Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Peaceful Pursuits

We received an email from one of our members who has been going through some hard times taking care of aging and ill family members.  She wanted to let us know that she read our Pursuits of Happiness Blawg, which prompted her to share how much quilting and crocheting have allowed her to remain centered and at peace.  She also alluded to how great gardening is to relieve stress.  For our cover contest submission, we heard from another member who has spent countless hours in her kayak just observing a breeding population of bald eagles who have made their home near hers. 

Our Pursuits of Happiness interviews are in full swing, and, as promised, we are highlighting members with some mad skills, that is, in addition to their legal prowess.  The emails and cover contest submissions, however, remind us of how our members do whatever they can to make time to enjoy all of what Vermont has to offer.  Even a close colleague of mine, who is objectively and undeniably a workaholic, tries to take time in the evening to enjoy his breathtaking views at home:   

While the legal profession is considered to be an extremely stressful profession, one word that connotes stress universally to all professions is “commute.”  Indeed, this was the most worrisome item in the “con” category when considering closing my near 20-year law practice to join the staff of the VBA.  Commuting can undoubtedly be stressful, especially when considering trading a 3-minute rural commute for a 40-minute drive to the thriving metropolis of Montpelier.  Not only will I no longer have moose and bear at my office, but I have to drive there surrounded by other drivers?!  Fear not, however, as I found that I could never tire of the breathtaking views coming into Montpelier from the south in the mornings.   On most days, the valleys are filled with fog, contrasting beautifully with the vast green mountains in the sun.  Of course, commuters can only take fleeting mental pictures, as there is really no way to capture this beauty without committing several dangerous traffic violations.

In the “pro” category, it seemed potentially an even trade to swap moose and bear for the energy and excitement of Montpelier, brimming with outstanding eateries.  But then there was a bonus: Hubbard Park!  Just behind the VBA office is one of the many entrances to Hubbard Park.   Imagine my surprise one lunch break, when I wandered up the switchback trail and found this: 

Peaceful pursuits need not take long.  It takes me 14 minutes to walk from my office to the top of the Tower at Hubbard Park.  A brisk walk (on the days I don’t indulge at one of Montpelier’s amazing lunch haunts) can relieve a ton of stress in just 30 minutes.  A shawl can also be crocheted during lunch. There are attorneys that run or play tennis nearly every day at lunch.  Sunset kayaks or paddleboards are the epitome of relaxation. 

Vermont attorneys work extremely hard taxing their brains and pouring endless energy into helping clients, whether or not the clients can afford full freight.  We’ve been blessed with one of the most beautiful Vermont summers in recent memory, so hopefully all of our members are taking some much-deserved time out for their peaceful pursuits.  Our minds, bodies and clients will thank us. 


  1. Great blog, jeb! Actually, exercise is the therapy of choice these days to combat anxiety as well as depression, according to the literature. When we exercise, we force our bodies to produce endorphins, a "feed good" chemical that is a natural enemy of the stress chemicals in which we lawyers typical swim. Viva la Vermont!

  2. Thank you! Yes, why I make sure I get to the top of the tower (including its 65 stairs) in 14 minutes! A twofer!

  3. Amen, Jennifer and Lisa! Thanks for the post and the insightful comment.