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PO Box 858 Firestone, CO 80520

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by Margrit Lent Parker

I learned something about myself this year‭. ‬Actually‭, ‬deep down‭, ‬I already knew it‭, ‬but this year‭, ‬I recognized it‭, ‬acknowledged‭ ‬it‭, ‬and am consciously working to prevent it and be better to myself‭. ‬In short‭, ‬I am too hard on myself‭. ‬I set goals and‭, ‬by the time I have met them‭, ‬I have already moved the goalposts‭, ‬so to speak‭, ‬so that I don’t allow myself the reward of meeting those goals and feeling a sense of accomplishment‭. ‬

Does that happen to you‭?‬

Pre-COVID‭, ‬I decided I wanted to start a law firm here at home in Firestone‭. ‬I decided to leave the downtown Denver law firm that I commuted to and practiced law at for nearly a decade‭. ‬If you consider major life changes at age 40‭ ‬to be a mid-life crisis‭, ‬I guess this was my mid-life crisis‭. ‬I had these vaguely formed ideas that there was a better way for me to live my life‭, ‬deliver great legal services‭, ‬and feel fulfilled in helping people‭.‬

So‭, ‬I gave up the steady paycheck and set about making plans and giving life to this new business and way of being‭. ‬Yes‭, ‬I dedicated myself to creating an amazing resource in Carbon Valley for quality local estate planning and business law services‭, ‬but also a huge part of this bold new step was about self-care‭. ‬This change was as much the push of a personal re-set button as it was‭ ‬the development of a new business model‭. ‬For the last decade‭, ‬I commuted‭, ‬worked long‭, ‬sedentary lawyer hours‭, ‬and‭, ‬in between‭,‬‭ ‬my husband and I barely had time to be a family for our young son‭, ‬buy groceries‭, ‬or‭, ‬heaven forbid‭, ‬find time to go for a hike‭ ‬or go to the movies‭. ‬I also love horses‭, ‬but the fun of having horses was lost in the rush to get chores done and get back to work‭.‬

My 2020‭ ‬goals for myself were clear‭, ‬in this order of priority‭: (‬1‭) ‬get enough sleep so I no longer feel permanently sleep-deprived‭; (‬2‭) ‬start exercising again to reverse the feeling that my body had atrophied into total uselessness‭; (‬3‭) ‬spend more of my weekends with family rather than constantly doing or worrying about work‭; ‬and‭ (‬4‭) ‬work toward this crazy idea of building a new kind of law firm from scratch‭.‬

My law firm opened its doors on March 9‭, ‬2020‭. ‬You know what happened just days later‭: ‬the phrase‭ ‬“social distancing”‭ ‬blew up the news and social media‭, ‬and we were all thrown into this new era of COVID-19‭. ‬I could not have timed it worse‭, ‬right‭? ‬Actually‭, ‬despite all the anxiety that I experienced this spring and summer over the state of world affairs‭, ‬I do not think it‭ ‬necessarily was bad timing‭. ‬Good or bad‭, ‬it just was‭, ‬and I kept plugging along‭.‬

I will spare the details of the journey of each of my goals‭, ‬the steps forward‭, ‬and the steps backward‭. ‬But‭, ‬I am here to tell you‮—‬really‭, ‬to tell myself‮—‬I accomplished them‭! ‬Overall‭, ‬I am more fit and feel better physically‭; ‬I feel better mentally‭; ‬and I‭ ‬have been more present and available for my family‭, ‬not just with everyday needs but also in times of crisis‭. ‬Incidentally‭, ‬I think that all of this time for self-care also helped me accomplish goal‭ #‬4‭: ‬the law firm‭. ‬I think it makes me a better lawyer for‭ ‬my clients‭ (‬I suspect this is true of any job or profession‭). ‬If I am rested and in a better physical and mental place when I show up to work‭, ‬I can focus and deliver the legal work and advice my clients need from me‭.‬

I can say all this now‭. ‬But‭, ‬I could not say it until recently‭, ‬until I caught myself and realized what I was doing‭. ‬I found myself diminishing my progress‭. ‬I was subconsciously telling myself I did not do enough‭; ‬I did not accomplish this‭, ‬or I did not accomplish that‭. ‬I was moving the goalposts on myself‭. ‬I was not giving myself the courtesy of acknowledging progress‭. ‬I reminded‭ ‬myself of the goals I set way back at the start of the year and realized that‭, ‬yes‭, ‬indeed‭, ‬I can put a check mark by each of those boxes‭. ‬Mission accomplished‭. ‬Time to set new goals for 2021‭.‬

So‭, ‬that is my lesson to myself from 2020‭. ‬In goal setting‭, ‬it is important to set realistic and achievable goals‭. ‬But perhaps it is even more important to allow myself to recognize and feel good about actually accomplishing them‭. ‬Then‭, ‬move on and set new‭ ‬goals‭. ‬It feels much better than the depressing state of having goals that continue to shift‭, ‬staying just out of reach because‭ ‬I unfairly keep re-defining them‭. ‬No more‭.‬

Here’s to 2021‭, ‬new goals‭, ‬and whatever it may bring‭!‬

Margrit Lent Parker practices law in Firestone providing estate planning and business legal services‭. ‬After over a decade of commuting to Denver‭, ‬she is now thrilled to fill a need by serving the Carbon Valley community‭, ‬where she lives with her husband and young son‭. ‬When not helping clients‭, ‬Margrit is outside with her family‭, ‬whether enjoying the great outdoors or gardening at home‭. ‬Contact Margrit at www.lentparkerlaw.com‭.‬