--Sailing to and from Byzantium
I write this month’s message while on vacation in a place that has become my second home. Today, under clear blue skies, I am with friends cruising on a yacht from Istanbul to the nearby Princes’ Islands where we will lunch dockside on mezze, freshly caught fish, and enjoy anise-flavored raki, the Turkish national drink. A week into the trip with no blackberry access and only a few WLALA emails coming my way (thank you Kay Burt and Jennifer Romano!), there is little to remind me of my office back at City Hall East or the legal profession.
I planned this much needed vacation with just a few weeks notice after deciding that I should take my own advice – given to many hard-working friends and colleagues over the years– that is, relax and take care of yourself. After several years of ‘leaning in’ professionally, caring for my aging mother before her death, and completing a year of single motherhood to two foster daughters, I needed a break. While achieving the ever-elusive work and life balance on a daily or weekly basis is a challenge, taking a long, technology-untethered vacation is one way to restore that balance. And for me, returning to Turkey, a country I fell in love with as a fifteen-year-old exchange student and a place where I am blessed to have friends who are truly like family, was an obvious choice. So for today and the remainder of my visit, I am leaning back rather than in and enjoying the voyage.
In November, as always, WLALA will present you with opportunities to both lean in toward reaching your career goals and to lean back and have some fun. We have our Westside Career Mentoring Circle on November 12th, a special Litigation Section Happy Hour on November 5th, and our regular Downtown Happy Hour on November 12th. Also, just in t?me for your holiday shopping we have the Criminal Justice Section sponsored Brooks Brothers event on November 14th. Please also mark your calendar for two, early December events: our annual Holiday Reception on December 4th and our December 8th Yoga Wellness/MCLE program. See the newsletter below and our website for more details on these and other upcoming bar events.
November also brings the launch of the WLALA Foundation’s Annual Giving campaign led by board member Susan Steinhauser. Please consider making a donation to fund our WLALA scholarships and the Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant. Your support in any amount will help us reach our $15,000 goal and provide educational and professional opportunities to the next generation of Los Angeles lawyers.
In closing, last night I was reminded of a lovely Turkish tradition. When a loved one is leaving for a long trip, you wish them a fond farewell by throwing water from a cup or jug behind their departing car. This act expresses the wish for travel without mishap, a journey that will flow as smoothly as water. I encourage you all to relax, take time to lean back and when you do, I wish you smooth waters.