Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, May 27, 2011


I live my life looking backwards in the rear view mirror.  What I mean by this is that I never realize how good my life is when I am actually in it.  Instead, I appreciate moments after they have passed when I am looking back in remembrance. 

I was reminded of this today when I got a email from my former secretary that I worked with when I was at the big firm in Houston.  My secretary, let's call her Linda, was simply fabulous (I try not to use adverbs, but one is appropriate here).  Linda resembled a young Morgan Fairchild and dressed better than the attorneys.  Linda was an old school secretary.  She formatted my motions, edited my text, wrote my letters, organized my office, and tracked my calendar and billable hours.  She even fed my cats when I was on vacation.  To say Linda was organized is an understatement of epic proportions.  And, she was wicked smart. 

We were friends from the start.  Linda was the clutter free yin to my disheveled yang.  We were sisters in a prior life. 

One day, I had a discovery production due.  There were hundreds and hundreds (maybe thousands) of documents to produce to the opposing side.  Linda and I spent days together in a conference room organizing everything.  I reviewed the documents and Linda put on the bates stamps (for those who don't know what a bates stamp is, it is like a bar code).

At some point, Linda and I were so tired that we made stupid mistakes and kept on having to start over.  Instead of getting frustrated, we pretended we were Lucy and Ethyl in the chocolate factory assembly line.  In the hell called a civil litigation discovery production we had a blast and we made our deadline (just barely).

Another time, I was bugging Adrian about marriage and Linda loaned me a huge fake diamond to wear.  Adrian asked where I got the ring and I told him, "It's a fake but I told everyone it was from you.  So you better hurry up and ask me and get me a real ring."  It didn't work.  Linda and I shared many a laugh on that one.

I never stopped complaining for the entire three years I lived in Houston.  What was my problem?  I was in my early thirties and had plenty of friends.  The people in Houston were amazing.  I worked at the number one law firm and attended black tie dinners every month.  The money was good.  Cost of living was low. 

Every workday, my colleague Nancy and I walked to Starbucks with another associate named David.  We sat and sipped our coffees and talked about all the funny things that happened at work.  We called the talks our "episodes" and cast our fellow co-workers and one another (Nancy was self cast as Susan Sarandon, David was Alfonso Ribeiro and I was Drew Barrymore). 

I can picture my younger self sitting at the Starbucks and want to scream in my ear, "One day you will look back and realize that you are having the time of your life.  Appreciate it, you foolish girl."

Unfortunately, I do not have a time traveling DeLorean.  But, from now on I pledge to appreciate my life in the moment.  I want to appreciate the next decade while I am living it, not after.  My goal is to be present in the here and now.

What the hell.  Maybe one day I will look back and think, shit, that time with the moms in the house wasn't so bad after all.


  1. I remember you writing about this rearview-mirror thinking on one of the open mics. I tend to be future-oriented instead: always looking for the next good thing. It's the same problem, though. Good luck with your resolve to appreciate the present!

  2. Awww...I'm glad you are still in touch with her though! You should consider mindfulness, my Mom teaches it -- in Midland, Michigan so that won't help you but I bet you could find a place nearby.