Something on your mind? Chat about it here.
We’ve liked this Rachel Roy raincoat since we first saw it — the “speckled jacquard” is kind of crazy, and we like that (and the stripey lining!). We’d wear it on a rainy weekend when we wanted to look glamorous, but be practical, while meeting friends for brunch. Was $169, now $101.40 at RachelRoy.com. In And Out Trench Coat
P.S. Sorry we’re a bit behind the ball on the Weekly News roundup — if we don’t get to it today we’ll throw it in with the Monday stuff. Having one of those days…
SF Bay Associate
Rachel Roy raincoat :). Rachel Ray is a pseudo-chef.
d’oh! definitely having one of those days. ai yi yi.
SF Bay Associate
No worries! You were just testing our (obsessive?) attention to detail :).
I was pretty confused, but not surprised. I mean, she has cookbooks, tv shows, a magazine, why not a clothing line?
Regardless, it’s a fabulous raincoat. Nice pick!
closet rr fan
It’s actually “Rachael.” :-)
Actually Rachael Ray is a chef. Not Rachel Ray.
Oh dayum, j’adore! Good thing I start work on the 27th! Going to Miami tomorrow for a week, then I enter the real world. See you on the other side fellow Corporettes!
Hey, fresh jd, have a great time in MIA! Whatcha doing there/where ya gonna be – I lived there for 15 years….
Just ignore the whole airport thing – fugly!
I’m going to visit my cousin who lives there. I’m flying to FLL, unfortunately via Spirit Air. What do you mean by the “whole airport thing”?
MIA is hids. I once flew out of a terminal there that had low, mirrored ceilings. Fugly is kind!
Exactly, Cat. Fresh jd, thank your stars for FLL! I hope you have a great time with your cuz. If you guys run out of things to do, go out to Key Biscayne, go to Bill Baggs park (one of the Dr. Beach top ten), do the lighthouse, enjoy the beach and finish it off with a lovely late lunch (in MIA, lunch lasts until 4:30, at least) at one of the two waterfront sea shacky restaurants. Then stop at the Oasis on the way out for a shot of the best.ever cuban coffee and a delightful guava pastry. Just my vision for one afternoon :)!
In response to Suze — I spent most of last summer living in Miami, and you’re making me want to go back so badly! I fell in love and if I could only find a job there, I’d move in a heartbeat. That is a perfect afternoon plan.
Hooray! Finally open thread… So, I am having a hard time finding “balance” in a guilt-free way, and was wondering if anyone can give me suggestions. I’m working full time (not in an office– helping to manage a cute independent restaurant), and taking the post-bac. classes required by the CPA exam… With the amount of homework I have with three classes on top of my work schedule, I don’t have a whole lot of free time, and am guilty and stressed out when I’m not doing homework. If I had a dollar for each person who has told me I need to just “relax”….
I intellectually understand that I need to take breaks and shouldn’t feel bad about it, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to do that. I especially think I need to figure out how to relax before I start a career in accounting so I don’t drive myself crazy in a workaholic sort of way. Any thoughts?
You need to schedule your breaks–make appointments with yourself and then treat them like any other commitment you make for school or work. Do you exercise? Set up Outlook appointments to block out the time you need to run or go to the gym. Make yourself keep those appointments. While “scheduled” “relaxing” sounds like an oxymoron, if you treat your time for yourself at the same priority you do other tasks, it works. Happy hour with your friends? Block it out on your schedule and stick to it. Etc.
I was like that in my CPA prep madness too – and when I was in grad classes at night – while working (accounting) full time. I stayed sane by setting up little rewards for myself when I hit various milestones/completion points. Just simple things like a manicure, a night out with friends, etc. to keep life from becoming too dreary. I’m a big fan of visibility, so I lived and died by a big 12 months wall calendar where I could circle in bright colors those little rewards.
Love the little rewards idea. I tend to wait until I do something big, but I guess I would be more motivated if I have more frequent treats
Try to make them scheduled things that you can’t skip – let’s face it, it’s easy to stay home instead of taking yourself to the local nail salon, but it’s a lot harder to flake out on the friend you’re supposed to meet.
Definitely give it a try – life should be enjoyable more often than just when we hit big milestones!
surrounded by lawyers
This is huge for me. I have had to become very “meta” about it, including writing notes to myself to reference later during one of my freak-outs. (Yes.) So I can tell you what’s been helpful in my experience:
–Write things down while you’re feeling calm. They can be entirely self-evident–but it’s amazing how nuts your thinking can get when you’re stressed or exhausted. They can be straightforward, like to-do lists or reminders of things that help you stay centered. They can also be words of wisdom to your less-wise self. For example, one of my notes to self is something like “You’ve always gotten everything done in the past, somehow–why would this time be different?”
–Have a routine that includes built-in “breaks.” Exercise is crucial for me and many others, and if you don’t have a set time/place that you do it, on a set schedule, it is much less likely to happen. If you’re not into this, or if it doesn’t count as a “break,” psychologically, then make it something else, like a weekly dinner, TV session or phone date with someone who has a calming effect. (I say this without knowing your relationship status, such that this could be a friend or family member.)
–When you feel really stressed, ask yourself what would help you relax RIGHT NOW. Be open to an answer that sounds ridiculous. Honestly, it could be that doing work would make you feel better. So be it. You also might be aching to vacuum. Fine. I personally get stressed out when I’m “behind” on my New York Review reading. Once I stopped judging myself about that, I felt lots better…by turning my panic moments into NYRB reading time. Whatever works!
–Identify people and things that are exacerbating the problem. Minimize their role or cut them out entirely if possible. At the same time, if you have a trusted figure in your life who is telling you something that is hard to hear, it’s probably a good idea to listen. E.g. when your parents say “we’re worried about you…”
Best of luck!
One thing that helps me is to go to yoga class. This is especially important when I’m feeling stressed or crazy. Sure, I could do yoga at home, and it would take less time since I don’t have to go anywhere. But if it is a class, it helps to get me more out of my head and therefore more relaxed. Also, it is scheduled so I HAVE to do it, instead of saying, oh after I finish XYZ I will do yoga. Plus, I am friends with other people in the class and the instructors, so there is a little more accountability.
This. I take a weekly Pilates class, and if it never does a single thing for my midsection, I will keep taking it until they wheel me out of the studio. It’s the one hour a week where I am not accountable to ANYONE but myself. No bosses, no co-workers, no deadlines or case files threatening to topple over and smother me. No talking at all — just focusing on breathing and following the nice lady’s instructions. If you can afford it, I cannot recommend enough some type of calming, centering physical practice like this.
I am so not a yoga person in many ways (sometimes I giggle to myself when the instructor asks me to find my breath) but in my most stressful periods of life, yoga has been a lifeline for me. I find an hour really helps me get out of my head, center myself and pay attention to the voice inside me.
That being said, it took me a while to find the right yoga class, so if this sounds like a workable idea to you, try a sampling before you decide yoga is not for you. A great yoga class is a beautiful thing; one that doesn’t fit with your needs is awful.
Thirding the yoga recommendation! Yes, it takes a little more time to get to the studio, change, etc. than it does if you work out at home, but I’ve found the focus on breathing and ‘be here now’ to be essential to getting through the crazy periods in my life (like finishing my dissertation.)
4th the Yoga class. I’m starting a meditation class tomorrow, and I can’t wait. My only true ‘me time’ all week.
I get the same effect from my karate class. I never was much of a yoga fan, but martial arts get you moving and also have the mental/spiritual dimension of yoga. Plus, the screaming can be great therapy!
L from Oz
I swim – yoga is not me at all, but I schedule my swimming the same way, and it works a treat. You definitely need to find something that works for you.
I have been going through the same guilt thing. Balancing full time job, master’s classes and thesis along with harsh commuting and family issues.
The way I see it is that you should think of your breaks as an investment in your energy capital. Watching paint dry is not wasting time it is simply recharging your batteries.
Another thing that helped me get out of the vicious circle is putting everything that worried me on a paper and taking time to assess its real Vs perceived impact on my life, and whether I have any control on it.
Eventually, I started working on each issue separately.
If you can afford it, give yourself more time. For instance, instead of completing my thesis in 2 semesters, I decided to add an extra one. Just knowing that you can buy time is a great stress reliever.
And whenever possible, try to be around people who are aware of your priorities so that you can have fun but they will be understanding on the days you just need to skip girls night out.
Best of luck
Thanks for all the suggestions! I would love to do yoga or something like that, but unfortunately I live in a small town with yoga classes only offered when I’m working (I work weird hours)… I’m going to copy all these suggestions down in a word document I like them so much. :)
Do you have access to DVDs/player for yoga or whatnot? If not or alternatively, just take a walk and (this sounds silly), discuss things with yourself- or a friend or dog. I do this w/my dog on long walks and, well, he’s never going to disagree with me. Has really helped me become less frazzled. I also run and play tennis with various groups. Stress relief from exercise cannot be overstated.
PSA – Bunch of Banana Republic discount / free ship codes: http://ning.it/di50yl
Hooray! I’ve been anxiously awaiting this thread.
My boyfriend’s birthday is next month, and I’m absolutely stumped as what to get him. We’ve been together for almost two years and he has helped me through some amazingly tough times. He is an amazing gift-giver/letter-writer and I am simply out of ideas this year! He’s a conservative in every way: social, political, fiscal, sartorial…and while our politics may clash, our social mores rarely do. ;) Last year I got him an engraved pocket watch, which went over really well (as a keepsake rather than a time-teller).
I would LOVE any advice or suggestions, whether actual gift ideas or places to search! But, as my handle points out, I am both “little” and in school right now, so price-conscious ideas would be particularly appreciated.
SF Bay Associate
We’ve discussed this in open thread before so you should find a lot of ideas right off the bat if you do a good Google search within Corporette. A really nice shave kit is a great gift which I gave my SO years ago, complete with a real high-quality badger hair brush (which lasts forever) and English shave cream. IMHO, the Art of Shaving is ridiculously overpriced, but we’ve had a great deal of success with Taylor of Old Bond shaving creams and brushes – the Sandalwood (strong scent, very masculine, lingers in a lovely way) and Eton College (subtle masculine, fades more quickly) are my favorite scents, though the Avocado one seriously smells like delicious avocado. Caswell and Massey and Crabtree and Evelyn probably offer similar products.
The shave is much smoother, much more comfortable for his skin, and has the added bonus of feeling really great for you too! He may look askance at you at first, but after a week of using quality products instead of crappy aluminum can cream, he will think it’s one of the greatest gifts ever.
I’d suggest a “valet.” It’s like a jewelery box, but for men. You can either get a larger, or travel-size one, and you can get them embossed with his name. Red Envelope sells them, but they are available elsewhere too.
Another option is a humidor (if he’s a cigar smoker), it isn’t too expensive, and has the right amount of fun gadgetry.
As part of my husbands 40th birthday gift, I got him a beautiful little note from http://www.etsy.com/shop/MiniatureRhino . She types your love note on vintage paper with a vintage typewriter, and it comes in a little bottle with a stamped key around it. The presentation is beautiful and it is unexpectedly romantic. It probably won’t stand alone as a gift, but is a nice touch.
that is super cute! I’ll have to keep in mind for the future. thanks!
This is great! I write my husband a love-letter (for lack of a better term) every year on our anniversary and I’ll have to remember this idea for future years when what I have to say can be done effectively in a few sentences and sealed in a cool bottle.
Something similar is available at http://www.leafcutterdesigns.com/shop/wsps/about.html. I used it for a gift for my husband last year, and he really seemed to enjoy it. The letter is tiny and adorable and the envelope is sealed with a tiny bit of sealing wax, and it comes with a little magnifying glass. She also has very cute tiny packages with various themes. Highly recommend the service.
redenvelope .com has great ideas for types of gifts your boyfriend might like. My husband and I have gifted each other from there many times. They have nice valets too.
This may not help you in your immediate problem, but my husband and I both love Kaboodle. It’s a wish list-type service that allows you to add items from any website (instead of a site- or store-specific wish list). Anytime we see something that we’d like to have, we add it to our Kaboodle lists, and then when a gift-giving occasion comes up, we have a ready list of items that we know the other wants. You’re assured that you’ll be giving something they want, and they’ll still be surprised at what the specific item is that you’ve chosen. It took me a little while to convince my husband to actually start adding things to his list, but after the first Christmas using it, he was a convert!
what have you gave him in the past? It may help with ideas? I’ve learned that sometimes people do not remember things but experiences are always memorable. Doing something special with your boyfriend may be as important to him as receiving a gift. What does he do with his spare time or wish he could become more involved in? For instance, my husband loves his camera so he will be receiving a gift certificate for a photography class for his birthday.
I am a good gift giver but not a great gift getter (according to my husband). So he asked me to start an Amazon Universal Wish List. You can put anything on it from *any* website, not just Amazon. Then you can send it to someone else so they know what you might like.
Suggest that he start a wish list and send it to you. Might not be soon enough for this birthday, but could help with future gifts!
Meeting new friends in new city
Posted this earlier this afternoon but am reposting in the hopes more of you will see and respond. :)
My hubby and I just moved to Philadelphia. I’m very social, had a very social life in our old city, but I don’t really know anyone in this area. I’d love to meet other professionals in their late 20s/30s. I’m an attorney, my husband is not.
Any recommendations on particular organizations in Philadelphia to join? Or any recommendations in general about how to meet friends in a brand new city? I’m planning to ask my good friends to connect me with any friends they have in Philly, as I figure that is a great way to meet people.
This is hard. I think the best way is through friends — so track down any friends of friends you have in Philly. Something to give you a connection. Even if you don’t click, they might invite you to a book or wine club or some other way to hook up with new people. There is always the “common interest” route, but I think that can be hard. How likely are you to pick up a friend at a yoga class? It’s possible, but not all that easy in a big city. But maybe more social things like a hiking club or cooking class. I would also become a regular at a coffee shop and maybe a neighborhood bar or restaurant. You might not meet new friends, but it will make you feel like your new city is a little bit more familiar.
Phillly might be a bit big for this type of thing, but when I once lived in a medium sized Chicago burb, we received a news letter with local wine nights/social nights for new residents. I believe it was through the local chamber of commerce. I thought it was nice but never did end up going to one. Perhaps your local neighborhood has something like that for newcomers?
You could also check meetup.com for events in your area. They have couples events, or you might want to do a women’s book club or something like that. I’ve gone to 2 events via meetup. One was a local hiking group hike, and one was a volunteer opportunity at a community kitchen where I cooked for homeless people. I thought the people seemed nice and friendly, but my fiancee said he’s had bad experiences with meetup groups in the past having lots of…well, wackos. But I think at the time (before he met me!), he was going to more singles brunch events – so of course they attract a different crowd.
You also might want to check Yelp. They often have parties sponsored by local restaurants where you can sample their food for free. We have been to a few events and the crowd is generally very professional people just looking to have fun and meet new people.
Meeting new friends in new city
Meetup is an interesting idea. I’ve never tried it and am also worried that it attracts socially awkward wackos, but I could be wrong. :)
I’ve tried lots of Meetup events/groups, and you just have to sift through the weird groups, and stick to “cordiality” with the eccentrics who may show up at other groups’ events. I do stuff with a women’s social group (fairly young and young-ish professionals), a running group and a tennis group. I also join a dog group on occasion when they’re doing something fun like a hiking event or 5K. Another option, if you were in a sorority, is an alumnae chapter. Mine is pretty active here. Since I work w/all men, I had to look for my social life elsewhere, to include meeting dateable men .
Are there alumni clubs for your undergrad? Service opportunities are great for likeminded people. It sounds like this might not work for you, but I try and figure out which synogogue has the most active young adult presence. I find this very challenging. Do your parents know children of their friends who might be fun to have dinner with? It is very hard to build a group, especially when you have to be purposeful.
Meeting new friends in new city
I have signed up for the alumni group, but events are sporadic. And while I am reasonably religious, our place of worship doesn’t have a lot of social events for young folks (except the really young, like kids). Thanks for your feedback!
When I moved to my current city, I made most of my new friends via my alumni club and my new parish. If you’re picking a church/synagogue/other place of worship, look for one that has an active young adult group with regular happy hours or similar activities. You could also join an athletic activity (yoga classes, softball team, running or hiking club), take classes (cooking, Toastmasters), or volunteer (homeless dinner program, legal services clinic). I’ve made friends from all of these types of activities as well.
I’m a Philly law student in my late 20’s and my boyfriend is a non-lawyer professional in his early 30’s. Here are some things we’ve done to get out into the city and meet people:
Di Bruno Bros (the one in the Italian Market, not the one in Rittenhouse) has beer and cheese tastings on Wed. evenings.
Many of the local breweries (Yards, Philadelphia Brewing Co., Flying Fish) have free tours on the weekends.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has a calendar of bike events for all skill levels. We just did Bike Philly, where they shut down streets in Center City on a Sunday morning for a relaxing ride through the city.
Temple University Center City and UPenn have non-credit continuing education classes for all sorts of things: sushi making, wine tasting, salsa dancing, photography, etc.
There are events nearly every weekend at the Art Museum: marathons, 5Ks, concerts. There is also Art After 5, where the museum hosts different jazz artists. You can grab a drink and take a look at the exhibits.
If you like emerging artists, Old City Art Association hosts First Friday where all the galleries are open for the public, usually with music and finger food.
If you are in certain areas of the city, the neighborhood association will have block parties. I know that Queen Village and Fairmount areas have active NA’s.
You could try an Inn of Court. Philly has a couple.
Meeting new friends
D, these are fantastic ideas, thanks! I live in Old City and heard about first Fridays, will definitely check that out. I also really like the idea of the beer/cheese tastings, and the Inn of Court.
Thanks everyone else as well! I really appreciate it.
No one has mentioned Junior League, so I will. I know, it sounds crazy and for old ladies who lunch, but, at least in my city, it’s full of women much younger, hipper, and cooler than I am. It’s a great way to learn of volunteer oppotunities. But also, in your smaller groups, you can and likely will meet women who want to socialize one-on-one or in the smaller group setting. My mentor group, for instance, has a book club (one of two-and-a-half that I’m in) and meets twice a month for drinks at one of our houses or a bar or cafe. I might have spelled League wrong, but you all will know what I mean. :)
Meeting new friends in new city
Thanks! I’ve heard good things about JL, it’s worth checking out.
Skin care experts – I really need your help! I am staring down 35 in a few months and really, really need to improve my skin care regime. I had it all figured out in my teens and 20s, when my issue was blemishes and keeping oil at bay, but I’ve never really managed to make the transition into “grown up” skin care (read: anti-aging). Currently I wash with Cetaphil (but often just resort to using Dove soap in the shower – I know, I KNOW! I shouldn’t do that!) and I moisturize with the bare bones sensitive skin SPF15 Oil of Olay moisturizer. And that’s pretty much it! Those choices are more by default than anything, I honestly haven’t put much thought into anything I am doing with my skin care (other than the SPF). My skin is starting to look a little worse for wear as a result. I definitely need to step up my game but I am at a loss as to where to start, and which products to try. I ventured out to Sephora at lunch and was way too overwhelmed. Why isn’t there a box of products all ready to go, called “these are perfect for 35-year-old-you”? I’d be all over that!
So, any advice, recommendations, tips? Anything? Thanks so much!
SF Bay Associate
Paula’s Choice. And there’s 15% off + $3 shipping through the end of day. After a decade plus of Cetaphil, I had my first facial and was told basically that my products weren’t cutting it. Instead of the overpriced spa and department store products (not to knock any ladies who favor these – we all enjoy splurging in some areas :) ), I got samples of the much less expensive Paula’s Choice line and got hooked. I use the “normal to oily” line and have really noticed a difference.
Her scientific-esque explanations of what ingredients and packaging are effective really appeals to me – easier for me to rationalize the purchases over Costco two-packs of Cetaphil, I guess. Apparently, light and air are major destroyers of good ingredients so all those pretty glass jars of fancy products lose a lot of efficacy in a very short time. Give me the opaque plastic bottles!
Find a well-reviewed and high quality salon in your area and get a customized facial – have the esthetician identify your skin type and products you should use and how often you should use them (e.g. I was using my cheapo St. Ives Apricot Scrub and she said if I wanted to avoid redness to use a non-grainy exfoliator). They may recommend certain chemical peels or even microdermabrasion – it really depends on your skin and budget.
If you love some of the products she uses, buy them. But don’t feel pressured to since they tend to be pricey. I actually found a very nice line called La Roche Posay at the medi spa I went to and their products are reasonably priced and can be bought on Amazon (I have adult acne flareups, oily skin, and have large pores and have been really happy with this line).
I’ve heard rave reviews about the Clairisonic (http://www.clarisonic.com/us/) but have yet to try it.
I just turned 30 and find I need to exfoliate more often and get used to using eye cream during the day (not just at night). And use sun screen year round and not just on your face but also on your hands and décolletage!
I LOVE the Clarisonic! A few years ago my skin was freaking out (around the time I turned 30 actually) and I spent a few months getting regular facials to soothe it. My mother had instilled in me good face washing habits and I was a Clinique 3-step devotee but was recommended (can’t remember where) to try Peter Thomas Roth and I have never looked back. I used the Clarisonic morning and night for a year or two and once my skin was back to normal I became more sporadic about it and generally just use it to exfoliate in the shower in the morning, unless I’m short on time. Bottom line, the Clarisonic is worth the price and I think a personalized recommendation for a cleansing system from a professional is best (to avoid the hit and miss of trying various products by guessing). But ultimately, get a system and stick to it – I cannot imagine going to bed without using cleanser, toner and mositerizer or exfoliating, toner and moisterizer in the morning as well. Oh, and I’m 35 but am often told I look 5-6 years younger.
Also love the Clarisonic, as I’ve commented here before (so don’t throw rotten vegetables at me!), with any oil-free cleanser.
I live in a very dry climate and Bobbi Brown’s tinted moisturizing balm (25 SPF) has been a lifesaver. BB gel moisturizer and hydrating face moisturizer are great, oil-free products that don’t irritate my sensitive, acne-prone skin.
One more pitch I can’t resist is for Arcona skin care products. They are amazing.
Been there, done that...
What makes your skin “a little worse for wear”? Dry, redness, adult acne, wrinkles, fine lines? There’s so many products that are directed to different things. A couple of things I’ve discovered as I stare down 40. My skin is drier than it used to be so I need to moisturize more. One of my favorite facial moisturizers for dry skin in winter (living in the Northeast) is Clinique’s Moisture Surge.
Exfoliation helps. My sister turned me on to these little facial brushes ($3.00 at The Body Shop). I use it every morning when I wash my face in the shower. I use Nutragena cleanser and am pretty happy with it.
Has anyone tried SK-II? I’ve been looking at it but can’t bring myself to bite the bullet. It’s so expensive.
Good question. By “worse for wear” I mean mild adult acne, fine lines, oily skin and large pores (this has always been an issue for me), and all-around just dull-looking skin if that makes sense. It’s all just very blah looking.
I’ve tried to facial & then ask for suggestions route, and have always ended up disappointed, I think because I hate the hard sell that always seems to accompany it.
If you are willing to spend some money, it sounds like you might want to consider finding a dermatologist who also does peels. Just be warned that a combination derm/spa usually tries to upsell their products, so don’t be alarmed.
Retin-A is the one prescription product that is completely guaranteed to improve skin and mildly reduce wrinkles. Everything else OTC is mostly fancy moisturizer with enough shimmer to “improve” your skin. If you are still having oil issues, Retin-A is great.
I am a few years behind you and also use prescription clindamycin to stop my mild acne, which is mostly one or two giant hard pimples every couple of months. Works like a dream.
But “dull” skin sounds to me like you might want a chemical peel or microdermabrasion done by a professional (ie, real strength, not a little brush whirring around your face with nice-smelling candles) to strip off dead skin. Again, a dermatologist could help you with that. You might also be interested in some mild fillers.
SK-II is full of parabens, so it’s a “no” for me just based on the ingredients.
Then again, so is Cetaphil.
I have tried SK II. I liked it but I like Kate Somerville about a bazillion times more if you are willing to spend that kind of money.
Second the Clinique Moisture Surge suggestion. I’m 35 with a lovely (ugh!) case of adult-onset acne and this moisturizer is fantastic!
It depends on your price range. I like Paula’s Choice and Olay Regenerist for items that really do have results. You’ll need a good retinol (and cosmeticscop.com has some articles about what to look for with those) – Skinceuticals had a great non-Rx retinol product that they discontinuted. If not, there are many options with a prescription.
I *LOVE* Olay’s Regenerist Microsculpting Cream (the cream in the red jar). I’ve tried the serum and night moisturizer as well, they’re ok but not as amazing as the red jar stuff. Completely saved my skin after years of neglect and use of harsh acne medication only. Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream (which comes in a cool flat-topped pump in a white container) is also very good, for something a little lighter.
I started taking Omega-3 supplements due to pregnancy and I swear it has made my skin smoother, less irritable/red in areas and more “radiant”. I haven’t been taking them the whole pregnancy, so it’s not because of that. They smell bad but if you hold your breath it’s fine.
I take a large spoonful of liquid fish oil every morning and it has made a big difference in my skin.
FWIW, I also tried the fish oil capsules (when on vacation and the liquid was not a travel option) – ew. I kept burping “fish” :(
That sounds unpleasant. No fish burps for me luckily, but the capsules do smell like rotten fish :)
Nature Made makes odorless, burpless fish oil capsules. I swear they work. Regular fish oil capsules make we want to throw up. They’re available at Walgreen’s, Drugstore.com, and other drugstores.
I love Avon stuff. You can buy skincare targeted for your particular age group; avon.com lays it all out for you.
Perricone MD face serum. Started it a week ago and I can really see a difference. FWIW, I just hit 36 and this was a birthday gift to self:) Whatever moisturiser works for you goes over that. I use one with SPF.
I don’t know your budget but friends swear by SKII.
Cleanser – cannot help you as I have used Neutrogena for 10 yrs now and no plans to change!
I have the “oil/pores/breakout/lines” (+ some discoloration) problem, also. If you don’t want to go to a dermatologist for a “clinical appraisal” (and sometimes they get a little “sales-y” w/services & products…), here is what seems to work for me:
Morning: Aveeno Clear Skin Cleanser (in shower to save time), Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus, topped with Neutrogena Ageless Restoratives SPF 30. This sunscreen is (actually) not goopy and doesn’t make me break out.
Evening: Garnier face wipes + RoC Retinol serum
Weekly: Alba Botanical Papaya extract facial peel, put on right before hopping in the shower- Sunday is “spa day”
I also have Clearasil pads for the breakouts.
I’m thinking about shelling out for a pair of black Louboutin pumps. (Probably in a couple of months as I work myself up to it). On one hand I love them, on the other I feel like that red sole is too… noticeable.
Do you think they would be appropriate for court? I’d hate to get a pair of the perfect basic black pumps and not be able to wear them on those rare days when I really need added confidence. I feel like that red sole disqualifies them but they would be fine without it. Opinions?
I think you run the risk of advertising that you just spent $500+ on your shoes, and what that entails. I say this because so many more people now know what the red sole means. If it somehow works to convey the message that you and your client have a lot of money, then they’re perfect. If this reminder might engender some backlash in whatever context you’re operating, then I would not wear them.
That’s what I thought but was kind of hoping everyone would tell me that most people don’t know/notice this stuff. :(
Oh well, social use only probably means it’ll take me another year to justify it. :)
Honestly, I’ve been a juror. I noticed the lawyer’s red soles. Lawyers (can) make a lot of money (fingers crossed). You’re not going to be shocking anyone.
anon - chi
I say get them anyway and just don’t wear them to court on those rare occasions when you are before a jury. I have a pair of black Louboutins, and while I’ve gotten comments on them, they have been from women and one VERY fashion-conscious man in my office. All the comments were of the “cute shoes!” variety. I wouldn’t wear them in front of a jury but I have worn them to court. FWIW, they are, bar none, the most comfortable pumps I’ve ever owned.
This. I am a surgeon, and while I love to dress for clinic, I feel as though the whole point of Laboutins is to show everyone what you spent on your shoes. There are other brands that make just as gorgeous a shoe, or cost just as much, but don’t advertise it. I find the red sole very “othering” and its not something I’m comfortable with.
I have been having this same debate with myself. When I see them on the street, they are so eye catching but the red sole is, well, sexy. Which is not exactly what I am going for. I think the sole is especially noticeable in black and with the taller heels (I have been eyeing ones in the beige family). The heels that are 70-80 mm as opposed to the 100-120 might be slightly less over the top, because you see less of the red sole. I think I have talked myself out of them, because I know I will second guess them when going to court or a deposition, etc. And would probably avoid wearing them for a client meeting, lest they rub someone paying the bill the wrong way. What about a great pair of ferragamos or jimmy choos?
I love Louboutins and would wear them to work. I do think, however, it depends on the job. (I am not a lawyer, I am in finance.) If you are a divorce attorney going after the straying husband, for example, yes. If you are foreclosing on an orphanage, no.
The purse form has an entire section to Louboutin lovers who seemingly wear theirs EVERYWHERE.
A woman wearing Louboutins foreclosing on an orphanage sounds like the best villaness, btw :-D Kind of like a modern Cruella deVille, who’s moved on to more evil things now that fur is passe…
That made me LOL for real :)
I think the red sole is a lot like the Coach purses emblazoned with C’s… sort of a look-what-I-can-afford attention getter… I’m not sure what sort of law you practice, but if you don’t want to be ostentatious, then I’d pass
I don’t wear heels at all, but I noticed a friend had really really pretty shoes on and complimented her. Later I asked her where she got them and she admitted they were Louboutins. So they weren’t instantly recognizable as such (I didn’t notice the red soles when we were both sitting at a table together) and they were so so nice looking, better than most of the expensive heels this friend of mine wears. Like others, I probably wouldn’t wear them in front of a jury, but they’re so pretty I completely understand why you want them and there are always motion hearings, appeals, all kinds of court proceedings without a jury, right? So I say go for it.
I say go for them – but I would keep them for social occasions, office, even client meetings as long as the clients with whom you are meeting are people who could also afford a pair. Definitely don’t wear them to court, in my opinion, even if there’s no jury. You may have a judge who thinks they’re fabulous or doesn’t even know them… or you may run the risk of the judge/her clerks/other courthouse staff you want to be on good terms with finding them to be “too much” or even unprofessional. Always better to be a tad cautious on that side, since the reactions from those persons might be unpredictable.
I disagree and I really cannot comprehend how a pair of simple black pumps could be “too much” or “unprofessional.”
- j -
Sad… but I agree with posters above- the red soles scream for attention in a very specific way. If you’re looking to indulge, but with a slightly different image, perhaps think Chanel or Manolo?
Ladies, I need help with a recurring problem. I am a lawyer who generally dates guys who are more blue collar. I have a lot of blue collar friends and family, and I certainly don’t spend my free time downtown doing fancy things-.I lead a very middle-class, low profile life. Multiple guys I’ve dated have made comments along the lines of, you can’t possibly like me because I didn’t go to college/work with my hands/don’t own a suit/etc. I am always very reassuring and explain how awesome and smart and nice to date they are without being condescending (I hope). Anyone else been in this situation?
What is the problem? (Don’t mean that in a snarky way!)
That they feel insecure? I think that’s unfortunately inevitable because of the messages society imparts.
Or that your reassurances fail to work and the relationship suffers? The response to this one will probably depend on the particular guy. I don’t think anything work on “all” or “most” guys so solutions would have to be tailored. Some snappy comebacks might help and lighten the mood but in the end I think it depends on whether he is a man that is comfortable dating a lawyer or one that isn’t.
OMG! You are me!
Many BC guys make great money, are tons of fun, and treat women like Godesses.
And some are jerks.
Just have fun.
Anonymous—You are after my own heart! I am in PR at a major medical institution, and I’ve always worked for major corporations or high-profile local entities. I graduated from a private liberal arts college, earned my master’s degree, and I’m married to a pipefitter/welder. (Pipefitters are like industrial plumbers, but way cooler according to my husband. They work on heating and cooling systems, ammonia refrigeration, and stuff that takes a lot more knowledge of physics and science than the Science 101 I suffered through in college).
Anyway, I spent my college and post-college years trying to date accountants and architects. Guys who wore ties. They were boring. Or married to their work. Or lived with their parents. And then I met my husband-to-be, who owned a pick-up truck and got dirty at work, like my family and the small town I grew up in.
I don’t think he was ever intimidated by my education or job, but he’s a pretty confident guy. The insecurity was more on my part, thinking that I *should* be with a tie-wearer. When I finally realized that it was OK to date someone who works with his hands, gets dirty, and BUILDS the things that we need every day to do our jobs (like buildings and bathrooms and air conditioning systems!), I was really happy. I do think it took some convincing of my friends that even though he didn’t have a college degree, he was just as smart as us (or smarter!). He sat through 5 years of apprenticeship school while working, then went on to teach for the program. He’d show me his isometric drawings of a hydronic heating system, and it sure looked cool, though I had no idea what it meant. I’m genuinely interested in his work, so I think asking questions, really made him
It also helps that he’s able to sell ice to a penguin, so he can plop down in any social situation and be comfortable. Doesn’t mean he always likes doing fancy dinners and such, but he can definitely handle them. And then on the weekends, we run around in our truck, ride snowmobiles and go fishing! (ok, sometimes I go shopping. :) )
So, by way of this long story, my advice for you is to date whoever makes you happy. When you find the person who you can talk with for hours, about your work, his work, politics, hobbies…it won’t matter what either of you do for a living if you don’t let it.
OP here- so glad there’s proof that it can work! I’m basically trying to figure out the fastest way to shut down the negative talk. I am pretty clear about why I do what I do, and why I think it’s cool they do what they do. It’s hard to prove you’re being genuine to a sensitive guy about something they’ve been socialized to assume is a terrible idea.
I just got engaged to a BC guy, and I have had so many of the same feelings and insecurities, often fueled by people in my social circle or family who *just don’t get it*. In fact, less than a week after my engagement, my godmother sent me an email telling me she wasn’t so sure about my guy and that she thinks I am making a mistake. She hasn’t taken one minute of all the possible opportunities to get to know him, and he senses how judgmental she and her family are so he shuts down. I spent a few nights feeling really isolated and insecure about what other people were thinking. How. Silly.
Here’s the thing… Love is something that doesn’t always make intellectual sense to us hyper-intellectual-list-making ladies. Just because it doesn’t fit into a certain column doesn’t mean it’s wrong. A guy that looks great on paper can be a real horse’s ass… and I’ve dated them. But my BC guy has only treats me like a princess. He might need to hear that from you!
Your BC guy just needs to see that you don’t care about the differences that seem to make him uncomfortable. And that while you could have your pick of men, you chose him for specific reasons.
“Here’s the thing… Love is something that doesn’t always make intellectual sense to us hyper-intellectual-list-making ladies. Just because it doesn’t fit into a certain column doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
Oh man, have I been doing this with wedding decisions. My fiancee tells me, “I am trying to apply logic to something that is purely emotional.”
Dealt with this for a while with my bf of 2 years. Finally got it through his head that law school/professional guys just don’t do it for me. I like my guy to be able to fix the toilet and know how to hold a gun. That’s probably because I jumped into law straight from being lower working class, but it’s what I like. He understood after he met some of the law crowd.
(Added bonus in that when you tell them the professional guys are not attractive to you, you’re also implying he’s much manlier/think it’s hot he works with his hands or whatever.)
Lawyers just don’t try very hard to impress women, do they? They think the job is enough.
And it is for some girls . . . usually non-lawyers. Just my observation.
It is hot :) My DH is in sales, but on the weekend when he gets out the circular saw to build stuff for our house…..whew! hot. :)
Hi, kind of new here, although I read daily. Anyhow — With more women than men graduating college and (as of this year!) being awarded more PhDs, I think this odd-fellows match is becoming more common. I work in finance but have regular work/social contact with some BC guys…one of whom is married to a lawyer, and several others to women in white collar roles. I’ve conversed with the lawyer’s spouse about his wife, and the impression I get is while he is proud of her achievements, he really didn’t seem to think that her line of work defines who she is. He talks a lot more about experiences together and shared hobbies.
I guess what I get from this is that if you define yourself by something other than your occupation, it may be easier to bridge class/income/education gaps. If you are mostly focused on what you do at work, then it may be more difficult and you may find yourself reassuring someone about his intelligence when he doesn’t get your reference (even if it’s jargon of legal/finance/medical fields).
I come from a fairly blue collar family (lots of firefighters in my family and my dad owns a heating and air conditioning business), and have dated both… I have found that the fact that I carry myself w/the confidence that comes from being financially independent, and having achieved both undergrad and graduate degrees can be a little intimidating – that and the fact that while I totally understand what firefighting is about, and the point of being a contractor, they usually have no idea what tax accounting on a major corporate level means. The ones worth dating will take the time to figure it out – just like I’m interested in what they’re into. Ask enough questions, defer to their home repair expertise, and their ego will be sufficiently stroked ;-)
Where do you meet these guys? I have had it with the white-collar types (am from a blue-collar background myself) and would love to widen my dating pool, but I don’t even meet working-class guys in my DC lawyer bubble.
The male lawyers have no problem marrying someone who is not as well-educated. Limiting ourselves to men who do not have as much education as we do is not a good idea! My man learned his work skills in the Navy and he does just fine with his business. Our relationship is not based on discussing class literature or any of the other subjects he missed because he did not get a liberal arts degree. Love him to death.
I’ve noticed there are almost no BC professions in DC. There is the service industry and the professional industry, I feel like I rarely see the in between. It would probably take moving to the suburb.
I met my BC fiance in college. He is always in a hat, hard to get him out a of a sports tee shirt and even harder to get him into a shirt and tie, but is also loyal, funny, smart, kind, humble, and strong. He admires my job and work ethic very much, but also knows I’ve had my share of falling apart days, have washed my whites with reds and made every thing pink, have burned more dinners than I’d like to count. Being a white collar successful woman doesn’t mean your perfect, and most people know that, BC or not, but if a man equates that with being perfect, I think they can be intimidated.
There was a study recently that said if the woman made more than the man in the relationship, he was more likely to cheat. I’m sure that is the case sometimes for a variety of reasons, but I think the white collar woman/blue collar guy can be a great match. Law school was the first time I met men who thought they were better than me actually. I think there’s three classes of BC guys in this situation, those that are intimidated, those that are dismissive of your work, and those that know its a job, and admire how much work you do but can’t wait to see you out of lawyer mode. Those are the keepers!
Also in DC…that’s probably why I’m a big fan of “Flashpoint” (the SWAT show on Fridays). I’m surrounded by slump-shouldered non-action types.
Nothing on point to add but just wanted to say – I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years and I’ve been married to my husband for almost 2 (we’ve been together for 7) – and he hunts! Yes, people I meet think its really weird. People ask questions. And then they get over it. The reason it isn’t an issue is that it isn’t an issue for US – so maybe you just haven’t found the right BC guy yet, one who will see you for who you are, not for your paycheck/job title. Good luck!
Focusing on his accomplishments/the value he adds to a relationship and the superficiality of many of the things he quotes as what he “doesn’t have” should help. Like “baby if you want we can take half an hour and money at a mall and you’ll have the same wardrobe as any guy X but they’ll never have your … fill in the blank”.
I’m the only female litigator (lawyer, not office staff) at my firm–I have about a year and a half in at my firm, and I have a pretty good working relationship with my colleages. I truly like all of them as people, and we’re friendly/go to lunch together/etc., but we have some different interests that makes them enjoy some very ahem–spirited conversations with each other (their conversations–probably typical of those had by many groups of men–are sometimes a little “inappropriate,” but IMO, pretty hilarious) that they seem more reticent to have with me around.
My firm is slow, but we made offers to summer clerks last year that the firm decided to honor. I am not pleased with the prospect of sharing work with yet another person, but have nothing against the new [male] associate who began this week–I’m friends with him, too (we clerked together). Here’s the rub– new associate got an office amongst all of my other colleagues (new associates normally start in my office), and is very “BFF”/chummy with them already. ALL of the guys just went out for happy hour drinks (my office is by the elevator so I heard all of this), and didn’t say anything to me or even invite me, but DID invite the new associate. I don’t know if they meant to not invite me or just forgot, (and didn’t want to just invite myself along in case it was the former), but I think that it’s actually worse if they FORGOT.
I know this sounds very junior high, but my feelings are pretty hurt, and I’m really frustrated about the situation. Even more importantly, I’m kind of terrified that new associate/boy’s club member will get more of the choice assignments just by virtue of being “one of them” and in that office area.
Of course, saying anything or complaining makes me look like the whiny, potentially litigous killjoy. :/ I don’t know how to address the problem.
Ugh, this is a tough one! I am also the only female in an all male team, so I understand where you are coming from. I bet they assumed you wouldn’t want to tag along with a big group of guys who were planning to spend the evening talking about fantasy football. But it doesn’t make it right, they are building relationships and you are being left out of that.
I try to address the problem by offering up ideas for outtings myself, but beware – you don’t want to fall into the “assistant” role. So I try to ask a few people and then tell them to ask others. I think it helps show you like going out with the guys and don’t mind being the only female. But others may disagree with me on this one, I know it’s pointed out in NGDGTCO not to fall into this assistant type behavior.
It’s a hard line to play…I find some men actually feel uncomfortable asking a women out for drinks, lunch, etc. Others just assume we wouldn’t be interested.
If you are close with them, I might make a joke about it. Something like, “Oh, so what, I don’t get an invite to the boys night?” But obviously you would have to be good friends with them for this to go over well…
I hope others offer more stellar advice than I have today!
That sucks. I have no advice, except for maybe putting up an “Old School” poster in your office (j/k, of course!) I’ve been lucky; my last few offices have been headed by VERY STRONG women who didn’t put up with a lot of BS.
I’d just mention next time you are around some of them that it is about time you all went out to drinks and it would be great to bring the newbies too. They will likely say “oh, we did this last week. How about Thursday?” etc.
Been there, done that...
My recommendation is to speak up. You can sit and mope about it or step up and let them know you’d be interested in hanging with the guys. Why are we as women so afraid to speak up? Next time you know the guys are going out, approach the one that you are most friendly with and say ‘I heard through the grapevine that you guys are going out. Is there room for one more?’ They may just be assuming you don’t want to hang out with the guys. Unless they are going to strip club (which wasn’t uncommon in a previous job of mine), there should be no reason you can’t go have a beer. If all they want to talk about is Fantasy Football and that’s not your thing, leave a little early.
I think this is a real problem if it happens regularly. Do you have one friend at the office that you can just ask? Say something like, ‘I don’t know if you were doing a guys’ night out or if you forgot me, but I was surprised that you didn’t include me in your plans.’ Maybe he’ll come clean and admit they went to Hooters; maybe he’ll apologize and say they’ll include you next time. But it is a real problem to be the person in your office who is excluded from social activities. If you don’t take part in the office social culture you can be seen as the odd one out and thus the first to go if there are layoffs, plus you miss out on the camaraderie and relationships that lead to getting picked for new projects and getting promoted. So be proactive about it, and if you feel like you’re being left out, organize activities yourself.
Also, NGDTCO has a lot to say about your office situation. I think it’s a problem if your office is separated from the rest of your colleagues’, especially if you have the office traditionally set aside for the most junior person and you are no longer the most junior. If I were you, I’d request an office more appropriate to your current position.
I was wondering if any of you other overachieving chicks suffer from anxiety. It seems like I have had it on and off since college, but after grad school and beginning work it’s gotten so much worse.
I’ve tried all the typically prescribed routes – I spent boatloads on therapy, I have bottles of tranquilizers on hand, I do yoga twice a week, I get regular pedicures and massages, I try to keep up with my friends and social circle. But the only thing that really controls it is the tranqualizers – and well, I am worried about the long term effects, I’ve been taking the things on and off for 10 years now!
Will years of experience one day lead me to realize all this stuff I worry about isn’t woth it? Will I finally gain confidence in myself at work? Will all the muscle tension, lump in my throat, panick attacks and restless nights just stop one day?
I need advice ladies…I haven’t heard this topic brought up here, but I figure I can’t be the only overachieving chick who feels this way?
I am SO right there with you. I’m in therapy right now, but I feel uncomfortably anxious most days. Part of it is the unrealistic expectations I have for myself, and the amount of stuff I force myself to do. Part of it just seems to be how I’m wired, and it feels unescapable. It seems to me that for many people you hit a point in your life when you just stop giving a sh*t about what other people think and become a lot more calm and relaxed– anecdotally in my life, women who are over 40 seem to be a lot more okay with who they are and how they are…. Not that this helps you in any way, but I am right there with you.
I’ve haven’t suffered from the kind of stress you describe but it can help to consider different perspectives on life and work. I lost my mom my first year in college and that pretty much set my perspective since then to enjoy my life and spend time with the people I love. I make time to do what I love (travel, read, cook, watch my fave tv shows/ movies, read blogs, call my friends and family to say hello and catch up) and I don’t apologize for not checking work email on vacation or on weekends (unless it’s necessary).
Have you traveled somewhere where there is no wifi or cell coverage? It may sounds crazy, but it could shake up your world to detach from work and your current life to re-evaluate what really makes you happy.
There’s also a difference between running yourself into the ground/ working hard and working “smart.”
I also suffer from anxiety, which became much worse after I had my son. One thing I finally did, after much prompting from my doctor and naturopath, was to cut out caffeine. I resisted it for a long time, because HELLO, I have a baby (now toddler) who doesn’t sleep well and an insanely demanding job and some days the only thing that gets me through is the caffeine boost. However, I finally listened and dropped the caffeine and I have been surprised at what a noticeable difference it has made.
Valerie @ City|Life|Eats
Ditto – I was never a coffee drinker but a huge Starbucks chai drinker, which is basically liquid sugary caffeine and dark chocolate fiend – and same issue with me – much prompting from doctor and naturopath, but it really made a difference to cut out the caffeine and sugar.
I am not a huge coffee drinker – maybe one cup at home in the mornings and occasionally a mocha from starbucks as a nice break at work. But I have given up all caffeine 3 times in the past and saw no difference. The first time was for several months when my anxiety was at its absolute highest.
I am not particularly qualified to offer advice as I don’t suffer from more than moderate occasional anxiety (who doesn’t?) but I feel very strongly about this.
Get Out! Get Out! Get Out!
How could it possibly be worth it?
Are you in debt? Do you need to earn a ton to bail your mom our of crushing poverty? If not – it is not worth it. Find something else to do. Please, for gods sake, what is the point of life if you are miserable?
Anon for this one
A thousand times agree! Why are you doing this to yourself? Other than money, what benefit do you get out of all of this anxiety, stress, and craziness? Life is too short to be this miserable. What you describe is not how human beings are meant to live. Your body, mind and soul are trying to get your attention and tell you that what you are doing isn’t right. Listen to them. Joseph Campbell is so right when he said “Follow your bliss.” Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about this a lot in his books. You are being sent a message that what you are doing is not what you should be doing. Listen.
Anon for this
I’m not sure I agree with this advice. I suffer from anxiety, which I treat with medications and therapy. Sure, I have a high stress job, but the thing about clinical anxiety, is that I’d have it anywhere. I get anxious on vacation, I was anxious in school etc. I agree that a career change can help some people, but please remember some of us LOVE kicking ass in court, we just need a little medical help to do it sometimes.
Yeah – I know myself and my disorders (LOL) well enough to know that if it’s not my job causing my anxiety, it’ll be something else. I genuinely love what I do, but I’m constantly worried about everything, no matter what. It’s just the way I’m wired.
Anon for this one
You are right. Some anxiety is job related some is more than that. My solution was leave my job and it helped, but it may not be everyone’s solution. No offense meant to anyone.
anon - chi
Agree. The OP didn’t really suggest her current job is hellish. It sounded to me (apologies if I’m wrong) like it’s a long-standing anxiety disorder that will follow her if she switches jobs. That is not to say that a lower-stress position isn’t in order, but I don’t think it’s a matter of a traditionally happy-go-lucky girl who is being made ill by a screaming boss or unreasonable work demands.
*HUGS* You are not alone. FWIW, I’ve been taking Lexapro for about 5 months and I can’t believe I didn’t start earlier — for the first time, I feel like I’m actually on an even playing field and don’t have to do daily battle with myself anymore. The lump in the throat and the constant muscle tension — those are the worst for me. I know how you feel, and I am so sorry
What I would ask is whether those things you’re doing — the yoga, mani/pedi, time with friends — are things you truly enjoy, or are they causing more stress? Just because those are the things that everyone *says* you’re supposed to like, it’s still ok if that’s not working for you. Maybe you’re more of a kickboxer, runner, or elliptical girl than a yoga girl; maybe you’d prefer a massage or facial to regular mani/pedis (I know I do); maybe you’d rather go see a silly movie every now and then than go out with the girls. Maybe you don’t know, and you can do some exploring to figure it out. Whatever the case, please be kind to yourself, whatever that means and whatever that looks like. Find your happy place.
I would also ask, what are the specific reasons that you don’t have confidence in yourself at work? Sometimes when you can identify the specifics (even if it means acknowledging to yourself you may have made a mistake), you are in a better position to overcome those obstacles. It also sounds like your job is causing you lots of stress and anxiety, and I’ve found that if you don’t like your job/chosen field, it will infect everything else in your life. Maybe it’s time for a change.
It’s a constant struggle for those of us, er, “blessed” with chemistry that makes it so hard to get through the day. I don’t think the physical stuff (lump in the throat, restless nights, etc.) just “stop one day” unless and until there is a change, and that change might not look like what you expected or thought you even wanted. For me, that change was losing my BigLaw job, breaking up with my bf of 3 years (who I was living with and thought I would marry), and my therapist of 7 years closing her practice, all within about 8 months of each other. Not a great time for me, but looking back those were all changes that absolutely needed to happen. (And the Lexapro, it really helps.)
Valerie @ City|Life|Eats
That’s a really good point about just because everyone says yoga and mani pedis are great, are they really what you need. I know for me yoga is useful for staying grounded ,but if I am truly utterly stressed and have energy to burn, a nice happy yoga class is not enough – I either need to go to a super intense yoga class or go to the gym or something.
I so get it too. While my anxiety is not directly linked to worrying about work, I know what a beast it is to wrangle. I think that you are wise to plug into needing to take time for yourself, but sometimes it does require more like you said.
Deciding whether to medicate or not is so highly specific from person to person. All I can tell you is that I have chosen not to medicate on a daily basis (I have thyroid problems and arthritis, so I am already pretty medicated and have a ‘thing’ about not wanting to take more pills) however I do ALWAYS tote my trusty Xanax should I be in a situation where I have an acute panic attack and simply must find a way to cope.
I kept waiting for my anxiety to just disappear like you asked about. It didn’t. In fact, it got worse. As I began to tailor my habits and activities to my anxieties my world got smaller and smaller, with more limitations on activities that I ‘could’ do with out fear of a panic attack. The more I gave in, the bigger the monster grew. Keep seeking help, keep looking at different approaches both traditional and not.
Couple of things to toss out there that helped me: (1) I laid off the caffeine. I “poo-pooed”this ‘suggestion’ for so long, and was shocked when I actually tried it and saw a connection to my general level of anxiety. (2) Pick up a copy of the Anxiety-Phobia workbook. There is some great information in there. Specifically, I benefited from the information about ‘self talk’ that occurs as anxiety is building. (3) At the suggestion of my therapist I saw a counselor who does work in hypnosis. This was particularly helpful in determining how my anxiety was in part post-traumatic stress syndrome.
I don’t know if my experience helps you, and I know that what worked for me may not work for another. But for what it’s worth, I finally feel like I have my life back and that is worth something.
I have suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. Nothing worked for me until I tried cognitive behavioral therapy. I’m not sure if you’ve been doing that or more of a talk therapy. Talk therapy just let me dwell on every.little.thing. CBT helped me learn how to break out of the cycle of anxiety and realize that I can control my thoughts. Since I’ve learned those techniques, I have not had to take any medication.
Along with the CBT, I started exercising. I do something (even if it is just a walk around the block) every day. Most days I do around an hour. Even though that’s a lot of time (including the getting ready and showering after), I find that if I don’t have it, I am less focused and more anxious through the day. I also cut out caffeine, but I’m not sure if that helped as much as the other things because I’ve reintroduced some back without ill effects.
I think you’re being overly anxious about managing your anxiety :). Instead of trying to do all of the ‘typically prescribed routes,’ why don’t you find one or two things that make you genuinely happy and make time to do them every week? Get ice cream, go for a run, see a movie. Do you have a pet? If you can handle the responsibility and long-term commitment, a pet can significantly alleviate anxiety.
I’m prone to panic attacks. I find that petting my cat or holding a teddy bear (in a pinch; you can keep one in your desk and close the door) helps a lot. Also, looking at and caring for the plants in my office and looking at or touching pretty things in my office (I keep a soft, lovely shawl there and have a couple nice pieces of original art) really help me as well.
Valerie @ City|Life|Eats
Second the on the pet – I have seen very anxious people get pets and it has literally changed their lives.
I’ve always had some general anxiety, but I started having panic attacks after my mom passed away. I did the therapy and SSRI thing for a year. It helped me get back down to a manageable level of anxiety, but I was tired of being on medication.
“Relaxing” activities don’t cut it for me because I just get anxious that I’m not relaxing during relaxing time, I have so much stuff to do, did I leave the stove on, etc. The biggest help I have found is to do activities with a bit of adrenaline rush and keep my mind busy.
I like to mountainbike and snowboard. Both of these activities take up all my brainpower- it’s hard to think about the stove when you are trying not to fall over a cliff. Also, I’m out in nature, which makes it easier to disconnect: right now it’s just me and this mountain. I’m Miss Safety, so I wear all the protective gear and I rarely take chances, but it still makes me feel like a badass when I hop over a log on my bike.
The activities are tiring, so I sleep better at night. The little adrenaline rush wears my adrenal glands out, so I’m calmer afterward.
YMMV. You’ll have to try different techniques until you find something that works, but don’t despair. There are plenty of us out there!
Lexapro. It changed my life.
Thank you to everyone for the wonderful insight and advice!
I thought I would answer a few of the questions here instead of going tacking them on to each of the responses.
– I am not entirely sure it’s my job causing me this stress. For the most part, I love what I do, the only thing I dislike is the people I work with. Very much an old school – old boys club and I feel sort of trapped like I will never move up or be heard in this type of culture. However, the pay is decent and the benefits are outstanding, and that security makes me happy. So no, I don’t have any debt or anything requiring me to stay, I just feel secure here and honestly do enjoy the work.
– The mani/pedi route may not be what I need. Honestly, I love having my nails all pretty but sometimes feel like having all that scraping, etc is pure torture! As far as the yoga, I do love it as a workout (i take really advanced classes where we do super cool bendy-twisty poses) but have never found it to be a stress reliever. I also run. swim and weight lift, and while I feel great for a few hours after, they don’t seem to have much impact on anxiety either.
– Definitely need to focus more on what I like to do and not what people suggest – great point. Sometimes I just like to stay home reading and having a glass of wine. But I feel like I should be out with my “support system” or running five miles and all that other stuff they say to do.
Also, it’s great to know others relate! I find it really hard to talk to people about this IRL. I’ve told others I have anxiety, but really who doesn’t in today’s world? I don’t go into a ton of detail about it.
“Sometimes I just like to stay home reading and having a glass of wine. But I feel like I should be out with my “support system” or running five miles and all that other stuff they say to do.”
it sounds like (and sorry if i’m way off base) that you’re an introvert trying too hard to fit into the extrovert mold. my older sister is an introvert, i’m an extrovert, and we both have anxiety. things get worse when we have to try and fit into the wrong category (ie she has lots of parties or big group things to attend; i have a weekend without plans).
if you want to stay home and read a book, that could be EXACTLY what you need to do. introverts are energized by time alone; too much time with people drains them. a really interesting look at this is a book called “introverts in the church” (it goes into more than just the church, but the church is a good example of society as a whole). (interestingly, my pastor loaned me this book when i mentioned that i have social anxiety, which is why i don’t know a lot of people at church. he mistook anxiety for introvert.)
“introverts are energized by time alone; too much time with people drains them.”
Yeah, this. It’s hard to be an introvert in an extrovert-centric world! People sort of misunderstand it (At home, reading a book? When you could be OUT? Drinking wine ALONE?!) When you embrace the introvert, you will feel less stress about it and less need to explain yourself. Of course, we all need people. Introverts also need an empty room sometimes, too, that is all!
Oh God, you guys are amazingly spot on!!! I’ve gotten similar responses so many times. When my younger sister went away to college, my Dad even had a talk with her telling her to have more fun and not be like me just sitting in the dorm room studying all the time. Gee, thanks Dad!!!
I don’t know what happened to me, as a child I was outgoing and loud and had a million friends. And once college came, I was pretty much the stereotypical girl with her nose in a book, making friends with the administration and professors, having 3 or 4 very close friends in my class and my long term boyfriend. I was never without plans, being the overachiever type. my schedule was packed so full I barely had time for the friends I did have plus studying.
Great advice for me to stop worrying about what others think and just enjoy myself! It IS hard when others have such negative things to say about my social life…ugh.
I second anon. Reading with a glass of wine is a favourite way of mine to de-stress, and if you’re of the introverted tendency then it’s great to have that to balance “nights out with the support system”.
Same anon from 7:53am
Greetings, fellow introvert! You may enjoy this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/
Stop listening to what “they” say and start doing what makes you happy.
Same anon from 7:53am
By the way, if you didn’t already know you’re an introvert, you may discover that your anxiety is mostly do to exhaustion and nervousness from spending too much time with other people. If you start to accomodate your introversion, you may find your anxiety greatly alleviated. I know that’s how it was for me.
deep anon for this
I am an introvert and a trial lawyer. My job requires constant contact with clients, their families, opposing counsel, U.S. attorneys, magistrate judges, district court judges, appellate judges. Lots of angry people. My job requires I appear strong and confident and sure. And I do appear to be those things. I do appear to be Warrior Woman.
But, really, it’s killing me. The older I get, the sicker and more tired I’ve become. Being an introvert who must fake being an extrovert to do your job is exhausting. I think it is literally making me sick.
These past two years I’ve had three surgeries for breast cancer (it’s fine, it was stage 1); I’ve had seasonal flu lasting 7 days, and a month later, I got H1N1, which is the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. It lasted 30 days and required hospitalization. Then, the migraines. And now, I just got out of the hospital because of acute diverticulitis — 5 days in the hospital, 7 additional days ingesting mega doses of antibiotics. I am a slender, almost-vegetarian (like my fish) and should not be getting gut infections.
These days I require mega solitude. I have a great husband and teenager and dog, and I have my books and my wines and my walks at lunch, but that’s it. No charitable boards, no going out with women friends, no nada. To survive now and to force myself to get up every Monday morning, I spend almost the entire week-end without speaking to anyone but family.
And I need my Ambien.
My suggestion, as an older female trial lawyer, is to carefully choose your area of law (or whatever your profession). I wish now — too late for me — that I had gone into research and writing or estate planning. Attend to your inherent personality type and choose a career path that is congruent with it.
Oh, and why don’t I resign? My husband is a contractor and there has been no decent work for ages. I pay the mortgage, cable, electricity, gas, water, car payments, medical insurance — all.
Good luck to you.
Deep Anon –
(((Hugs to you))) Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your advice and wisdom is extremely helpful.
Oh ha ha that article cracked me up. Thanks for posting it.
That article was pretty similar to me…especially the part about “stop asking us if we are ok when we are staring off into space thinking.”
Hubby ALWAYS asks if I am ok if I just glance to the side to think about anything. Ugh, I hate it. He doesn’t understand what I am doing. Sometimes I just open a magazine so he thinks I am reading it, and then think about stuff that way.
Great article. I’m more of an introvert than an extrovert, but luckily I’m confident enough to tell people I’m more than happy to have hot dates with my couch and a good DVD/book on the weekends. I enjoy being extroverted at work, but I also like to have solitary evenings and weekends. Having too many activities planned outside of work really does stress me out and I don’t feel like I really need to be doing that many things.
The staring off into space part was great. I’m the type of person who gets lost in my own world when walking and I always get complaints about people who were calling to me for a few minutes while I “ignored” them. Chances are I just didn’t hear them!
Another Overachieving Chick
My twin! Answering your questions: “will years of experience one day lead me to realize all this stuff I worry about isn’t woth it? Will I finally gain confidence in myself at work? Will all the muscle tension, lump in my throat, panick attacks and restless nights just stop one day?”
First question: no, never. You will just worry about bigger things, and you will have more things to worry about, like kids and aging parents.
Second question: sometimes, more and more. And occasionally something will happen that makes all that ‘fall apart’ and you have to cowgirl up, regroup and rebuild. That gets easier over time and with experience. Remember, good judgment is the product of experience and experience is the product of bad judgment. You have to get experienced to have good judgment and good judgment is a lot of what supports confidence.
Third question: I don’t know. I still have all that – with 25 years of experience, and an equivalent amount of therapy, friend support, sleep aids and all the rest of it. A lot of the time it is ‘manageable’ with exercise, ‘clean living’, taking care of myself, etc. And a lot of the time it isn’t because there just isn’t enough time to do all the things/go all the places/take care of all the ‘dependents’ (work and personal) that need to be done.
Sorry if this is not the ‘silver bullet.’ Here’s why I am giving you the no sugar coated version – if your field is causing you this much anxiety at the outset (mine did), maybe you should seriously consider whether what you are doing/expect to be doing for the next several decades is REALLY what you should be doing. I really wish I had paid closer attention to these issues 20 years ago – I didn’t and just kept soldiering on, and now it doesn’t really seem to have been worth it (endless sacrifices too broad and numerous to catalog) and I really wish I was doing/could change to doing something different. But it is pretty late in the day for me now – unlikely that I can do that. Maybe, if I am lucky, I can reinvent the job a little and lessen some of the anxiety and grief, but not sure – it’s an ongoing struggle.
I wish you luck and peace.
I agree with the previous posters. I have suffered from anxiety for a long time and the only way it got better for me was to move to a smaller city (with a much shorter commute), switch to a smaller firm, and have my DH work in a lower-stress environment as well. We spend our time doing things that we like to do (like taking walks and cooking dinner together) and I find my job to be pretty easy compared to any other job (or school experience) I’ve had in my past. I am not a partner at a big firm but I am healthier now and I have better control over my anxiety and my previous eating disorder, too.
Thank you so much for this honest response. You are right, i will go on to worry about my kids and my parents.
The thing is, I don’t know if it’s my job or not. I definitely don’t love the people i work with, the job itself I do love at times. I just always feel like I don’t fit in, like I don’t see things the same way as the rest of them.
You’ve given me a lot to think about.
I would not automatically attribute it to a stressful job. I find my anxiety level is the highest when I am the least busy — more time to dwell on anxiety-provoking thoughts! My busy job actually keeps me focused on something other than worrying and in some ways I am happiest when I am spending more time in the office. (There is a point at which there are diminishing returns however — if there is a superheated crisis at work, and/or I have a lot of late nights with no sleep, that does bring back the anxiety). Also, the worst of my anxiety occurred before I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism — it mimics a lot of anxiety symptoms (racing heart rate, insomnia, tremors, even panic attacks). Since I have been on thyroid medication, it has been much, much improved. It sounds like the OP has had medical care for anxiety so it may have already been ruled out for her, but for others with this issue, it may be something to check out. It actually took me a while to be diagnosed with a thyroid problem because the doctors mistook the symptoms for depression / anxiety – it can easily be missed.
Yes, I had all the routine tests to rule out other issues…thyroid levels checked, EKG and echo cardiogram of my heart and chest x-rays.
Good point though!
Oh yay, open thread. I just went off BC pills after NINE years on them, and am feeling a bit wonky. Anyone willing to mention their experience going off the pill? I was on ortho-lo, which is a relatively low dose of hormones, but have to imagine my body will be confused for a while.
Valerie @ City|Life|Eats
I went off bcp after 10 years on – like you, I felt a bit off the first two months, but then my energy really surged and it made me happy with the decision. The biggest enduring downside for me has been hormonal breakouts on my chin after 10+ years of perfect skin (I have been off bcp for 9 months now), but everything else evened out fast – i.e. within a couple of months.
Valerie @ City|Life|Eats
I did get PMS again I should add -but it was one of those things where it evened out after a couple of months. I was on Mircette though. I had also cut out caffeine and upped exercise when I went off bcp (but for unrelated reasons).
I went off Loestrin in January (after only a year and a half), and had major mood swings for two months. I already take an anti-depressant, and I thought it had stopped working. I also had horrible headaches every day, beginning at 1:00 pm. By the end of February, my moods leveled out again and my headaches went away. It turns out that I should have upped my exercise level and lowered my caffeine before making this change, but I only found this out from my doctor and a few websites after I was well into the withdrawal. I finally started my period again in May.
my cramps coming off after 10 years were (and still are) hellacious. good luck.
Re horrible cramps: try acupuncture. I originally went for an annoying eye tic, but stayed for fertility/cramps. Before I started, I could remember sitting in hearings trying to control my facial expressions because I.Hurt.So.Bad. After treatment, no more cramps. You may also want to see if you have uterine polyps (not the same as fibroids) — I had them and cramping is a symptom of them. HTH.
K-If you don’t mind me asking in an anonymous forum, did acupuncture work for your fertility issues? Because I really would like to try it first before I head down the Clomid route.
I did acupuncture for fertility and believe it is why I was able to get pregnant with my son after my first IUI, despite having severe PCOS and my husband having sperm morphology issues. I was in a special program where my acupuncturist developed a protocol that worked in conjunction with my Western-medicine fertility doctor’s protocol. There actually is quite a bit of evidence that acupuncture helps people get pregnant, especially with IVF. Our fertility doc, who was always very upbeat about our frankly dismal chances, recommended the acupuncture. I started the acupuncture the month before my first Clomid cycle – I eventually did 5 Clomid cycles, the last one with IUI, and got pregnant. My fertility doctor told me after I got pregnant that he had thought we were going to have to do IVF. Acupuncture really helped a lot of things – my migraines among them – and I continued doing it after I was pregnant until I was about 5 months along, and then again when my son was about 18 months old and I had started having a lot of hormonal problems.
My acupuncturist was a big believer in diet and lifestyle changes along with the acupuncture to enhance fertility. Once we found out my husband had problems (his morphology was 4 percent) she insisted on treating him as well, which he wasn’t thrilled about, but he did it. I firmly believe without acupuncture I would have almost certainly had to do multiple rounds of IVF to get pregnant. I really recommend it to anyone TTC. Check your insurance because mine ended up covering most of my acupuncture, I paid very little out of pocket. Good luck.
I think it’s pretty common. I had the opposite experience–I went off BC because it was making me crazy (and raising my blood pressure). I felt normal almost as soon as I stopped taking it.
I was on Nordette for 14 years and stopped when my husband & I decided to try for a baby. Prior to being on BCP I had very irregular cycles and one of the best parts for me was how it regularized everything. Well, it turns out for women with irregular cycles, it can take a LONG time to start ovulating/menstruating again after going off BCP. In my case it took 6 months! So if anyone is thinking of going off BCP in order to try to conceive, if you had irregular cycles before, you may want to stop earlier than you otherwise would — for some women, an immediate return to fertility does *not* happen. This is not something that is publicized much about BCP; most sources say fertility returns right away, but my OB/GYN was not at all surprised it took so long – she said there is a subset of women for whom it can easily take 3-6 months. Everything eventually worked out for me, and I was able to become pregnant with no complications, but the extra waiting time was not welcome!
Ditto. I didn’t get a period for over a year after going off BC and had to go to a repro endo to figure out why when we were TTC. Turns out that dr didn’t really know even after all the testing etc., but I took provera and clomid and then got pregnant, and then my periods were regular after I had my first.
I went on BCP after my second-born. After a few years of issues that I never would’ve guessed are related to BCP, I went off and feel much better now. The issues included high cholesterol/triglycerides, low sex drive, and a fairly severe pain in my breast that resulted in mammograms, a biopsy, and weeks of fretting before discovering that it was all due to BCP. Much better being off. I think it took a couple of months for my body to adjust to the new normal,which unfortunately includes the occasional break-out, but I can deal with that. Much better than the alternative.
I’m also suffering from a nonexistent sex drive caused by a number of factors for which I am in therapy, but I do wonder if my bcp (10 years on them now) is a contributing factor. I’ve never had a strong drive, but I went on bcp before I engaged in any sexual activity, so I now wonder if the bcps have been supressing my drive the whole time. I live with my SO, haven’t had sex yet in 2010, and have no desire to. It’s incredibly stressful for both of us, and yet I can’t force myself to feel/want it. Did anyone else notice a significant increase in drive, as D mentions? I’m not sure what the as-reliable alternative is to hormonal contraceptives, or if there are some bcp that don’t suppress sex drive as much, but the SO and I are basically at our wit’s end about this incredibly frustrating and upsetting problem.
I’m a new 1L and just wondering from the other 1Ls and others – how is everyone finding it? Do you like the people? Do you like the other women? Do you feel like it was a good decision?
I’m enjoying aspects of it but some things are so disappointing. A lot of the women who have similar interests to me, public interest etc, seem arrogant and exclusionary. I’ve basically come to terms with forgetting about any gender focused legal activism in about a fortnight. A lot of them seem to have no life experience beyond swallowing a feminist dictionary while being president of their UG ‘club’ and there is so much name dropping and passive aggressive oneupmanship. Sigh.
Also, writing a basic memo is hard! I’m trying not to fall into the trap of feeling incredibly stupid. Is this just typical of your first week of law school? Will it get better?
remember that law school is basically high school all over again — lockers, the same classes, everybody adjusting to a new environment — but this time, with legal drinking. Once everyone finishes eyeing each other / posing for each other, things will settle down. Of course, the devil on my shoulder suggests that you could always ask one of the name droppers to invite the name droppee to a meet and greet… and see whether they back down from the strength of the connection :)
It does get better from the “ack, can I really do this?” perspective. More boring, but better.
This. The great people are there, you just haven’t found each other yet. You will. Don’t give up on what makes you passionate–but also don’t turn your nose up at the women whose interests differ from yours. And memo writing….it gets easier and you are not stupid. Realizing that learning a new skill is difficult actually proves that you’re intelligent!
Definitely agree that things will settle down. Right now everyone is nervous, and, with most of the personalities you find in law school, that tends to result in insecure, obnoxious overconfidence.
I remember writing my first memo felt really hard, too, just because absolutely everything about it was new and I had no idea what I was doing. Don’t worry, after 1, it gets much, much easier and more natural! Don’t feel stupid.
It’s just a different type of writing. Once you adjust you’ll find it easier. For me, it was very hard to go from an English major type of writing to legal writing, but it gets much easier!
Yes, it gets better. By the time you finish, that short memo will be a breeze. The key to first year is to have a good study group. Just a handful of people you feel comfortable with, to help each other through the inevitable exam freak-outs and just trying to figure out what is going on in some classes.
And yes, first year is like high school all over again. So much time (and stress) with the same little group of people will do that.
I am a part timer 2L now and it is SO. MUCH. BETTER. than 1L. I don’t feel lost anymore. I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. I can actually get reading done in a few hours instead of devoting days to it. I hated writing 1L year, but I took another writing class this year and I love it! So hang in there, it is all very confusing and overwhelming at first but you’ll make ti through and feel better about it soon!
I can’t help too much on the friends front though, I am about 10 years older than all my classmates and don’t really spend much extra time at school as I like to see my family with what little time I have (I work full time.) Most people are friendly enough to chat with in class and I haven’t found too much competition, but I’ve heard evening students are less competitive.
Second that! Just put your head down, work hard, don’t let the games and BS get to you and I promise you will see the light of 2L! And oh is 2L + 3L so much better than 1L.
You will make it, I promise! Take care of yourself and don’t buy into the BS of this much more difficult and expensive (!!!) version of high school! :)
FWIW, 1st year of med school is the same thing. High school all over again. The difficult part of 1st year med school is the memorizing, rather than the writing (someone told me it’s like memorizing water out of a fire hose, I don’t even know what that means). It’s really stressful, because a lot of people are secretly believing they don’t belong there, and overcompensating by being super confident. It gets better, at least med school does.
Gosh, it takes me back. Lockers, a lunch room, gossip, clique, parties. The shear intensity of everything is exhausting.
My doctor friend told me it was like “drinking water out of a fire hose” her first year :)
Must be all graduate education programs. So was the Phd in psychology. Adding in additional stress of a very small class size <10 and the mind set of "we're in this together for the next 4 years" is lots of stress. Love the fire hose imagery. Do they video tape you doing work with clients? We all had most, if not all, of our practicum work with patients taped and then reviewed. Clinton and Stacey have nothing on professors in this regard. :)
Do you go to Emory? hehe, sorry, that was sooooo snarky, but that’s exactly Emory. All I can say is that the attitudes are much more bearable third year, especially once you find your own group. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in a bad section, so when you take classes with others you will see that there are nicer people in law school. Stay optimistic and don’t let the jerks get to you. =) Keep your head in the books.
I hated my first year for all the reasons you mentioned. I made some great friends starting in second semester, but first semester was just miserable. Most of my class did not go straight through from undergrad, but most of the more obnoxious/vocal students initially were the ones who did come straight through.
As for study groups, I found they were hit or miss. Some people are just more individual learners and if that’s your style, don’t force yourself into study groups. Everyone feels really stupid in 1L. There are usually a few people in class who did some paralegal work before school who may be more knowledgeable, but for the most part, everyone is in the same boat.
The advice I got, to find a good study group, always used to stress me out. I’m an introver, LOL, as I just confessed to above. I never wanted to be near all these people talking to hear themselves talk (as I viewed it, rightly or wrongly). Also, it seemed to me, that in my year, the groups formed on the first day, or in orientation, and I was never, therefore, in one; it seems I missed the boat. However, I did fine. I mean, I’m not solicitor general now or anything, but I got by. But when I would talk to lawyers I knew, they were all alarmist like, “FIND A STUDY GROUP WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” and it stressed me out, much in the same way that, during bar prep, people who harshed on me for “only” taking BarBri (and not PMBR) made me stressy. Just do what works for you. Study groups seem to be the norm, but I am an individual learner. So if you are, too, 1L, then study alone.
Legal writing is really hard. You’ll get the hang of it and it will become second nature. And the culture is different at every law school – if you don’t like the women’s legal culture at your school, you’ll probably meet students at your summer internships that you do like, and once you graduate the local bar will be different as well.
Heya Ladies! I am in the market for straight-leg jeans. I tried these on today: http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=57430&vid=1&pid=673940&scid=673940002 and they fit just perfectly. However, they are a little lower-rise than I’d like. (I’d like to be able to crouch down without worrying about my…). Any other suggestion. Under $100 would be ideal, but I am willing to consider jeans in other price points.
1 more year...
I have been wearing a pair of those Gap jeans at least twice a week for 6 months or so. They’ve stretched a bit and now sit much higher on the backside. The front rise is still maybe low, but my seat is fully covered and I never discover I’m accidentially showing something I didn’t mean to. At the price, they’re hard to beat.
I have the Gap Always Skinny and they sit higher. I did buy a size larger than usual, though, because I was concerned about the low rise. Maybe size up?
Thanks, Ladies. Anon, I did size up, but then my butt looked terrible! 1 more year, thanks for the feedback. I agree, the price is great.
I need some advice. I post here but under a different moniker.
I’m in the “I graduated law school and work in litigation and hate it” situation here. I’m waiting for bar results right now and am at a plaintiff’s firm where I worked during school for the last 2.5 years, with no benefits and a very low salary with serious hours. I went to a top 20 law school and had okay grades. I feel like I don’t have any other options until I get my bar card, and the market seems so bad that I’m scared to up and leave, especially with loans coming due in November (not that I can pay them on what I make here, but that’s a different problem). I cry on my drive home most nights, I hate it so much. I’ve worked here long enough to know that litigation is just not my thing.
What should I be doing right now if I want to be something other than a litigation attorney? I’d like to know if any of you were in a similar situation and where you took it.
-Legitimately considering moving to Colorado and being a park ranger.
If you want to move to Colorado to become a park ranger, and you don’t have a partner/family that would be seriously disrupted by that move, I think you should do it. Cliche yes, but life is short, and your bar card can come to you by mail. If you don’t want to be a litigator, what do you want to do? Do you want to be a transactional attorney? Do you want to be an attorney at all? Do you want to be involved in law, but not as an attorney? Your law school career office may actually be able to help you (if they aren’t overwhelmed right now with 2Ls going through OCIP). There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t like your current job. And it’s just a job–it doesn’t define you.
It sounds like you’ve been practicing law as a lawyer (as opposed to as a part-time clerk) for just a couple months. What is it that you don’t like, and what would you need to make you fulfilled? Are you sure that a different kind of litigation wouldn’t be a fit for you? Is it possible that it’s not just the transition from school to full-time work that is throwing you off?
What are your classmates doing? Are any of them happy? Are any of them as miserable as you sound? Network with the happy ones and find out if the unhappy ones are unhappy for the same reasons you are.
Very best of luck, and good luck when results come out!
I have no advice for you, but wanted to say that I share your frustration. My situation is slightly different, in that I accepted a job that I’m totally overqualified for and it’s driving me insane (I am here on a visa, so unfortunately changing jobs isn’t an option for now, although I am looking to do that). It makes me cry as well. Yesterday it all got to me and I managed to convince my supervisor that I was sick before getting out to my car and breaking down in tears for 45 minutes. I’m getting pushed into the assistant/secretary role MUCH more than I am comfortable with, and it’s a small, family-run firm, so few career advancement opportunities. Also a low salary and no benefits. There was a bit of bait-and-switch in the interview pitch they gave me and the actual job.
All I can say is, hang in there. I had a helpful conversation with someone about my situation last night, and we decided that the plan is that I’ll schedule a feedback meeting with my boss and see if they can adjust the job responsibilities, and stick it out until Thanksgiving one way or another. If it improves, I’ll stay; otherwise, I’m going to bail out. Maybe this would work for you? At the very least, putting an end date on it might be good for your mental health, as it avoids the “I have to do this forever and ever and I hate it” anxiety.
In the meantime, I would check out the park ranger opportunities — why not? If it makes you happy, do it. Good luck, and you aren’t the only one who is crying. :-)
FWIW, the NDCA (I think?) has a branch court in Yosemite to adjudicate everyone who breaks federal laws in the national park. Judges, clerks and everything. I think this might be the best of both worlds :-)
–Legitimately considering opening a tiki bar on a beach in some tax-haven somewhere…
Really? I think I might have a new life goal.
I’m definitely right there with you! There have been days where I’ve worn huge sunglasses to work during my commute, because I’ve teared up at the thought of having to go to work. I’m at a big firm, and I’m also pretty sure I don’t want to be a litigation attorney.
A couple of things that have helped me are: (1) Appreciating that I actually can get out of it, if I want. Like someone else said, if you don’t have a spouse/family that will be seriously impacted by a huge change, could you do the same? No one is holding a gun to my head forcing me to be a trial lawyer. Yes, I have tons of student debt and a mortgage, and yes the economy is horrible, but that doesn’t mean I’m trapped forever. It sounds stupid, but once I realized that I have the power to leave, I started feeling better. (2) Figuring out what it is I like. I actually love the law (loved law school and clerking) but don’t like confrontation. I don’t want to be a transactional lawyer (not lawyerly enough for me personally), but I also don’t want to be in an adversarial role all the time. I think policy work, government work, maybe appellate work (far less confrontational, in my opinion) are more my cup of tea, so I’ve started investigating those options. (3) Set a timeline. I sat down with my husband, and we talked through various things–finances, how much I thought I could tolerate my current situation, etc.–and set a schedule for when I will start looking for a job, when we might sell our home (if necessary), and that sort of thing. Having a plan in place makes it seem more manageable.
I hope this helps you! I also sort of agree with the advice that if you want to move to Colorado, do it. Definitely take the time to figure out whether that’s actually the case, but life is too short to be miserable!
Stick with the job for a year or two, join local bar associations, and defer your loans if you need to. Set a date in your head at which you can quit so you have something to look forward to, and network your hiney off at bar activities. Then use your connections to move into another practice area. It’s pretty easy to transition into a neat government job with good hours, like the city attorney’s office, after a couple years at a small firm. You’ll probably discover you don’t hate all litigation, just plaintiff’s-side.
I know it’s hard to believe when you’re in the thick of it, but your first job doesn’t determine the course of your entire career, and it won’t last forever. The economy sucks right now and it’s far better to have a low paycheck and a job that allows you to develop marketable skills than to have no paycheck at all. Just get the job done, and stop feeling sorry for yourself in crying. If you really want to see people who are bad off, volunteer with a homeless shelter and you’ll feel 100x better about your life. This too shall pass.
Thanks all. It was obviously a very tough week. One of the things I love about this site is the range of opinions and advice. It’s nice to be able to be sad and get some constructive feedback all at once.
The comment about volunteering at a homeless shelter was a good one – I’m normally not whiny like this and am very frustrated at not being able to change my attitude. That might do the trick.
Part of the problem is that I’ve been at this job for over 2 years (I worked during school) and it is just not challenging. Most of my friends in law school did much better than I did and are doing clerkships and starting at big firms, and yes, they are all happy so far with what they’re doing. I’m sure I’ll find something that is challenging and rewarding, just not until November or so.
Obvious but not obvious truths from you guys that I’ll remember – it is just a job, I can always go do something else, and I’m probably just adjusting to not being in school anymore. Also (please God) if I pass the bar in November I have a decent network and will probably be able to move on pretty quickly.
…and it helps to know that Colorado will always be there, just in case. :)
anyone here undergone back surgery? despite making it my second full-time job to avoid surgery for disc issues, i’m facing laminectomy & microdiscectomy. i’m terrified & just need to hear some success stories.
Not me personally, but my uncle had very serious back surgery, and i was visiting him a fee weeks after, and he burst into tears. I was worried – thought he was in pain. He said he had never realized what backs were supposed to feel like and after 30 years it was like he was being reborn. I’d say that’s a success story.
I had a discectomy and fusion at C5/6- cervical (neck) spine when I was 29. Losing the ability to walk due to nerve damage made the surgery inevitable. Seriously scary beforehand but I got through it pretty well. I really trusted my surgeon, so that helps. My father-in-law was a neurosurgeon at the time, and my surgeon was his partner at a top-rated hospital. Line up any support that you can and get a second, third or fourth opinion if you need to.
Depending on the location of your disc, your recovery may be shorter or longer. I had to wear a neck brace for a month and not drive or work for that long. I got a lot of down-time which was hard, and I couldn’t read books much or use the computer or knit so I would walk for 2-3 hours a day, working up from 15 minutes.
I got over my fear of surgery and it made two c-sections later a piece of cake.
Best of luck to you. I’m sure you’ll do fine.
This is a late reply, but I had a microdiscectomy almost exactly a year ago on my L5-S1 vertebrae. My disc was more than 50% herniated and I couldn’t walk beforehand. I wouldn’t say it’s been a total and unqualified success (you have to do physical therapy afterwards and taking care of your back is just something you have to do for the rest of your life), but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
My doc told me never to run again (my bad back was the result of playing volleyball year-round from 6th grade through college), but I’m now run/walking 5Ks and feel pretty good. It’s scary, but worth it. Good luck!!
one more for the tall ladies & i’m done:
i can’t vouch for the quality or fit, but just got a catalog from Long Tall Sally (longtallsally dot com). everything’s designed for those with taller proportions (as opposed to most mass-market designers that just add extra inches of fabric at the bottom). they also have shoes and boots up to size 13.
I am almost 5’11” with at least a 36 inch inseam. I have ordered from them before and found some of their stuff pretty decent. I recently discovered a couple of JNY and Pendelton suits on their site that I may add to my closet.
I hope it’s okay if I make a plug for my friend here. She’s designing yoga tops for tall women and plans to launch in January. Here’s her FB page if you want to follow her progress: http://www.facebook.com/pages/elle-mayers/130903193612666
Seriously, how do you guys have time to date and build a relationship? Maybe this is a better question for other single ladies but I really don’t seem to have time to do so. I feel like I work too much to ever go out and meet people (i.e. go to happy hours or do other fun activities like sports or clubs) and, believe me, I try to take the time for it and do get out there but just not enough to meet people or enough time to build a relationship. Then I focus on work because I don’t have anyone to date and then when I’m working late at night, I’m like “this is why I don’t date” and that makes me sad. Ugh. Any advice??? And as you can see, I’m writing this on a Friday night! Lol.
This. I have terrible nights (and days) where I really think that this relationship thing is not going to happen for me. Work, at least, is always there if you want it.
If you streamline everything in your life to maximise the time you have for things that really matter to you (like building a relationship) and cut out anything superfluous, do you think you might have enough time then? If not, then I guess the only solution is to work less… And in any case, if you do get into a relationship, you’re going to want and need time to maintain it.
From another single chick – It can be a vicious cycle… And especially frustrating when you find yourself having to attend those couple-y events like weddings, etc. My only advice is that instead of focusing on where-to-meet-men, focus on finding some time that’s for you each week, and engage in an activity that will put you in contact w/ people outside of your office and see what happens. For example, this fall I’m taking a ceramics class for fun. I’m excited about it, and even if I meet no one, it will be fun – which means that the pressure is off, so the anxiety is down.
I’m with you. I don’t actually work overwhelming hours (public sector employee here), but I am a superstar at work and really confident in my professional life, and my confidence does a 180 in my personal life. I feel like I focused so much on building up my career I missed out on the normal early 20s social development and I don’t know how to meet guys, tell if a guy likes me, tell a guy I like him, flirt, etc. I don’t think I’m socially awkward because I have lots of friends, but I am introverted and don’t have the energy to go out a lot and I have no idea how to flirt. Dating is a big mystery to me… sigh.
Yes! Me too re feeling like I don’t know how to meet guys, act, etc. even though I have many friends (some of whom are actually guys). It seems to me that the best solution is to go on something like match.com but I am afraid of running into some scam artist or sociopath. I decided I am not very good at screening strangers after having two separate utterly horrific roommate experiences with roommates that I found on craigslist. What a dilemma.
Roommates are not the same as dates though. You don’t have much time to screen them before you let them into your house. Dates you can meet with 3, 4, 10 times before you ever go somewhere private with them …. I’d give the online stuff a chance. I met my husband 6+ years ago on another dating site after meeting many duds, but no real crazies (just weird people sometimes, with issues … mostly makes for great stories). I’ve never heard of a scam artist on a dating site, what’s the scam? I did pick one crazy (depressed/manic) roommate from craigslist, but I really don’t think it compares.
Thanks! That’s a good point about the roommates. I suspect what’s really going on is that I am just making up excuses! Ha. The scam I was referring to is something that I saw on one of those expose “news” shows. This one was talking about how all these women were being fooled by this man who said he was a doctor and even had a fake doctor’s ID and all this stuff. I think his goal was to get married and get access to their assets. I don’t remember the specifics. I was horrified enough at the thought of sleeping with someone and then find out that everything you thought you knew wasn’t true at all.
Been there, done that...
I totally understand. I was single once and all I did was work. So I started to take time for myself. I went on great vacations with family and friends. I bought real furniture and decorated my apartment. My best friend was single too, so we went to concerts, sports events, etc. Once I made the time for myself, I realized that I could make time for someone else, not to mention that I finally got fed up with being single. Friends and family are fun, but honestly, I wanted a warm body beside me at night. I was 32 and I decided to do something about it.
I always found the meeting a guy was the hardest part. You can’t meet anyone if you are constantly working, and I don’t like going to bars or clubs. The gym, the grocery store, and sitting next to guys on air planes (I traveled a lot for my job) didn’t worked. I started using Match.com. Meeting guys was no longer a problem. So I went on some dates. Some were duds, some were nice but not my type, or nice and I wasn’t their type. Then I met my hubby. I kept a very open mind the whole time. If the guy wasn’t right for me, I always knew there were a 100 others to choose from.
I’ve been happily married now for almost 4 years.
Yep. You meet lots of duds online, and sometimes it can be exhausting going on so many dates and talking about yourself and learning about someone new every week (I went on lots of 1-3 dates). But it’s kind of fun (can try new things in your city) and believe me, it’ll get you some GREAT stories to tell later. I sometimes would take a 1 or 2 month break from online dating when I was exhausted, but 7 months or so of really trying, I met my now-husband.
I tried online dating a few times and, most recently, tried it for 3 months and didn’t get a single date out of it. The other times I got maybe one or two dates in 6 months. How’d you end up with so many?
Been there, done that...
I initiated contact.
@Been there, done that… – I do initiate contact! Either they don’t respond or thigns fizzle via email before a date happens. i don’t know what my problem is.
Second the recommendation for match.com. As a divorced mom and professional, I didn’t want to date men at work or in the neighborhood (and become THAT neighbor). Also found a range of men, but I found it enormously helpful in screening in for what I wanted, out for what I didn’t. Want to get married? Make that clear and it’ll scare away the ones who only want a casual relationship. Do the opposite if that’s what you’re looking for. You can e-mail with them when it’s convenient, meet in a nice safe public place, and take it from there. However, if you want to grow the relationship once you find someone special, you will need to look at how you spend your time and decide what you want to prioritize. My ex-husband was a workaholic: he SAID family was the most important thing to him, but his ACTIONS demonstrated that work was. I married a lovely man I met on match — good luck to you! (PS It’s more fun if you can talk a friend into doing it with you and helping you write your profile. You can exchange stories and opinions — we created a “Hall of Shame” for the worst e-mails and profiles out there. Lightens the always-stressful experience of dating!)
This. I start feeling there is something wrong with me! Any advice is welcome
Maybe I just got lucky, but I found online dating to be pretty efficient if you’re honest with yourself about what you want. I knew I wanted someone to go hiking and biking with on the weekends, that I like military types who obviously spend time at the gym, and that the guy had to have a decent sense of humor. I only met up in person with 2 guys. The second one has been my bf for almost 2 years. Luck of the draw, I’m sure, but I think the fact that I was realistic about what I was looking for helped. Worth a shot if you haven’t tried it.
It also takes away the whole pressure/time suck of “I don’t know if he’s interested” – everyone is on those sites because they want to date.
I was on match.com back in 2001. My hubby was the only person that I met IRL bc I could tell from his emails that he was AWESOME. We’ve been married for 6 yrs now! :)
I think the first thing is that you have to eliminate any ideas that there are certain places you’re “supposed” to meet men. I tried the bar/club thing. Totally didn’t work (and I discovered that I actually dislike most clubs and a fair number of bars in the process).
The guys I’ve seriously dated/been in relationships with I met volunteering at an organization I loved, at a parti-time college job (which paid miserbly, but was one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had), at a professional organization (which I’m still in and enjoy), and reconnecting with a boy I crushed on in highschool (my current darling BF, going great for 3 years).
For right now, focus on making time for YOUrself and what you enjoy. Once you get to the point where making time for yourself and doing things you really enjoy is a priority, you’ll find it easier to find opportunities to meet men.
And there’s no shame in giving a try at on-line dating (I’ve heard mixed reviews about match.com, how about eharmony?) or mentioning to your close friends that you’re open to the idea of being set up. There’s no sure-fire way, just try what makes you comfortable.
Hi, everyone — I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who responded to my comment last week about dressing for secretarial work in Chicago. I’m pretty sure that I own absolutely zero appropriate pieces right now, but I’ve begun to enter that zen period that comes before traveling, when I’m close enough to departure to think that everything will just work itself out, but not yet so close that I freak out about all that’s left to do.
In any case, thank you, and yes, I promise I’m not crazy for moving from Honolulu to Chicago. :)
Good luck to you! Depending on where in the Chicagoland area you end up living, there are several great outlet mall options within an hours drive if you want to stock up on work appropriate clothes at things like Banana Republic, J Crew, Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers, JNY.
Check out http://www.primeoutlets.com If you are on the North side of the city/suburbs, the one in Pleasent Praire, WI is an hour or so drive but generally worth it.
You also might want to try Gurnee Mills, in Gurnee, IL. I haven’t been there in years, but it’s a huge outlet mall that’s a bit of a closer drive to the city.
There are also outlets in Aurora (southwest suburb) and Huntley (far west). Both have Ann Taylor outlets. I can’t say how many nice work pants I’ve bought there through the years at great prices. LOVE!!
My husband grew up in Kailua. One year he had a high school teacher who came from Chicago. My husband had never left the islands, so he asked his teacher, “Why did you want to leave Chicago?” His teacher answered, “Some day, you’ll grow up and visit Chicago. Then you’ll understand.”
We now live near Chicago, and as he’s shoveling many feet of snow off our driveway every winter, he understands.
I tore a tendon in my ankle today and had to have it casted. I am going to have wear the cast for 6 weeks and be on crutches 8 weeks. Would it be ok to wear a skirt without hose, or should I stick to pants (assuming they fit over the cast, I haven’t tried any on yet)? Am I correct that heels are completely out even after I get used to using crutches? If anyone has any general tips to help me out, I would appreciate it. This is my first time being injured. Finally, am I completely nuts thinking I will be able to go to work on Monday?
I”m guessing you have never used crutches – heels, and anything that doesn’t have a sturdy rubber sole are out. It doesn’t matter if you wear a skirt w/out hose or pants – and a skirt is probably going to be more comfortable. When you have an obvious, temporary, injury that comes w/ a cast, I think you get a bye on a lot of the regular fashion rules.
Been there, done that. You’ll be able to go to work Monday so long as the pain isn’t so bad that you’re taking serious painkillers. However, you should call HR first thing in the morning *before you go in to work* and let them know about your injury and that you may need accommodations. You may be surprised to find out that many things in your office are not accessible – you’ll probably need a new workspace arrangement at the very least and you might even need help getting in the building, etc, because it’s hard to carry things and open doors while on crutches. You might want to see if your insurance will cover one of those little walker-like things with wheels that you put your knee on and roll along instead of using crutches. Those make it much easier to get along and eliminate the strain on your arms from using crutches.
As for what to wear, yes, it’s absolutely acceptable to wear skirts without hose and that’ll be far easier than pants. You need to wear sturdy, stable shoes that will stay on your foot; I’d recommend a lace-up sneaker, honestly. Your company will have to make an exception to the dress code, if there is one, to accommodate your injury. When you call HR on Monday ask them about exceptions to the dress code as well.
So, Corporetters….I need your help. Regular poster here posting under a different moniker.
I worked for a few years at Biglaw Firm A in corporate law. I did not work directly with “Sally,” a co-worker, but inherited her work after she was fired. She was fired for yelling at the opposing counsel on deal OVER VOICEMAIL, but that was really the straw that broke the camel’s back. Once a few of us inherited her work, we realized that although she was personable, she was really incompetent. She had not just messed up one or two things, but seriously screwed up the clients’ files and transactions to the point that it was awful. She had “pre-billed” for work she didn’t do (which crosses a serious ethical line) and often lied to others about the work she did, claiming things were done when they were not. She billed hundreds of hours to work that was never completed and then, her shoddy work required literally hundreds of hours of write-offs as it was re-done.
Fast forward two years. I am now at another Biglaw firm. “Sally” calls me out of the blue and says she is applying for a job in another office of Biglaw Firm B. I don’t say the things I normally do when trying to help others find jobs, but I give a friendly, “keep me posted” after I tell her I really don’t have much pull for hiring in other offices at my firm. She says she is going to put me down as a reference.
Although I am generally of the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” bent, I believe I have a duty to my firm to warn them about her. I know that this is pretty proactive…but I can’t help but think back to all of the awkward moments I had with clients, and the sheer awful frustration my superiors AND colleagues who had to deal with her aftermath. And it was truly an aftermath.
Is speaking out the right thing to do? My firm WILL call and ask for my opinion.
A friend told me to say, “I have some reservations about her and her skillset.” and leave it at that. I think it’s the right thing to do. Is it?
I just wonder if there would be any concern over the fact that you knew exactly how bad her work might be, but did not specifically warn the firm. I do think that something stronger than “having reservations” might have to be said, especially since she seems to have been unethical and not just incompetent.
If nothing else I would absolutely forewarn the firm you currently work at to not touch her – b/c if you are perceived as endorsing her, her failures can become your failures.
Big Firm Lawyer
You need to call her immediately and tell you are unable to act as a reference for her because of .
If your name has already gone out, tell whoever calls you that you never worked *with* her and are unable to comment.
Check your state laws about libel when it comes to job references before you tell anyone the truth though.
Libel concerns absolutely. She could sue you when she doesn’t get the job and blames you for it. She could sue you for future jobs she doesn’t get. Watch out.
You should absolutely forewarn them. I think it’s somewhat passive aggressive to have allowed Sally to use you as a reference; I would have told her that you couldn’t recommend her and she shouldn’t use you. But it’s too late for that now. I’d call or email HR, tell them that she was fired from your previous firm and you would advise against hiring her, and leave it at that unless they ask for more details.
If nothing else, as Shayna said, if you don’t speak up you could be perceived as endorsing her. So definitely speak up.
DO NOT FOREWARN THEM. This is serious libel concern. You should have been upfront with Sally and told her you could not be a reference because you never worked with her, that is your mistake. You need to EXACTLY what big firm lawyer suggested.
For speech to be libelous, it has to be untrue and spoken with reckless disregard. I don’t think she’s planning to lie about Sally, so this concern about libel seems ridiculous to me. Are you guys lawyers?
As I tell my clients, just because you have a good defense, don’t think the person who feels they’ve been a victim won’t sue you. It can still cost you a lot of money and reputation even when you are innocent.
Yes, and there are special situations dealing with employee references. (If she was a personal reference it would be less of a big deal)
I would speak up. You don’t want to be associated with anyone who overstates your relationship – especially if they are an unethical, poor performer. My boss asked about a candidate who used to work at the same (large) office as me, and while I hadn’t directly worked with this person, I heard some negative things from various credible sources which made me believe the person would not be a good fit for my boss’ needs. I was motivated to be honest because this person apparently implied during the interview that we were friendly with each other when we worked at the previous office, which was absolutely not true and seemed like a big red flag to me. I made it clear that I wasn’t familiar with this individual on a personal level, but the reputation I was aware of should be a hiring concern. My boss hired this person anyways, which was frustrating, but at least I know that I tried to do what was best for the office and deter my boss from making a potentially regrettable choice. And I know that if this person’s issues are revealed, it certainly isn’t going to reflect on me because I didn’t sugarcoat anything. Of course people can change for the better (it remains to be seen if this person has), but if I were in a position to hire someone, I would want to have all the available information before making a decision – wouldn’t you?
Personally, I would send “Sally” an email that just says “I know I told you I could act as your reference, but actually I feel it would be better for you to find someone who knows you and your recent work better and can speak more about what you’ve been doing lately.” And leave it at that.
However, if you don’t think you can do that, or if she still leaves you on as a reference and you get a call, if/when you get the reference call, you can always “damn with faint praise” or just be absolutely noncommittal about anything. My boss got a reference call for an employee we had fired for incompetence a few months ago. (I think it was a situation where they had to list their previous supervisor on their application, and the company used that information for a reference call, even though there’s no way in heck this ex-employee would have used my boss as a real reference.) She told the caller, “I’m sorry, but I honestly cannot tell you anything about this person other than that he worked for us from (date) to (date). I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful.” And that was the end of it – she refused to answer any questions and cut the call off shortly after. When people have good things to say about a former employee/co-worker, they say them. When they don’t, that almost speaks for itself. Especially in a situation where you were listed a chosen reference, if you have nothing to say about her – good or bad – that will probably be a good clue to the employer to watch out.
I would NOT tell the reference-caller about “Sally’s” problems, as you experienced them. It’s very possible she could find out you did that, and either retaliate legally or personally. It’s absolutely not worth it.
I agree with everything said here – both that you should tell them and that you could end up getting screwed if you do! I have no idea what I would do in your shoes. I think this is a time to consult a lawyer familiar with the law and ethical rules in your state.
I like Amy’s idea about what to say to Sally in an email. But if you are asked by your firm to comment on her you absolutely should say what you know. You should do so first to save your firm from having to deal with an incompetent person. Moreover, if you do not say something and she is hired and does a terrible job, it will reflect badly on you – believe me, people will remember that she came in recommended by you. I would be much more circumspect if it were an outsider asking you for comments – in that case I would beg off because you haven’t worked directly with her – but you owe your own firm more than that.
Ethical Dilemma (Post 2)
Hi–Original Poster…some of you misinterpreted bc my first post wasn’t clear.
I didn’t at all say I’d act as a reference. Just got a phone call from Sally. Then she went ahead and applied, attached two letters as references (her “real references”) and then listed me as a “firm contact”. So I am not acting as a reference in the classic sense.
And I think I need to say SOMETHING, even if there are libel concerns. There’s a million reasons why someone might not get a job. How could she trace anything back to me? It’s not like my HR would say I slagged her off….
I’d go with if anyone calls, just confirm her dates of employment, and say that you are unable to comment on her more recent work, and that’s all. Don’t get into the slippery slope of how much to disclose, and make sure to record any calls for references (make sure to inform the other party) to CYA.
I’ve seen well-intentioned warnings go terribly awry for the warn-er, and I would suggest avoiding that at all costs.
I bought an AT skirt a few weeks ago and it’s already unraveling at the hem. The SA offered an exchange (but there were no skirts of that kind, and they can’t order them), store credit (for the final sale price) or reimbursement for repairs. Ugh, just moved to a new city and I guess I’ll have to look around for a tailor. Is this usual policy?
You don’t have the receipt? I had a problem w/a shirt a couple years back and found them to be incredibly helpful… Perhaps an e-mail to their corp. office? Check their website…
That’s the thing. I moved recently and I have absolutely no idea where the receipt would be or if I still have it. Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll try that.
call 1-800-dial-ann. even if the store can’t find or order items, they usually can.
So I belong to this professional organization. A friend holds a volunteer leadership position there. We recently had an argument (about personal matters) and she threatened to get me kicked out of the organization. Suggestions for what to do? She knows some of the important people in the industry and I don’t want to be blackballed. I don’t know how to handle this gracefully.
Have you talked to your friend about it or is that out of the question? Hopefully she’s remorseful that she ever said that to you, probably in a moment of anger which she now regrets. I would try to figure out if that’s what it was or if she really means it. In any case, I’m really not sure how she can get you kicked out of a professional organization just because she suddenly doesn’t like you! If it’s people you don’t know, why would they care, and if it’s people you DO know, I would perhaps run interference before she gets a chance to say anything (assuming she’s going to).
I’m just so disgusted with the situation that I don’t even want to talk to her. I guess what I’m trying to figure out is that unprofessional behavior worth reporting to the org. or should I let it go?
for sale or trade: one crappy husband who doesn’t stand up to his coworkers when they are rude to me. Correction: just take him.
Oh, I am so sorry. That bites! Did you try talking to him about it? Early in our relationship, my husband would laugh when his friends said insulting or rude things to me and I finally told him, look pal, you are on thin ice here – you’re supposed to have my back. He and I started out as friends, so for some reason he thought it was “friendly banter” and that I wasn’t really offended (hello???). Sometimes they’re just clueless and don’t know. I know that doesn’t help but it’s worth having a conversation about. Feel better. :)
Oh, Lwyr Chick, so sorry. **Hugs** (from one who went thru a long, painful and expensive divorce from a pretty- oh let’s just say ‘unsuitable’ -first husband) I just spent the last several days in a ‘rough patch’ with my generally pretty close to perfect most of the time DH – the rough patch was partially due to me being in a blue funk for work reasons, partially due to him being preoccupied with his own work, and a lot due to (borrowing from Cool Hand Luke) a “failure to communicate.” Once we finally got down to brass tacks, he realized/apologized for what he was being ‘clueless’ about (and I apologized for being mean and snippy over little things). Which is a long winded way of saying, I agree with Amy totally – wait until you have a calm moment and tell him the fundamental compact of marriage is having each other’s back. I hope you can have that conversation, and I hope it helps. And if you do and it doesn’t, put him on Craigslist with a bonus offer of a months’ worth of free groceries for whoever takes him.
Leave him a “note to (him)self”: “Must grow a pair with my co-workers, or get a job with grown-ups.”
All kidding aside, Amy and Suze make a lot of sense. Hope things get resolved.
Hi all, I need some engagement ring shopping advice. I’m traveling to NYC the first weekend in November for a family event and my fiance and I intend to go shopping in the diamond district for an engagement ring (he proposed a few weeks ago with a family ring that will be my wedding band, hence why we’re engaged but still engagement ring shopping).
I have two questions, especially for NYC Corporettes: 1. I understand that the NYC marathon is that weekend, specifically on Sunday when we’d go shopping – will the whole city be shut down as a result precluding any shopping in the first place? and 2. Are there any particular jewelry stores that you would recommend – or equally important would NOT recommend? We’re not looking for anything super large or unusual – just about a carat or so in a simple or antique-y setting to match the band.
Thanks so much! We’ve never shopped for an engagement ring and I’d love any advice!
I’m interested in the responses, but mostly your post got me excited because I am running the NYC marathon! Wooo!
Wow! Good luck!!!
I would say that in the area where the diamond district is should be fairly clear; the race finishes north of it in Central Park. I would recommend looking at the the Diamond district and also in Chinatown. Chinatown stores have some beautiful stones and they’re generally very open to haggling, I’ve found.
Congratulations on your engagement!
First, the whole city does not shut down for the marathon. You should probably avoid the marathon route during the race, but businesses are still open (you can look at the course online).
Second, the Clay Pot in Brooklyn is well worth a visit. They have a huge assortment of unique (including antique and vintage-style) rings and their staff are very helpful. You can browse some of their catalog online beforehand to get a better sense of what you like (clay-pot dot com). They carry work from a lot of amazing artists and many of them can do custom work if you have something in mind already.
If you’re looking for something more traditional, there are TONS of places to go in Manhattan, but I strongly encourage you to stay away from the mega retailers (I’m looking at you, Tiffany’s) where most everything is machine-fabricated and overpriced.
There is also a shop in Brooklyn called Catbird. They also have some amazing artists, do engagement and wedding rings and customizations. Their website is catbirdnyc dot com
Thanks so much, everyone! Both Clay Pot and Catbird look promising – their rings both have more personality and are cheaper to boot!
I would also recommend Greenwich Jewelers. They are all the way downtown and aren’t open on Sunday, but they have a website. Very pretty things at all kinds of price points.
I know I’m a little late to this, but many stores in the Diamond district aren’t open on Sundays, call ahead to see if they are. I prefer Zoland, they’ve been great to me: (212) 575-8875
Have any of you ladies ever applied for reciprocity in another state? Any advice, hints, horror stories I should know about? I’m licensed in two states currently, but am strongly considering moving home to be closer to my family in a third. The application looks crazy long, but definitely easier than taking another bar.
Definitely far better than taking the bar exam again! The only advice I have is to start digging up information on all of the traffic/speeding/moving violation tickets you remember. For reciprocity in most states, they want you to list all of your legal violations of any kind, and yes, that does include traffic tickets!!
Usually takes at least 6 months from start to finish, and you’ll have to take a boatload of CLEs in the new state that first year. But all in all, relatively painless. Good luck!
It can take a very long time, but in a lot of states you can start practicing under a provisional license with proof you’ve applied for admission instead of having to wait until you’re sworn in, so make sure you find out if that applies in your state and what, if anything, you need to do for the provisional license. Also, thoroughly investigate all the costs – surprise charges can pop up. It costs $1250 to get licensed in DC – I kept finding new surprise charges, it was $400 for one application and $300 for another and $25 for my MBE score and $25 for my MPRE score, and then eight months later I finally got sworn in and surprise, they want $40 for a certificate saying I’m admitted, plus they make you pay a full year’s dues right away and that’s almost $250, and then they make you pay for an ethics course that’s another $200something. Surprise surprise! Needless to say my employer did not pick up these expenses for me and I racked up a lot of credit card debt over it. If I’d investigated it more thoroughly in the first place I probably would have decided it wasn’t worth it to get licensed in DC.
Thanks, ladies. I was feeling like no one I knew had ever done this and that maybe I was crazy for considering. Glad I’m not the only one out there and that it’s actual a feasible consideration.
@Reciprocity, I was originally licensed in a state that won’t admit anyone who doesn’t take this state’s bar. Period. So very little reciprocity. But I was toying with the idea of moving to my family’s state and I was surprised to find out that I did not have to take the bar, just fill out the two foot high application (one part was national/standardized and one part was state specific and included a ton of personal and professional references. I did all that, it took about six months, and presto-bingo I was admitted. They even let me get sworn in by a judge in my ‘original’ state (wow). Cost about $1000, I hold the active license in the second state (did not move there), and the only *regret* I have is that now I pay second state about $700/year in dues and ‘professional privilege’ tax and trying to make sure I keep in line with second state’s CLE, trust accounting disclosures and stuff like that is sort of mind-boggling, but so far (last 3 years) has been doable. I like having the second license in my ‘back pocket’ in case for whatever reason I need/want to use it. Hope this helpts.
Big Firm Lawyer
can’t you go inactive? You’ll still have to pay bar dues, but usually a really reduced rate, and no need for MCLEs.
Totally go for it – it’s way better than taking another bar exam. I waived into DC in order to get reciprocity in Washington and DC took awhile (about 8 months, but I applied at the same time as everyone who took the July bar exam), and Washington took about 4 months. But thankfully I was admitted by the time I needed the bar admission for a new job. As the PPs have mentioned, you’ll have to pay for crazy high application fees and annual dues, but some states don’t have any CLE requirements. Good luck!
Does anyone have any advice on how to handle anxiety? I’m a 2L currently going through OCI in a city far from where I attend school, and between traveling, journal and schoolwork commitments, and the overall stress of interviewing, I’ve been having panic attacks and a huge amount of trouble sleeping. I don’t want to take medication, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips about how to manage the stress and sleep deprivation.
I know exactly how you feel! I have struggled with sleep problems for years. I take medication to help me sleep, but sometimes even that does not work. I try to make sure to take 30 mins before bed to do something relaxing. For me, that entails a hot bath, a beer, and a good book. I don’t drink caffeine after 4, and I try to get in 45 mins-1 hr of cardio 4-5 days a week. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, I would recommend starting one. I have started running recently, and it has made me feel so.much.better. Its hard to make time when you’re so busy, but it is worth it. Plus, I’m always very energetic after a good run. Other than that, just remember that it is not the end of the world if you don’t perfectly understand your readings or if you don’t get a job. You will catch up on your readings in time for finals, and you will find a job. Also try to have a positive outlook, because that will eliminate so much of your stress, and as a result, you will sleep better. Best of luck!
I second the idea of a night-time ritual. I shower, watch mindless TV, drink tea, turn down the lights and slowly transition to my bed to read a book I know is devoid of excitement, lol.
Also, are you being realistic with your commitments? If there are things you can cut out, then you should. I remember law school being a time when people spread themselves waaaay too thin. You can’t get out of interviewing and classwork, but there could be other things :)
If you can’t fall asleep because your thoughts are racing, it can be helpful to force your mind to focus on a physical task. Try relaxing your body by tiny parts, from your toes to your eyebrows – tense, hold for 5 seconds, release. (I never figured out how to do my calf muscles, but this works for me, lol).
I just remembered I took OTC sleeping pills when I was doing OCI and the Bar, so if all else fails…. :)
I completely understand and I had tons of anxiety going through the bar exam this summer. I know it sounds counter-productive, but I took time to exercise twice a day. Not excessively. But around lunch time took a bike ride, and then after dinner did some yoga. No more than 20 minutes to a half hour for each. During the day it broke up my routine and I felt refreshed for my afternoon studying. And the yoga after dinner calmed me.
I couldn’t stop having anxiety induced insomnia and when I did sleep crazy bar exam night mares. Like you I didn’t want to takes meds. I went caffeine free (again, sounds counter-intuitive) but it made me FEEL better rather than like a frazzle crazy woman, and would drink green tea and tried to eat good foods over all.
Put limits on yourself – if you done at 10 pm, then you’re done then. I know it’s hard, there will always be one more thing to get done… and worry about.
Oh, one little law school secret I did… I always purchased the CD’s from westlaw or lexis on ANY subject they that I was taking and put it on my itouch. That way I could listen to them when driving/commuting/ at the gym, etc. Especially if I was falling behind on the reading. That way I wasn’t lost in class and when I did find time to read, I flew through it.
Good luck with OCI! :-)
On the first page of this weekend thread there’s a very long discussion of this! Someone asked a question nearly identical to yours.
I am in the exactly same position. I have found that practicing yoga-style “soft belly breathing” (not sure what else to call it, breathing deeply from the belly, through the nose, where the breath brushes against the back of your throat) and concentrating on counting the breaths (I count down from 100, with in and out counting as 1 breath) helps me clear my racing mind.
When all else fails or if I know I need a good night’s sleep, but I’ll probably be too anxious to fall asleep easily, I use generic benadryl, which helps me fall asleep but wears off after 4 hours or so (this causes some people to wake up at that point, so it’s not for everyone, but it works all night for me). I prefer not to use the benadryl if I can avoid it, though, because I feel like it messes with my sleep cycle and makes me dream too much (which means I’m not resting well).
CJ in CA
I had an interesting bit of feedback this week that I’d love to get your advice with!
I talked to my summer associate supervisor from last summer. The firm gave 2 offers of 4, and I was told repeatedly that the only reason I didn’t get an offer was financial. My work was praised as of a high quality, and the reason for hiring the 2 others was said to be “marketing” and connection with the community. (Both are older, married men, who had a career prior to attending law school). I should have taken her at her word and stopped asking. But I didn’t. I asked if there was any other feedback about my time at the firm. The comment she gave was that though my work was high quality, and I knew what I was talking about, sometimes I made attorneys feel like I was smarter than them by how I understood the issue given too me and engaged them on it. (The example given was volunteering a case name or bit of vocabulary).
I know I did this. I was definitely trying to seem smart, engaged, informed, knowledgeable, and interested in the work assignments given to me. She did not say I was “over confident” and didn’t perform in line with what I presented.
I have a job that I start Monday someplace else (a clerkship). I’m trying to decide how much I incorporate this recent feedback into my next job. Honestly, it seems crazy! “You’re just too smart!” But, I’m interpreting it as meaning I need to be more “deferential.”
How do I go about doing that without being too much of a “brown noser” or pretending I don’t know things I do? I want my bosses to have confidence in my abilities, and I feel like the best way to do that is to have confidence in them myself. Any tips on how to walk the line between wide eyed wonder filled naive protege and confident, intelligent co-worker?
If you truly know what you’re talking about, I would not hold back to make other people feel good about themselves. That is nonsense. However, just because you know something, doesn’t mean it needs to be said outloud.
I had an intern this summer (while I was a clerk) that I would qualify as doing this type of thing (specifically the case name thing). For example, some of us would be talking about a legal issue and grappling with its consequences when he would volunteer the case name he read in school about that general issue. Fine, but the thing is, we had all read that case, and no one needed the case name to understand the topic, or really the harder problem we were dealing with at the moment, which wasn’t in any case (and that’s why we were discussing it in the real world).
A few times he said the wrong case too, but even when he didn’t, it was just annoying because it wasn’t what we were talking about. I felt that he did this to prove how smart he was (and you could tell because he had a grin after he said the case name, like “check out what I know”), but the reality is that what he was saying was not relevant to our discussion.
I don’t know if that’s the context in which these things came up for you, it’s quite possible that it was totally different. Of course, if someone’s trying to come up with a case name to look it up or something, you should volunteer it if you know it. However, if no one seems to need the case name, I question the wisdom of mentioning it.
So the fine line is between saying something that makes you seem smart without seeming like you’re trying to seem smart. :) The best way to do that is to be engaged in the actual problem that the discussion is about, and come up with solutions/ideas.
There’s also a possibility that you weren’t doing this at all, and in fact were smarter than everyone else and the fact that you displayed it intimidated people. But frankly, that is hardly ever the case in my experience, especially when you’re a summer associate. So perhaps the thing was that you were seen as trying too hard. I’m not sure that you should’ve been dinged for that (and in another economy, you wouldn’t have, the eagerness would’ve gone over very well).
I wouldn’t worry too much about this in your clerkship though. Clerkships are a totally different experience from working in the real world in my experience. Suddenly you’ll have so much responsibility/power that you’ll never have again (or at least not for many years). And it’s a much more academic environment than the working world. I’d only worry if you feel that you know what you’re doing in your clerkship, because that usually means you’re missing something.
The difference between being a name-dropper/wonk and being proactive is whether or not your mentioning the name of a case, etc., adds value to the conversation or if it just serves to make you look good (or not).
For example, if everyone knows what the partner is talking about, even though he’s totally messing up the citation, then shut up, it’s fine – but if no one has clued into the fact that another case made that one null, then speak up b/c it adds value.
CJ in CA
I can see that. I think all the situations I can recall it was just me and the assigning attorney, so it was never me trying to show off to a group or one up someone or butt in to a conversation. It was like I’m trying to make sure I know what they are talking about, and see if I’m on the right track for where I’m about to go. Here’s a dumb example:
Atty: Please research whether our client is liable to a woman who was injured when a scale fell over after a box of explosives exploded on a train. Me: Like a foreseeable plaintiff, “Palsgraff” issue or as a premises liability issue?
(I definitely did not say Palsgraff, but it’s what I can think of right now!)
I don’t recall ever correcting anyone, or even disagreeing. Just offering my quick assessment and the direction I was planning on going before getting to work.
I think employers want to see someone who is eager to learn and admits that she might not know everything. If you come across as someone who really has nothing more to learn from the employer, the employer isn’t really likely to want to hire you. That’s not to say you need to act completely naive and clueless. No one wants someone who can’t at least try to do the work on her own before running for help, but you do need to express an interest in asking for other opinions.
I think that’s especially the case in a clerkship where you’ll be working closely with a judge everyday. Hopefully s/he will be happy to have someone who is knowledgeable, but since it’s a more academic situation, you are there to learn.
My tip is to read personalities better and change your behavior based on whom you’re working with, rather than changing your behavior absolutely. In a clerkship situation, your whole job is to advise the judge and it’s unlikely he’ll feel the same as your superiors at the firm did. But many supervisors don’t like their underlings to appear more knowledgeable than them or appear argumentative with them, and you’ll need to discuss things with them in private rather than in meeting settings. In an ideal world you could get your boss to take a Myers-Briggs test and analyze him based on that, but unless you can find out his personality type you’ll probably have to figure out what he wants by trial and error or patient observation.
I think the problem as a summer associate is: do you know something because you have applied it to a real world situation, or do you know something because you read a case about it in property/torts, etc.? As a more advanced associate, I realize that half of what I said as a summer / young associate must have sounded moronic or like a know it all. Not sure how it translates to being a clerk (because I did that as well, and it is a totally different experience than working at a firm, as mentioned above), but when you go back to private practice, I would maybe mind my tongue a bit more and figure out whether I was really adding to the conversation, or whether I was spouting facts simply for the sake of sounding “smart.” Remember, all the other attorneys at your firm took the same classes you did and probably learned about proximate cause or eggshell plaintiffs or what-have-you. Sound smart in your assessment in your memos or your work, not while getting your assignments.
YES. Well said.
Its difficult to know how much to read into that type of comment. To me, it sounds like your mentor was saying, basically, that you come off as a “know-it-all” type. I think the poster above who said that you need to seem smart and knowledgeable on paper (i.e. the actual assignment) rather than while getting the assignment is spot on.
A lot of this job is learning to read people – clients/partners/opposing counsel etc. There are lawyers that love a good debate, but there are also lots of senior lawyers who really dislike it if their juniors challenge them/disagree with them or appear to know more than them. I don’t get it. IMO, my job as a junior is to sweat the small stuff, know the details, have the law/case law down cold and to point out the weaknesses of our clients’ case so we can address them. This is all to support the partner who is on the front lines so that they can focus on other issues. That said, if you pay attention, you will quickly figure out what lawyers appreciate it (lots do) and which ones you will have to be a bit more delicate with.
Short answer: don’t try to seem smart/engaged/informed/knowledgeable/interested. Be all of them, as authentically as you can, without trying to amp up their external signifiers (e.g., namedropping a case or bit of lingo), and trust the person you are interacting with to read you accurately.
Case names should be mentioned sparingly, organically, and when necessary or customary. If there’s an area of law that is KNOWN by its case name (Brady or Miranda or Batson in Crim Pro all spring to mind), by all means. If, however, you have a case about standing to challenge a police search, that’s not an area of law known by the case name. It’s just 4th Amendment standing, not Olson or Carter. So there’s no need to say the words Olson or Carter except to prove that you read the case, which your boss assumes you did anyway, so really that would just be showing off that, what, you did your homework in law school?
Obviously I don’t have the specifics on your situation, but the feedback from your supervisor sounds like something I might say if the new law clerk at our office were to press me for specific feedback. So, here’s what is going on from my perspective. Although she seems qualified, eager, hard-working, smart, etc. so that you can’t really find fault, I get rubbed the wrong way during about 75% of my interactions with her. (Although I think she is starting to catch on as to what irks me).
Here is an example: I am working frantically on an opposition to a post-trial motion, for a case that I worked on for close to two years before second-chairing it through a six week jury trial. The law clerk started after the trial and is not working on this case, as far as I know. She comes into my office and tells me “I need a copy of opposing counsel’s post-trial brief. Can you email it to me?” So I say okay, but since no further information is forthcoming I finally ask her why. Well, she explains, the partner told her to help me with this case because he knows that I am swamped, so she decided that what she should do is read this brief.
Alright, as I am writing this I can see that from her perspective she is probably thinking “I am taking initiative.” “I am showing that I know what I am doing by identifying for myself what to do.” Well, from my perspective, this is kind of offensive. If her assignment is to help me, then why doesn’t she approach it with “Hi, I am here to help, what would you like me to do?” which would show to me that she is actually trying to relieve some of my burden and acknowledges the fact that I obviously know more about this case than she does. Her approach (including the initial factor of not explaining why she suddenly needs to look at opposing counsel’s brief in my case) gives the impression that she’s there to look over my shoulder or try to find a flaw to report to the partner. It just causes me to knee-jerk into a defensive position.
Another (less lengthy) example of this “being too smart” business: we went to court and she came along to watch. The partner did a very long oral argument. Afterward, I asked what she thought. She immediately launched into a detailed critique. The majority involved criticisms. In fact, I cannot recall one positive regarding the partner’s performance. First of all, this is not to say that she sounded arrogant exactly. I think she was actually trying to impress me with her analysis/evaluation. Yet, it was troublesome to me and I think it’s because I feel that she perhaps has the impression that when/if she passes the bar, she should just use her own judgment on everything and not ever discuss/sound things off others in the firm– i.e. doesn’t know when to ask for help, get input from someone senior.
If she were to press me for some feedback or constructive criticism, I would probably try to phrase it in a nice way, like “you’re too smart” or something along the lines of what your supervisor told you. So, I don’t know if this sheds any light on your situation, but thought it was worth a shot. (Or maybe everyone will have a smackdown on me for getting so huffy over these seemingly minor things). =P
I don’t think these sound all that minor and I would get huffy too.
But the burning question in my mind is… was she on point with the critique of the partner’s argument?
I would never do what she did… but heaven knows I’ve been tempted.
CJ in CA
I think you’re on the right track. I feel like she wasn’t expressing what she actually thought very directly, and I know ‘your just too smart’ is not the problem.
As for how to fix your problem and mine, it seems like the real solution is to work at reading people better. (Other than the criticizing the partner, that seems way more bold than anything I did!) Trying to “not pester” someone busy, being proactive, being prepared and informed aren’t bad things. It’s just determining how to do that without seeming weird.
Blah! I just went over to the mall during a lunch break (yes, working today) and hit the Gap. I bought that Groupon a while back but have not yet spent it. Blah! Everything is thin and unstructured. The mannequins all look slouchy and half put together. I was so uninspired I left without trying anything on, Groupon still in hand.
I did the same exact thing this weekend. I will just go back in November right before it expires and stock up on T-shirts/loungewear when it’s on sale!
Does anyone have any tips on getting rid of blackheads? I have persistent blackheads on my nose, and a few on my cheeks and forehead. I’ve tried what seems like everything – several different scrubs, biore pore strips, several “blackhead clearing” facewashes (currently using the biore one), and clinique “clarifying lotion”. I’ve even tried a “pore reducing” cream. I’ve had a couple of “general” facials, but as they are expensive, I’m not eager to spend the money unless I have some idea that it’ll do something.
Anyone try something that works?
FYI, different D from the one above – apparently its a common initial!
Do you use toner or astringent? I started using it about five years ago and realized that all my washing and scrubbing hadn’t really been getting my face clean. I do a swipe with toner morning and night after washing and make sure the cotton pad is completely white afterwards (indicating that my face is clean) or I swipe again with a new pad. I haven’t found that any particular brand is better – I most often use Clean and Clear but have used Oil of Olay and Neutrogena too. I have oily skin and actually prefer an astringent with alcohol in it, but you may find that dries you out and a witch hazel-based one would be gentler.
I have the same issue on my chin and would love advice. I’ve tried everything too and am now just on a gentle face wash since irritating it makes it look worse. In answer to anonymous, I do use an anti-blemish toner daily and that doesn’t seem to help either. I don’t have oily skin- it’s more on the normal to dry range.
I have really good luck with the Biore pore strips on my chin. It’s the only thing that works for me, even when I’ve gotten facials, they don’t seem to do anything about all my clogged pores. Too many to deal with I suppose.
I use the pore strips once a week. I think the trick is to let them dry completely (so don’t use them in the bathroom where it may be humid) and then peel them off very slowly.
same anon who just posted about the Biore strips. I’ve also had good luck using a blackhead extractor tool. You can buy them at beauty stores like Sephora. If you have just a few stubborn blackheads, this will do the trick. If you have them everywhere though, as I do, it may not be feasible to go around to every pore and extract. It also helps to use a clay mask first to pull some of the blackheads to the surface better.
My reco: get a facial. Let the “Pro’s” do it. ;-)
CJ in CA
I have the sephora one of those, and it doesn’t really work for me. It might be that the pores aren’t that clogged, just big and dark. Still, when I just go at it with my fingers gently it works better.
I’ve been using the microdermabrasian kit from Olay and I feel like it helped a little, after a few uses. But, it’s not significant.
What I’ve resorted to is using a “primer” before makeup which helps hide the pores, but doesn’t solve the problem.
It hasn’t helped me very much–but I’m not consistent about using it, and I think that’s the key–but I read years ago that Alpha Hydroxy cream will shrink the size of the pores on your nose. It promotes skin turnover and allegedly the new skin will be smaller-pored. I hate my large pores on my nose. I do use the extractor from Sephora to keep them unplugged, at least.
Glycolic acid does help. I’ve done 2 at-home glycolic peels and I’ve seen a major difference in my pore size and cleanliness. You can get them at a very good price at http://www.makeupartistschoice.com/ and they come with detailed instructions. I stick to the lower percentages to be careful…you can get glycolic or salicylic acid peels done by a dermatologist too.
I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but have you tried washing your face with oil?
I use jojoba oil because it’s sold at Trader Joe’s, but if you get serious about the oil cleansing method (google OCM) you can probably get fancier stuff.
JUST A PSA TO ANYONE IN NYC —
If you wear plus sizes — there are a ton of incredibly well priced Marina Rinaldi tops & dresses, esp. evening, at the Filene’s Basement on the Upper West Side [79th & Broadway].
Many gorgeous items are marked down to $69 or $99 — substantially less than retail! They have other brands, too, many in plus sizes.
It’s all on the 2nd floor. Check it out if you can
Thanks for the heads up! I’ll have to get up there to check it out.
What is that program or website–that I’ve seen referenced on here–that locks you out of websites or helpe you control your time on them? Like, it would only let you peruse CNN for 5 minutes a day or something.
If you use Firefox, LeechBlock is a good one.
I use (and recommend) StayFocusd with Google Chrome.
I need to vent a bit. I just transferred law schools and I HATE it! I’m without my previous support team at my old school, everyone at my new school seems so stuffy, and the work has doubled! I only transferred because of financial reasons, and I will be saving 30-40K so obviously I couldn’t give it up. But I’m miserable! I feel like I’m a 1L again! I have no time to enjoy myself or actually explore my new area. I’m so unmotivated and I feel like I keep getting behind.
On top of school related issues I have an eye infection that keeps returning and I’ve been dealing with it since July. I’ve been driving an hour to the eye doctor once a week for the past three weeks. He finally said I was better and I wore contacts for 2 days before my eyes started bothering me again. Now I have to go to another doctor in my area because I can’t afford the 3 hours it was requiring to drive all that distance. I’m not sure what is going on and it is somewhat alarming that it doesn’t get better. And I was fighting with my boyfriend and we almost broke up this weekend. Luckily we worked things out.
It just seems like it is all one thing after another and I’m dealing with it all alone. I’m lonely, stressed, overwhelmed, and unmotivated. I feel like dropping out even though I know that is not an opinion. I wish I could just stop time and relax for a little without getting behind in my work.
CJ in CA
Sometimes we tell 1L’s to take a break, even if it will “hurt.” You might need to take a day off, even if it means being unprepared for classes one day or something.
Go to the doctor, go to starbucks, go to a movie with the BF, and work hard the day before and the day after. Really, getting 1 day behind is not going to hurt you that much. What are the odds that the one case you didn’t read is going to be so important on the final that it makes a difference?
Sorry you are having a tough time!
I also think you need a “mental health” day. Even your typing sounded stressed :)
Maybe spend a day exploring your new area – find a nice study location, a place to treat yourself to food you like etc?
It sounds like you need to switch the type of contacts you wear. The same thing happened to me in high school. I was fine with one type for 2.5 years and then I couldn’t wear them more than 2-3 days in a row before I’d get an infection. Once I switched types, I didn’t have the problem anymore.
I have one friend who ended up not being able to wear contacts at all for a while and was also feeling really stressed, miserable, and lethargic. It turned out she had hypothyroid, so that’s something you might want to look into. Hyperthyroid also comes with its own eye issues.
Not sure I can help with the other stuff, but you may have just developed contact intolerance. After over 10 years of wearing contacts, I was having so many issues with my eyes – infection, dry, itchy, hazing. End of day, I was not allowed to wear that type of contact going forward, he recommended daily disposables for 6-9 months until things cleared up (but ideally he wanted me wearing glasses as much as possible during that time period). After the 6-9 months, I could then start trying some other brands.
I opted to just go with laser eye surgery. I had it three weeks ago and it was the BEST MONEY I HAVE EVER SPENT. I know its expensive, but if you can swing it, DO IT.
I completely agree with the other comments. Take a mental health day. Explore the town, the school, and do something to treat yourself. Also, resolve to be brave when it comes to building a new support group. This is hard advice, and something I often have to remind myself when I am in a situation where I have to reach out to people in a community that already seems close. I know it seems like the 2Ls are already in cliques, but they are probably much more receptive to new people than you would expect, but you have to be the one to initiate the conversation (this shouldn’t be the case, but unfortunately, often it is). Is there a women’s group at your new law school? If so, I would consider contacting someone in the organization. Often they are a good way to find resources, make friends, and get connected.
For your eyes: I used to constantly have problems with my contacts and eye infections that doctors could never seem to get rid of. Then I started using the Similasan eye drops (they make a “pink eye” variety that I use when I am getting an infection and an allergy variety that I use when my eyes/contacts are dry and itchy). Since these don’t have the chemicals/preservatives that other eye drops have, you can use them with your contacts in, and by replacing rewetting drops with these, my eyes are much happier, and the pink eye variety gets better of my eye infections better than anything my doctor ever prescribed. YMMV, but it really worked for me.
I agree with the others about taking a day off and getting things sorted out – go to Starbucks, get a pedicure, find a Dr closer by, get organized and set a schedule for yourself, when you will study, work out, etc. Then spend some time that night with your boyfriend – you can pick back up on your new schedule the next day.
As far as contacts, I have been wearing them for about 20 years, and maybe 5 years ago started getting infections. I switched to Daily disposables and things are so much better. They are more expensive, but it puts my mind at ease knowing that I don’t have to worry as much about the bacteria build up on them and the drops/dr’s appointments that go with that. Plus you don’t need any solution, cases, etc. You just throw them out every night, start fresh the next day.
If you don’t have eye insurance/money is a major issue – try Target. They are covered by my insurance and often have great sales on contacts. The daily disposables can run about a dollar a lens. But so worth it, your vision is priceless.
Take care of yourself.
I sort of know how you feel! I’m a lonely 1L in a new city with tons of work and no friends. My boyfriend just moved away for a fancy new job he loves, so I never get to see him. I don’t have the time or money to do fun things or explore my new city — I barely have time to cook, which is one of my favorite activities.
The only thing that has helped me recently is trying more to connect with people outside of school. I recently had dinner with an old friend from high school who lives in the area. Even though we hadn’t stayed in touch over the last few years it was really refreshing to catch up with someone who wasn’t crazy-stressed by law school as I was! I also plan on going to an event being held by the local chapter of my college’s alumni association, and I’m hoping that that will be a good place to connect with someone outside of school.
I’ve found that studying in the law library only leaves me more stressed because classmates come by to discuss class or gossip about people, so I’ve started studying in the undergraduate library on campus.
Another idea: maybe go home for a weekend? Or have your mom/dad/sister/friend come up for a visit? Just being around familiar people who love you and support you will really really help, if you have people like that available. And don’t give up!
Thank you all for the helpful responses. Today is the first day I actually had a chance to read them!
I made another appointment with a doctor for tomorrow morning and the office is only 15 minutes away. Hopefully he will give me some answers and I plan on changing to daily contacts if I can still wear them. Also, class is canceled tomorrow so I will have a day to catch up and take care of things. I’m going to try to stay positive and get through this semester.
If you live in Old City Philadelphia, you should go to events and performances at Painted Bride Art Center at 230 Vine St. Season opens with a salsa dance party to live orchestra this Sat. Check out http://www.paintedbride.org
Ok, super sappy, romantic question for married/committed Corporettes. How did you know that you wanted to be with your partner for, like, ever? I feel like we might be there, but at the same time we’ve only known each other for seven months. But I’m so happy and everything is so easy…
When my fiancee and I had been together for seven months, my living situation changed (i won’t go into that) and I was looking for a new place to live and of course, we started discussing living together. Both of us thought it was crazy to live together after 7 months and some family friends gave us this advice –
“Sometimes you just know the person you are with is the one. You might know after a month, you might not know until after you get married. Time is irrelevent in knowing this.”
I really think you just know. But as most of us Corporettes don’t like to rely on our emotions and need logical explanations for things (I know i do!) here are some other things to consider:
Do you have similar realistic life goals? Ie – do you both want kids or do you both want to not have kids and spend years travelling the world? is family important to both of you, is marriage important to both of you? is buying a house and being financially sound important?
Do you agree on how your household should be run financially? seperate accounts, joint accounts, buying lots of large purchases, saving up for things, etc?
Are you supportive, kind and patient with eachother?
Do you challenge eachother to be better people? Do you tell eachother about new ideas/concepts, encourage eachother to furthur your careers or education, strive to learn knew things and be better people? Is he open to change and learning new things, or stuck in his ways?
Have you seen him in a difficult situation or has he helped you with a difficult in these 7 months. And if so, how did he respond?
Can you be yourself with him? Does he make you want to be a better person?
If all else fails, you can always make a pro-con list, as Rory did when deciding whether she wanted to marry Logan. :) Hahaha, GG reference!
Agree with PP. Also consider your family and his — I think that helps to identify a lot of unspoken expectations. Did his mom stay home, dad made all the decisions? Did his parents send him to fancy private school? What do his parents value versus what your parents/family value? Luckily my husband and I have families that are pretty similar, so it’s made our lives easier. I watch our sibilings and their spouses struggle with this all.the.time. — child care, money, who cooks dinner/pays the bills — these are all things that you both may have expectations about that you don’t even realize. I think looking at each of your “families of origin” helps identify those.
All that aside, I am also a big fan of reevaluating once the “honeymoon” phase is over and real life sets in. It’s wonderful that everything is so easy (and I truly believe that’s the way it should be), but have you had to deal with “real” life yet? or are you still in the “you are so perfect I will do whatever you want to do” stage?
I knew my husband was “the one” the first night I met him. We got married 8 years later! I am super thankful that everything has continued to be so easy for the 10 years we’ve been together. I am also a big proponent of waiting until your separate lives are in order to get married — I refused to consider getting engaged until I was out of school and supporting myself, etc. Marriage has enough of its own complications — give your relationship a good start.
I agree with the PPs except I note that my husband and I had completely different upbringings (his family struggled financially, his dad is physically/emotionally abusive, etc.), BUT, he and I luckily have very similar views on all of the important topics – money, education, religion, raising kids, and we’ve been happily married through 5 years and 2 kids so far. So, while I agree with you that there are unspoken expectations related to your past, it doesn’t mean that you need to have the same or even similar past to see eye-t0-eye on these things. As long as you communicate well and can see the other person’s perspective (and also be critical of the way your family did things and not just take it as the way everyone should do everything), then you’ll be okay. The most important aspect of being with the “one” is that you can be yourself and be loved and accepted for who you are, despite your shortcomings.
yes, agree with this — I didn’t mean to suggest that your families needed to be the same, just that it’s helpful to look at your families to identify possible expectations and know that you’re able to communicate and figure “stuff” out. I doubt I could have identified all my expectations/ideas about things before we got married, and now I realize I have a lot of them. I’m sure I’ll have the same experience once we have kiddos….
Not married/committed, but just saw one of my best friends get married this weekend, and she and her now husband dated for only about 10 mos (8 mos facebook-official) when they got engaged. And they were married 9 mos later. She knew he was it at month 5 or 6. We all thought she was moving waaay too fast, but I’ve never seen a happier couple on their wedding day than my friend and her new husband.
As far as I know there were no problems with their families and my friend boasts that they got the “highest score” at Pre-Cana, which I guess means they’re on the same wavelength life-wise (I know there is no score at Pre-Cana, but this is what my friend says). So I guess when you know, you know! :-)
Happily married for 8 years now. I knew my now hubby was “the one” 1 month into our relationship. He knew too. We got engaged after 4 months of dating and was engaged for 1.5 years (in order for me to finish school and move to the same city). For both of us, we just knew. FWIW, our family upbringing/values were very similar and I think that helps. For both of us, we had been in bad relationships in the past and we both knew what we wanted. Best of luck to you, OP.
I don’t know if there are any hard/fast rules on this. I first spoke with my guy on the phone in the beginning of May, met him in person in the beginning of June and married him in late December of*the*same*year. That was 18 years ago and we have been crazy happy since then. I’m not recommending this sort of May/December relationship (ha-ha) but I think once you know, you know.
Some things that helped: we spent hours and hours on the phone the month before we met in person and got to know and laugh with each other, we spent time with each other’s family and saw the family dynamics in person (I was hooked when I saw how he treats his mother), my church required pre-marital counseling and that got us talking about some things that just never came up. More than anything I trusted my gut and made sure that we were (and are) both committed to having a successful, happy, long marriage. Are you two there?
that’s interesting (I love relationship talks) — my husband and I dated long distance through 3 years of college and also spent hours (and hours and hours) on the phone. Just recently he was out of town on business and we were chatting before we each went to bed (me at home, him in hotel), and I was reminded of how much I miss those focused phone convos — not “hey, what’s for dinner, did you feed the dog, don’t forget toilet paper, yup, love you too, bye.” Obviously I really love seeing him everyday too — I guess one of those situations that reminds you not to get so caught up in the everyday.