
However, I was reminded of this again in a recent phone call with my brother, David, the other night. David is Executive Director of a non-profit, CHABHA, in Rwanda, Sub-Saharan Africa. CHABHA stands for Children Affected by HIV/AIDS and is about supporting children living with AIDS/HIV that have been orphaned by their parents lost to the epidemic. David is passionate about his work, and spends most of his time in the states working hard to raise funds. But twice a year, or more, he returns to Rwanda for extended stays to work with his staff in Rwanda on programming. They have programs on farming, vocational training, and always education. David visits home with dirt floors, and no running water, where the eldest in the home may be a 16 year old caring for their two young siblings. A world I cannot even imagine, and yet when you look at the beautiful faces of the adults and children invested in CHABHA, the sun is out in their lives every day. David is coming home for Mother’s Day (so the sun is out in Mom’s world) and will no doubt bring stories of his most recent trip. If you want to learn more, check out www.chabha.org. It may bring a little sunshine into your world.
So my message today is not about scolding us about our whining about the weather, and complaining about life in Rochester, and about being too busy, but instead about encouraging each of us to take our own personal inventory, recognizing that things could be far worse. The sun is coming out in our lives every day, we simply have to look for it, and appreciate the small rays of sun that do appear. So in the month of May, visit the MCBA website, and check out some of the many bar activities. Lots of great CLE’s. Our next BarSTOP is a great new location — Label 7 out in Pittsford — and it’s being sponsored by Kammholz Messina, LLP and Canandaigua National Bank. We will have both the bar space, and the patio, so I just know the sun will be out on May 15th. This is also the BarSTOP that we will be encouraging our mentors and mentees to come to so they can meet in person as part of our Mentor for a Moment Program. Mark your calendar now! We are also hosting a super Speakers Forum on Income Inequality moderated by the always great, Mike Wolford. And the list goes on.
So, the sun will come out today, especially if you are in attendance at today’s Law Day Luncheon, surrounded by your friends and colleagues celebrating the profession you all are passionate about. But if for some reason the sun does not come out, call a friend, arrange for a glass of wine. Go to a great play or movie. Take a hike in the rain. Throw a small dinner party. I am always available for all the above mentioned activities! We can make the sun come out in our lives, it just may not be the real sun.
Happy Law Day!
Thanks for checking in,