Coffee Break: Total Motion

We’ve included the Rockport Total Motion pump in a lot of roundups over the years (most recently in our roundup of stylish comfort heels), but I don’t think we’ve ever done a Coffee Break just featuring this one. Things to know: First, Rockport has an entire line of Total Motion shoes — they all feature a “lightweight comfort system designed to provide shock absorption in the heel and rebound at the forefoot,” and readers have been dying over these Total Motion ballet flats. If you’re looking for a traditional, classic heel, though, the 75mm / 3″ pump is where it’s at. It comes in neutral colors (and sometimes fun ones, as well), medium and wide widths for sizes 5-11, and gets rave reviews at Nordstrom, Zappos, and Amazon (where they have some lucky sizes discounted as low as — whoa — $20). It’s only $120 full price, so it’s definitely affordable whether on sale or not — nice. ‘Total Motion’ Pump

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  1. I have the exact shoe pictured. FYI, it runs a half size large, so order down.

    • D. Meagle :

      I have a pair with a 2.5 heel. Love them. Like sticking my feet in a pillow, but not ugly or matronly. I found they run a little small, went half size up.

    • Yay Kat! I totally love ROCKPORT, but never saw cute pump’s like these, Kat!!! My Rockports in the past have been clunky booties that are waterproof, and could probabley be worn by men w/o even knowing they were for women and visa versa!!!!!!

      Speaking of clunky, did anyone in the HIVE see the haircut of that foreign goverment leader in Sunday’s paper? Who in the world is his Barber? Now I supose our own Trump’s hair is a little off kilta, but OMG, my old poodle, Pinky, got haircuts that looked alot better then that! Even Grandma Trudy was in disbeleif when she saw that head! FOOEY she said!

    • Anonymous :

      I also have multiple pairs.

      They go on sale at various websites all the time.

    • They stretch like crazy. If you have a wide foot, don’t bother ordering the wide width. Order the medium width and wait it out.

  2. I just got a new (personal) laptop and seem to have forgotten how to set up a computer – any advice on software/apps? It’s a MacBook Air

    • What are you trying to do? A Mac comes with most software you need, so its just a matter of configuring your email and such. If you have an old Mac you can use their built in tool to transfer everything over, including settings – I think you can even transfer files using it from a PC.

    • I just love apps :

      Agree with AZCPA above; it should all be there! But if you’re looking for new apps, I’d recommend Scapple (for mind mapping/freestyle outlining), Scrivener (if you write a lot; it’s way better than Word), Byword (great light word processor for writing blog posts or first drafts of things, Wunderlist (to do list), Magnet (to resize windows), Daisy Disk (to clean your hard drive), Alfred (better than spotlight), flux (to dim the blue light as bedtime approaches). Hmm, I guess I just love apps.

  3. It's A Boy :

    This week we found out our baby is a boy, and I am so disappointed. And I’m even more disappointed in myself for feeling disappointed. I know I should be happy that he is currently a perfectly healthy baby. This is our second and probably final child, and our first is also a boy (whom I adore more than the world)…. so this means I will probably never have the daughter I always imagined having. I thought I would be equally happy to have another boy, because it will be so streamlined and easy to reuse all of big brother’s things, they may do the same activities and have some of the same friends, etc., and how special it is for them to have a brother/brother relationship. But I am just sad.

    We could possibly have a third child, but DH definitely does not want to, and I only want to because I want a girl– and of course, that could be a third boy, and then I’d feel even more ridiculous than I do now. I don’t really have a question, but thanks for letting me whine. I promise I am excited and will love this little boy….

    • Totally normal.

    • It’s OK to have your feelings, and having seen a few such threads over the years, feel free to ignore all the people who make you feel guilty and tell you stories about women who can’t conceive and would be glad to have this problem…

    • Anonymous :

      I felt the exactly same way. I will tell you that my second boy is the absolute light of our lives. While I didn’t ever get the girl I always wanted (my husband felt the same way as yours did about a third), my time on this earth was well spent if the only thing I ever did was give birth to my second. I love my first, but it is a more complicated relationship. Also, baby number two is SO MUCH FUN. Don’t beat yourself up – all this is totally normal. I hope you have a similar experience to mine. And, congratulations, Mummy!

      • Yeah, I had a bit of the same disappointment when I found out my second was a boy, but watching the special bond form between two brothers who have the same interests and love each other fiercely has been an extraordinary experience that I wouldn’t exchange for anything.

    • Anonymous :

      Totally normal and I think you’ll get over it with time and a sweet baby in your arms.

      It sounds like you’re leaning this way anyway, but please don’t naturally conceive a third child if you’d only be doing that to get a girl. I have a friend that was in this situation – three children, two older sisters and the parents basically only had a third in hopes of having a boy and made it very clear to her as she was growing up that she was basically unwanted because their vision for their family was two kids and they only had her in an attempt to have a son, and she failed at that. She has a very messed up relationship with her parents as a result, whereas her two older sisters were ok, because as the first two kids, they fit into the parents’ original vision of their family even if they weren’t the right gender.

      I just think there is a big difference between having X number of kids because you want X number of kids, while hoping for a particular gender(s) (which is natural and very common) and having X+1 number of kids because the first X kids weren’t the kinds you wanted.

      • I think that’s a very specific, and very pathological, situation. I am trying to conceive a third, with the hopes of a girl. If it’s a boy, I will love him to pieces and with equal measure to his two brothers.

    • Anon for this :

      I was you two years ago. And posted here. And was told, like you, that this is a normal reaction. Turns out, two boys is the most fun. They adore each other, and I can’t imagine it turning out any other way. None of this is advice, except to say: give yourself time, your feelings are normal. Hugs.

    • I had such a pang of disappointment when my second son was born. But truly, it turned out wonderfully. And I did get a daughter (OK daughter in law) years later, and she’s just amazing. It’s like having a child with none of the work.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry. Same road, tried for 3rd to be a girl, now have 3 boys. I love them all but they exhaust me and I still have pangs for a girl, that will never go away. I get it.

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      Totally ok to be disappointed! I have a son and would like a girl as a second (mostly so we can raise them exactly the same and screw gender norms!) but then I think of my husband, who was the second son and is just an all-around awesome person and how sad I would be if he wasn’t around. Also, there is no guarantee that your real-life daughter would be anything like the girl you imagined. If there is some activity you are hoping to experience by having a daughter, can you do that with friends or with your sons?

      • It’s also entirely possible that your second son won’t be very stereotypically “boy” either–he might love ballet! Or even identify as not a boy. You just have no idea who this little person is going to be he develops his personality/sense of self. But no need to beat yourself up–mourn the lost possibility and then get ready for all the other possibilities.

    • Anonymous :

      Search Washington Post – Carolyn Hax had a column on this recently and she agreed it’s normal.

    • Anonymous :

      I got pregnant after two years of trying and six months of fertility treatments, and I still went through some mourning when I found out I was having a boy. I had always pictured myself having a girl, and that was hard to let go of. My son is amazing and I wouldn’t trade him for anything. But I felt how I felt and you feel how you feel. It will pass. Congrats on your pregnancy.

    • Anonymous :

      Have more kids! Maybe your husband will change his mind after the second comes along and he sees you both can handle it. Men are about the here and now. Once he has two, three is not a big deal.

      If you have a third you could always do IVF and pick a female embryo. Expensive option but guaranteed result.

      • Anonymous :

        This is so crazy and very likely to be a complete disaster. What if the female embryos grows up to be a tomboy who couldn’t care less about princesses? Or even, gasp, identifies as male? Please do not do this.

        • I don’t think the OP wanted a girl because she likes princesses. Probably a tomboy/trans/etc would also have been fine. Maybe she just likes pink baby clothes and that’s it.

  4. Anonymous :

    Has anyone seen any silly summer associate fashion faux pas this year?

    I’ve been on the lookout, and today I saw my first big one — a summer who couldn’t have been taller than 5’1, wearing a suit with a skirt that was basically a miniskirt (barely made it down to mid-thigh). I would have thought as short as she was, literally every other suit skirt out there would have been long enough for work.

    • Graphic tee and painted-on pants, the former being expressly called out in the dress code as prohibited.

      • … what are painted-on pants…?! Do you mean they were super tight? Made from paint? Covered in paint?

    • The short skirts from SAs are RIDICULOUS. I don’t even know where they buy these suits, but I know they must all be wearing petite, whether they need to or not.

    • A perfectly acceptable button down shirt tied at the bottom, exposing midriff above her pencil skirt.

      • Anonymous :

        Wow, that’s pretty bad.

      • I had no idea Britney Spears ended up in law school!

        • Marie Curie :

          She ended up in physics.

          • Anonymous :

            I used to work with semiconductor laser diode patents and some of the (male) partners that I worked with were obsessed the Britney Spears Guide to Semiconductor Physics. I can’t deny that it had a lot of useful information and was actually very helpful for figuring out how to explain things to the court in language that a non-scientist could understand, but ugh I thought it was so sexist and gross.

    • Mini-skirt with a maxi-skirt lace overlay and an off the shoulder crop-top. Mini-skirt did not cover her rear. Lace on maxi skirt was extremely open. The top exposed both stomach and cleavage. She was asked to cover up and put on a zip-up hoodie which was actually longer than the mini skirt part of the ensemble.

      I think she confused “business casual dress code” with “coachella”

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      We don’t pay our interns (public service….) and schools don’t give nearly enough in grants to make any sort of clothing purchases affordable (like, barely enough to pay rent for two months, let alone the 3 needed to get through the summer), and I remember making some pretty serious fashion faux-pas my first summer, so I try to cut them some slack, but our office is not casual enough for shorts on guys and one of the intern is wearing salmon-colored shorts and flip flops today. Duuuuude.

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t decide how I feel about this – hair that is dyed gray. Obvi naturally gray hair is perfectly work appropriate. But intentionally dyeing your hair gray seems a little… pinteresty?… for a conservative environment. Either that or I’ve officially become old and stodgy. #getoffmylawn

    • I just wish our interns would slip their shoes back on before walking to the printer.

    • Do any of you actually address this with the interns, or do you just judge them all summer?

      • Anonymous :

        If it’s an egregious or recurring problem, I’ll let HR know. Otherwise I’ll just chuckle, remember when I did the exact same thing when I was in their shoes, and move on with my day.

    • Ours have all been dressed perfectly appropriately – men and women both – and I’m impressed with how well they’ve pulled it off.

    • Lots of maxi dresses and skirts. I might be able to understand a muted/ solid but they have all been loud prints/ bright stripes. Looks like beach-wear and stuck out in out pretty formal office. Technically not addressed in our dress code, but HR had to put out a definition of business attire that excluded maxi-type attire.

  5. Pre-Weekend Musings :

    If you had one free week in which you could go anywhere and do anything and cost didn’t matter, where would you go and what would you do?

    • I would get a cabin near the lake and alternate between reading novels and kayaking on the lake. In addition, I would hire a chef for the duration of that week to make me Thai food/fresh pasta/cookies/custom ice cream flavors/cool food from Pinterest that I could never hope to imitate.

      And I would ignore all contact with the outside world.

      • Anonymous :

        I went on a trip where we rented a house that came with a housekeeper/cook. We just asked her to make her favorites/what sounded good to give us a taste of the local flavor. And it was marvelous not to have to make any food decisions all week.

    • I would hop a plane to some place I’ve never been in Europe. Once there I would skip all the touristy stuff and just eat and drink and walk absolutely everywhere.

    • cat socks :

      I would take a private jet to Bora Bora and stay in one of those huts that sit over the water. Eat a lot of food, get massages daily, swim in the ocean, sit on the beach with a book and cocktail.

      • Anonymous :

        Same, but Maldives since I’ve been to Bora Bora.

      • +1. It’s a dream of mine to go there, but I can’t bring myself to spend what it costs.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Actually doing this in October (except for the private jet). Expensive, yes. But this is the first time in my life when I have money and time. I’m taking advantage! FWIW, I found an Aussie travel agent to book everything. They are more familiar with that part of the world than US travel agents IME.

    • I’d stay in an agriturismo on some beautiful Italian coast and rotate between swimming, painting, trips to the market, and gourmet cooking classes.

    • Linda from HR :

      I’d go to Europe, spend some time in Paris (went there last month and loved it!) and then check out a city I haven’t been to yet, probably somewhere in Germany or Italy.

    • I’d take some scuba classes and buy new equipment, charter a sailboat (with a crew and divemaster), and sail someplace in the Caribbean. I did this with a tour group in St. Vincent & the Grenadines about 15 years ago, and it was truly an amazing trip.

      Or a Galapagos cruise.

      • Anonymous :

        I really want to do this but my husband hates boats and I don’t have any friends that will leave their husbands and kids for long enough to do this with me. Did you go solo? Is it hard to find a group of people to join? Are there ones that are good for 35 year-olds who don’t really drink or are they pretty much all party boats?

        • Anonymous :

          Blackbeards Cruises out of the Bahamas are more akin to camping while diving than a luxury boat but it’s a fun group. The other guests mostly run older but adult kids and young adventure-seeking guys without a ton of money are also on the boat.

          Single Divers dot com specializes in group trips that are for buddy-less divers. I found the group fun but my parents’ age when I joined them for a trip 8 years ago. Most people were late 40s to early 60s.

        • Honestly, the trip I did was a “camp”-like trip for teenagers (like ActionQuest, but a different and now-defunct company). I’d like to do it the trip as an adult, only private/charter. That’s not even close to in my budget, but OP asked, so I dreamed big! Also, my husband would probably love to do this type of thing in theory, but he gets seasick, so it wouldn’t be a good idea.

    • Anonymous :

      Go to a Canyon Ranch or similar resort and unplug, eat good food, and take classes

    • Ski Chile in the summer or Alps in the winter, relax in the hot tub and read novels by the fire at night in a private ski in-ski out villa. Alternate days on the slopes with days at a spa, and not feel bad about dropping a G on spa indulgences.

  6. Paging AnonyMove :

    I just saw you asking for Berlin ‘rettes on the other thread (living in this time zone, it sure is different keeping up with the posting schedule/commenting activity of this community). We should make contact as I am in Berlin now, about to move to the Bay Area! If you post a throwaway address, I’ll write you for sure

  7. Career TJ :

    I’m in the first year of my first academic postdoc position, there is a major conference in my field at the end of the year i.e. in December, but this is also the time that I would like to take time off to visit my family—they live on another continent and I rarely get to see them due to distance and also cost because as a student most times I could not afford the trip. So even though I love conferences and the opportunity to meet people in my field, this year I really feel like missing out in favour of going to see them is something I am willing to do especially since I can afford to make the trip.I’m just wondering how to approach my boss with this,I have thought a compromise would be having him present a poster on my behalf (I did this in my previous research group when cost to attend a conference was high enough that not everyone could go). My official contract for the job guarantees 5 days at the end of the year for a break but I would need to take more. This is something I am thinking of bringing up say at the end of August or in Sept. So apart from making sure that I am productive in these summer months work-wise, what other things can I do to make sure that my asking for a couple weeks away at the end of the year seems justifiable. FWIW, the boss is a fairly approachable person but I want to also make sure that I plan ahead adequately.

    • Career TJ :

      Oops…did not mean to repeat the word “first” more than once in the opening sentence

    • Anonymous :

      Is having him present your poster a good thing or a bad thing to him? Seems rather important that you would be the one to do that. I’m not a post-doc, but in my line of work, you would try not to miss a major conference for travel that could be arranged at other times (especially if you were expected to present there).

    • Anon for this :

      So, I’m an academic but a different field, judging from your description. My instinct would be to think about whether there are other venues that make equal sense for presenting your research. I have a big yearly conference, but it wouldn’t be a huge deal to miss it as long as I am presenting elsewhere during the year. Can you put together a plan for submitting to a few conferences over the next year, and then bring that to your boss, so the conversation is not “I plan to skip this conference” but “here’s my plan for the year. For personal reasons, I don’t think I’ll be able to make conference A, but I am excited about the possibilities of conferences B & C for [reasons].”

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not sure I understand why you have to visit your family in December. You say you can’t afford it most times, but December is actually one of the most expensive times of the year to fly. I understand you can’t go when classes are in session, but why can’t you visit this summer? I would plan to do that (ask permission from your advisor if necessary, but no reasonable advisor would be upset about a postdoc taking a week or two off in the summer to visit family in a foreign country).

      I think it depends on the field some what, but skipping the main conference of the year is not a good look for a postdoc in general, unless there is a conflicting event that is out of your control, like a family member’s wedding or funeral. Just wanting to visit your family then doesn’t seem like a good excuse to me.

      • Career TJ :

        December is also the only time of the year that the entire family has a get-together, I’m alone here so I guess this is why this matters so much. I have tried a summer visit as you suggest which at the time also coincided with a wedding and it was really hard to get people to give you time as they are all at work. Unlike the US/Canada when summer is the time to take a break there it is December.

        Also in my area of specialization, summer is for field work so probably even more inconveniencing in terms of not being there to keep projects moving forward

        • Anonymous :

          Missing a major work conference to visit your family at a time that’s more convenient for your family just isn’t really done. How long is the conference? If it’s only a week or two, you could probably also squeeze in a week with your family over winter break, right? If not, sorry, but I think you just have to visit your family some other time – maybe fall or spring break if summer is for fieldwork. I don’t care what your contract says about being guaranteed a break of five days at the end of the year – if you’re not willing to forego that break to present at a major conference you don’t have a future in academia. One of the most important things people who succeed in academia understand is that it will never be a 9-5 M-F job.

    • Anonymous :

      Why can’t you go see your family after the conference?

      The whole point of a post doc is doing this stuff right?

    • You have two problems here. The first is that you want more time off than your contract grants you. The second is that you want to take time off at a time that conflicts with your work. If I were your boss and you were asking me for more time off, I would expect you to schedule it at a time that does not interfere with your job (unless it’s totally unavoidable, like a wedding or funeral). I also would not be happy if you asked me to cover for you by making a presentation (perhaps it’s different in your field). Adult professionals schedule their vacations around their work commitments.

    • Professor :

      As a STEM faculty member (and a postdoc not so long ago), this is very context dependent. Is this THE conference that everyone goes to, or are there other meetings you could attend instead? I wouldn’t mind presenting my postdoc’s work at a meeting I was already attending if they were able to present the lab’s work at another meeting a few months later. Bring it up as soon as possible, though (my big Dec. meeting has abstracts due in less than a month) and be okay with it if he says no. In my experience, it’s reasonably common for foreign postdocs to take a week or two in the summer or over the winter holidays to go back to their home country, as long they’ve taken care of any obligations regarding lab or field work. Doing it around Christmas is generally less disruptive than other times, so probably a good bet timewise- can you really not just go after the conference?

  8. Favorite Silk Camisoles/Tanks? :

    That could be worn alone or under a blazer for work? I’m trying to improve my casual/weekend wear but I’d love something that would do double duty. Are Grana, Everlane, or Cuyana worth it?

  9. Anonymous :

    In my business casual office there seems to be an age divide around age 40-ish between the people who went straight from college dressing to business casual. They wear flat casual sandals, ankle pants, tee-shirts and unstructured sweaters. Then we have the older group who went from business attire at the start of their careers down to business casual. For them business casual is dress pants or pencil skirt, pumps, nice blouse, and structured sweater. There is a very clear distinction. Does being in the latter category mark someone as old/out of touch or mature and responsible or does it just not matter.

    • Country Biscuits :

      Wow, you have just described my office, and a great explanation for it as well! I never thought of that. One of them told me she’d look like a nun if she bought clothes at AT. But then she wears hoochie-ish shoes, with said ankle pants/jeans/tees/big sweaters.

      As an over 40, I think I, or WE, would look ridiculous in those getups. I don’t think I’m kidding anyone that I’m mature, so if I look out of touch/responsible, so be it, you know?

    • Anonymous :

      Well, the first group are dressing casual, not business casual. The second (older) group is actually doing business casual.

      • Country Biscuits :

        True. As long as it’s not jeans, they are calling it business casual. Fridays are a lot worse!

      • Word. I went straight from college to business casual and I don’t think I’ve ever worn a t-shirt to work, even when I was in the field. Also, flat shoes can be casual, business casual, or even business formal.

        • OP said flat sandals. Not professional. Ballet flats can be, depending what they look like.

          • I am aware of what OP said. She also referred to pumps as business casual. There are pumps that do not fall into the business casual or business formal category. There is an inherent bias on this site conflating womens flat shoes with being less formal.

      • When I started out I always dressed slightly more formally than my business casual office because I was so young. Things must have changed!

    • Ankle pants can be dress pants. Flat sandals I might give a pass on considering it’s freaking July and it’s well over 100 heat index in a lot of places. Depends on the sandals.

      I’m also not sure the dividing line is so much about fashion choices as job description. I rarely meet with investors. People my age who do dress more formally than I do.

    • Lawyer in-house :

      I know what you mean about the divide, but it doesn’t seem to be age-related in my office. The people who are pushing the envelope tend to be a bit older and have been here a while. I’ve worked in business casual environments for years though (I’m now mid-30s) and have always dressed a bit more formally. I think it just depends on the person, how tuned in they are to perceptions based on what they wear, and how much they care about those perceptions.

    • Small Law :

      In my office, and from what I see in Court, 40+ women dress more casual than under 40. I (under 40) wear full suit to every Court appearance and I am usually the only female attorney in such an attire. I see lots of “structured” cardigans, sheath dresses, and bright collar-less blazers. All the male attorneys wear full suits with little exception.

  10. Has anybody ordered from SheIn? I’m not usually one for fast fashion, so I’m wondering whether the quality is really that bad. I take good care of my clothes. Some of their stuff is gorgeous.

    • Country Biscuits :

      I know – I see those ads and they look amazing! But I’ve seen terrible reviews on MUA and maybe here as well. Terrible as in CS and quality.

    • Believe it :

      The quality really is that bad.

  11. thank you gift? :

    My sweet, hardworking, and talented secretary went above and beyond to do a personal favor for me in a moment of panic last week. I’d really like to do something for her to thank her, but I’m not sure what, or how to present it without being awkward/tacky/weird in some way. Basically I want her to know that she’s valued. She’s fairly new to our firm, so I don’t know her likes and dislikes. Starbucks card? (I don’t see her drinking gallons of coffee) Wine?

    • If it was me, I think I’d leave a card at her desk with an amazon gift card in it. I’d take the time to write in the card how her actions positively impacted me and how much she is valued at work. This way, she has something as a keepsake (the card) and something she can use (the gift card) in any way she sees fit.

      As nice as specific gift cards are, I remember being a college student (with a budget to match) and appreciating restaurant gift cards but feeling weird about having a fancy meal while I could barely afford t0ilet paper. An amazon card would let her choose what she wants/needs.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      In the alternative, what about a really nice email about her “value added” sent to HR for her file and copied to her.

      • thank you gift? :

        Oh don’t worry, I sing her praises to the powers that be. But getting something in writing is a good idea.

        I agree $ (and a card, of course) is probably better than trying to guess. Thoughts as to amount? Thanks ladies!

      • Hi I'm new :

        I used to do this when I worked for the public sector where it was strictly prohibited to buy or accept gifts. Put a note in her personnel file with a copy to HR.

    • Heartfelt card plus small token gift card. I did this when my assistant helped me out with something huge in a personal moment of panic, and he still keeps the card on his shelf. He said it made his day.

  12. Need a laugh at my expense?

    I just applied for a job. I had an account already set up, noticed that I had a cover letter from a year ago and thought I’d look it over and update it. Opened the file and it was a picture. Of my extended family. HOW ON EARTH DID I DO THAT???

  13. Hi all. I posted last week about getting the “up or out” talk (spoiler alert: I’m out) from my firm last week. I have two problems: one is that I’m demoralized and uninterested in working nights and weekends on my cases (also, I don’t think I should have to. Why do I need to prove I’m “committed” now?)

    The other is that I really do need to figure out what to do next. For people who have been in this position, or for anyone else who left biglaw, how did you decide what your next step should be? Were you sure you wanted to go to another firm, or go in-house? I’m leaning towards not pursuing law firms anymore, for various reasons. I’ve been advised to spend some time really thinking about what I want, but since I tend to ruminate, I don’t actually think this is all that useful of a step (sitting around dwelling on how I wasn’t good enough just isn’t helpful. See problem one, above).

    • anon for this :

      I’ve been in your position and saw your earlier post, but didn’t get a chance to respond. It totally stinks, but you are so not alone. I went through a similar decision making process- should I go government, in-house, big firm, small firm, switch areas of law, move across the country, go non-profit. All of these options were to varying degrees on the table at one point or another. I’m a ruminator as well, and it’s MUCH easier to figure out what you want when you have concrete options to consider. (I strongly believe in gut instinct and first reactions). I don’t know if I’d be just as happy if I made a different choice, but I know I’m pretty darn happy now.

      Here’s my process: I identified the following: 1) the big-picture things I value in a work place (autonomy, investment in my growth from my superiors, being treated with respect, having my personal life respected, good salary, engaging, challenging work, knowing I have a future at my firm and being invested in my firm’s success); 2) The things that make me happy on a day-to-day (all of the above, but also- having co-workers that I’m friends with and can laugh with, culture where I can be myself, laid back environment, control over my schedule, knowing I’m not going to have to cancel 50% of my plans at the last minute). Surprisingly, I realized there are some things I don’t value as much as I thought I did- turns out that doing a type of law I “love” or working at a prestigious firm worthy of my lofty degree (snort) isn’t more important to my overall happiness/ability to succeed at work than working in an environment where my work is engaging and my co-workers/future at the firm are great. For example, I also realized that I’m totally fine with working a LOT so long as it’s on my schedule and on my terms, or in response to a real client need, however, knowing I might have to cancel a vacation or say yes to an all-nighter just to make a partner happy wrecks me. So I realized I didn’t want clients who would demand an option contract on my time. A lot of this stuff seems obvious now, but I wasn’t able to put my finger on it for a while.

      Compare this list to the qualities presented by each job. Ex: Biglaw is always going to mean I lose control over my schedule, because biglaw’s clients will always demand that and pay for that result. Biglaw likely means no long-term future at that firm. Non-profit will always mean I don’t have quite enough money to meet my savings goals unless I marry rich. Small firm will always mean I don’t do work that lights my world on fire.

      Sleep on it. Also talk to others in your local network who have been there and made jumps.

      Re; your first question…. no advice. The struggle is REAL.

      You also have a third problem- you ARE good enough!!!! The up or out model was not created because January ‘didn’t measure up.’ This isn’t a reflection on you. Read Brene Brown’s writing on perfectionism-it’s a game changer.

    • Hey January. I’m so sorry. I’m at a crossroads myself too, somewhat similar, though not a lawyer so I don’t want to spout irrelevant nonsense to you.

      You probably know this, but the lack of responses is probably due to the time you posted, not that people don’t have input for you. I hope you’ll post again sometime earlier in the day and get the support you need.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been here too. I took severence and unemployment and figured out what I wanted to do. I landed on Project Management and I’m very happy. It’s been 3 years but I’m so happy with my work and life balance, I wish I could tell the me of 3 years ago that it was all worth it.

  14. Wise hive: in my quest for maximum rewards in life, I realized our family isn’t super serious about credit card rewards. We pay our balances in full every month so I’m looking for a card with good bang for the buck (and was brought up to abhor paying an annual CC fee, though I can stomach it if the rewards are high enough). I’ve been an AmEx Blue user since my senior year of high school and am fairly satisfied, but my husband’s CC is a credit union Visa with mediocre rewards.

    We are a family of five that shops a lot at Amazon, Costco, and Target (in that order) and that takes a whole-family trip once a year (we are Southwest Airlines devotees, but they don’t always fly where we go). I’m finding the online analyses of different cards confusing so am hoping to crowdsource some wisdom re: picking a rewards card. Pretty sure we’d use cash or miles rewards the most. Any favorites out there? Thanks!

    • Costco credit card, hands down. There’s no additional fee beyond your membership fee, which you’ve already paid, and the points are really great. Downsides are that the points are only redeemable once a year and for cash or Costco gift cards. I don’t really view this as a major problem though. I’ve had other cards where I used the points to just reduce my balance, which is the same as cash, effectively.

      Chase Sapphire is also a good card. If you used their portal to book travel you got an extra percentage over the face value of the points, but Costco’s card still offers higher points and no fee.

    • Anonymous :

      The Amazon Chase Visa is great if you shop there. 3% back on Amazon, 2% on gas and dining and 1% on everything else.
      I have a separate Target card I use only at that store, since you get 5% off with that.

    • The Amazon Synchrony bank card with 5% back is great. It’s a free card if you have Prime (I’m assuming you do), and 5% back is about as good as you can do in terms of rewards. The rewards dollars automatically post to your statement balance every month, so there is zero hassle in managing them, and the rewards are immediate. I believe you can only use this card for Amazon purchases, but that’s fine with me.

      The Chase Sapphire Preferred is great for travel. It has an annual fee ($100 maybe), but I think the rewards are worth it. You get double rewards on dining and travel, how you use the rewards is pretty flexible, and some of the other perks (rental car insurance, etc) are good. Many people also love the Chase Reserve card, and while the annual fee ($500), you get $300 in statement credit for travel purchases, and the benefits/rewards are better.

      I don’t have a Costco card, so I don’t have any experience with it. The rewards are generous, but how you use them is not very flexible and a little bit of a hassle–you get a Costco reward certificate in February that you have to use at Costco by the end of December. I’d be worried that I’d lose or forget about the rewards certificate.

    • Anonymous :

      Considering your habits, you should have a Costco card, Amazon card (especially if you have Prime), and a Target card. The only additional card I have is a Fidelity credit card, which gives me 2% off everything. I do not travel though, so I only want cash back/discounts. So Miles are irrelevant for me. But most people have one of the CHASE cards if they travel a lot.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have the Amazon card for 5% back on Amazon purchases, the Target card (mine is a debit card) for 5% back on Target, and a Citibank Double Cash Back card for 2% back on everything else.

    • I really like my Chase cards (Sapphire and Reserve) as the points are worth more when you book travel through them. I have used the points for airfare, hotels, and car rentals. In fact, all my flights this year are paid for entirely by points, including a roundtrip to Europe. (I got the Chase Reserve when they still had a 100k signup bonus, and I put most of the costs of my remodel on my card). I will cancel the Sapphire when the year is up, but only because I don’t need two Chase cards. The Reserve has a higher annual fee ($450) but you get a $300 travel credit (plus lots of other benefits) so it makes sense for me.

      • Wildkitten :

        I moved my Sapphire to a no-fee card, but you can also transfer your Sapphire card credit limit to your Reserve credit limit. If you switch to something free (I chose Freedom) you get back a percentage of your annual free = free money.

    • Anonymous :

      i have the citi double cash card – 1% cash back at purchase and 1% cash back when you pay off the bill. My shopping isn’t targeted any particular place, so it gives me flexibility.

      Citi card also does this thing where you can generate a separate card number to use online, so that if the info gets stolen/hacked, you don’t have to replace the card (since that’s not the number that got stolen).

  15. Sloan Sabbith :


    1. My 15-yo cousin has a boyfriend that, according to her older brothers and a friend of them, as well as my mom (who’s met the boyfriend) doesn’t treat her very well. I tried to talk to her about it this weekend but she didn’t really want to talk about him. Red flag for me. I’m certain they’ve gotten to first base, probably gardening as well. I don’t want to touch THAT with her, but I would like to get her some YA chick lit novels with healthy teenage relationships in them and that show strong female characters (her boyfriend doesn’t believe in gender equality or that there’s a gender wage gap) to subtly encourage her to consider her own relationship. She likes John Green and has read most of his stuff, and is reading the “Lost in Love” series right now. She’s not a big reader, so I’d like something that’s chick lit, fun to read, and not super difficult, or, alternatively, a great nonfiction book about awesome women. I looked on Mighty Girls and sent their list of healthy relationship books to myself, but I was hoping for any personal recommendations.

    2. OneMedical just opened in Seattle- I know people love it, but in particular, can anyone talk about how they do with complex chronic illnesses? I have a specialist, of course (many), but I need a PCP.


    • Anonymous :

      Try Eleanor & Park.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe One Medical is better in Seattle but I am less than impressed with it in DC (or NYC). Don’t get me wrong – if you don’t have a PCP at all (or as in DC – can’t get in with one bc no one is taking new patients), One Medical is fine — they deal just fine with sinus infections, strep, flu shots etc. Yet at least in DC, the doctors are always months out of residency (and the few with some experience are always booked/not taking on new patients), so I don’t feel confident with them managing anything more than the simple seasonal issues. And that’s when you can get a dr. at all — you are way more likely to end up seeing PAs and nurse practitioners as they have the vast majority of open appointments; I know many people are ok with that, but I prefer MDs with 10+ yrs experience. So I vote no – unless it is for the most basic of needs or just a matter of having a PCP until you find a better one.

      • Wildkitten :

        I love them and love seeing a mid-level practitioner who actually takes the time to talk to me and make me feel comfortable. I’d definitely check if they have someone who specializes in your complex condition, and it’s true that OMG probably isn’t right for your needs, but I think they are the best doctor for most people who don’t have a complex condition.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      If you’re looking to have a PCP and specialists who work together in an integrated system, I can’t recommend the Polyclinic enough. My records are accessible to my PCP and specialists, and an online portal allows easy messaging to doctors’ offices, refill requests, lab results, etc. They also partner with Swedish on electronic medical records and a surgery center. I’ve been highly satisfied with the Polyclinic docs I’ve seen & definitely recommend if you’re looking for an integrated system.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Unfortunately I have to see specialists at UW. Which SUCKS.

        • If you’re in the UW system anyway I’ve been going to their Belltown “neighborhood clinic” for years–I’ve had a few different doctors but have really liked all of the docs I’ve had there (admittedly not for any terribly complex health issues, but it worked ok when I had to go to various specialists also within the UW system). It’s a huge hassle to park there, and a few times “my” doctor hasn’t had appointments for a while, but they can usually get you in with someone, if you need.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            That’s good to hear. I’ll just do that. I find UW to be a huge hassle but I do like the ability to access all my records. Thank for the rec!

    • 1.
      Somehow I’m an expert here but with the YA dystopia/sci-fi light genre–in order of my recommendations:

      – The Lunar Chronicles
      – Red Queen Series
      – Legend Series
      – The Uglies series
      – The Selection series

      I know it’s not really in tune with traditional chick-lit, but I think these are really good series, all with strong female characters–and I think the dystopia/sci-fi aspect really lets that shine*. I think the characters are realistic in their imperfections but all strong and the heroes of their stories. There are teenage relationships in all of them and none of them struck me as unhealthy just “exaggerated teenage love” in some cases. And I don’t think that’s bad. In all the books the teen boys respected, loved, and supported their heroines (as long as they weren’t fighting, etc.)

      *I’m sure there’s a thought experiment there on why female leads need the world end to really get their amazing stories, but that’s for another time.

  16. Hi Bostonians!

    I’ve been living in Boston for a few months, but my boyfriend is coming to visit and I want to go out to the cape for the first time. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the options- does anyone have recommendations? Martha’s vineyard, nantucket, providenicetown- Once we take a ferry over, do we want to rent a car there? I basically imagine taking a ferry over, wandering around the shore for a bit, having a romantic seafood dinner, a stay at a nice hotel, and then a leisurely morning sipping coffee and watching the water before heading back. Would you recommend any particular town? If you can recommend any particular restaurants or hotels even better!

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

  17. For the relatively quick trip you describe, I suggest Provincetown, in large part because you wouldn’t have to rent a car. A boat goes straight from Boston to Provincetown. P-town has nice hotels and restaurants.

    Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are worth exploring sometime, but I would suggest investing more time in either of those places, plus you’d need a car or bus to get from Boston to a ferry for travel between the south side of the Cape and either of those islands. In my experience, you don’t need to rent a car on either of the islands. Lots of stuff is withing walking distance, there’s good bus service, and plentiful bike rentals are around.

    Same reaction to the rest of the Cape – for that I’d suggest a leisurely exploring drive of at a least a couple of days. Chatham is one of my favorites. Chatham Inn at 359 Main is lovely and within walking distances of the main drag of the village in one direction and a lighthouse beach in the other. Dennis on the north side is also lovely.

    Hope this helps!

  18. Thank you so much! Very helpful and much appreciated!

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