Denver Bar Association
January 2007
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So Many Resolutions, So Little Time

by Doug McQuiston

I resolve no to drive with my elbows while preparing a case
I hate to sound like a geezer, but I’ve noticed lately that the years are speeding by too fast for me to get everything done. Gone are the golden days of my youth, when it felt like time just crawled by and I’d never be a "grown-up." Although some would argue I’m still not, I have gotten undeniably older, and time sure is not crawling anymore.

A friend of mine, one of the best Scottish bagpipers I know, once explained to me why he is now so dedicated to learning the far more complicated Irish Uilleann pipes. He recently hit 60 and said, "There’s still too much to do, and I may not have enough time!" This from a guy who has a master’s degree in chemistry, owns his own very successful business, rides a Harley, has traveled the world over and already expertly plays several musical instruments. That got me thinking — am I going to "get everything done" in my own life?

I don’t mean just work. In fact, when I think of all the things I want to get done in the lifetime given to me, work doesn’t rank near the top. Don’t get me wrong — I like what I do — practicing law is a lot more fun and rewarding than anything else I ever could have done. It’s just that work is the means to a life, not life itself. When it comes time for us to give account for what we did with our lives, I doubt St. Peter will ask us why we didn’t work more weekends.

I don’t know about you, but when my time for that accounting comes, I want to hit it skidding to a stop at the Pearly Gates, out of breath, laughing, and shaking off the dust. Then, I’m
going to put out my hand to St. Peter and say, "Man, what a ride!"

Dick Ott

I resolve to give up fitness fads, especially pole dancinge for lawyers

Dick Ott

I resolve not to wear cargo suits to work

Dick Ott

I resolve no to do or say anything stupid this year

It is with this goal in mind that I have decided on my New Year’s Resolutions for 2007:

1. Weight: No, I’m not setting any weight loss goals. Instead, I am resolving to be several inches taller. It can’t work any worse than the weight loss goals.

2. Exercise: This one is serious. I plan to get in better shape next year. I don’t expect it will help me live any
longer, but it will help me live better. The goal? Wearing out a set of tires on the road bike in 2007.

3. Family: The kids are going to be on their own this year. My son’s graduating from law school, and my daughter’s getting her master’s and getting married. I will work to make every minute with them count in 2007, because the nest sure seems emptier these days.

4. Family2: The nest may be emptier, but I still share it with the person I started it with. I plan on having as much fun with her as possible, because it’s still Valentine’s Day every day around here (see The Docket, February 1999).

5. Travel: We’ll be sticking around Colorado this year. There still are parts of Colorado we haven’t seen. We plan on seeing some of them.

6. Politics: Don’t worry — I’m not throwing my hat into the ring for the Republican presidential nomination — too crowded already. Instead, I resolve to always remember that America succeeds in spite of its politicians, not because of them. I plan on no longer taking the daily political noise any more seriously than it deserves, which ain’t much.

7. Law: One of the most rewarding experiences I have had on the job has been working with the bar associations (both Denver and Colorado). I haven’t done enough, though, so I plan to do more. Maybe I’ll even run for something. I’m also going to harangue all of you to do more, too. Join a committee or two. Better yet, volunteer to chair one. Write something for The Docket or The Colorado Lawyer. Your efforts will pay big dividends, in more ways than you can imagine. The people I get to work with in my Bar activities are the finest, brightest, and most honorable lawyers and professionals I know. If you find yourself wondering where all the good lawyers have gone, a stint or two on a Bar committee will give you the answer. The professional staff there also will never fail to amaze you with what they can do to help you.

8. Work: (I told you it didn’t rank near the top.) I’m going to remember that no matter how clearly I see things on my side of the case, the other side also may have a point. I’ll work to figure out what that is, and better understand what motivates those on the other side of the case from me.

9. Work2: Then again, maybe not. OK, at least I’ll try to see their side of things.

10. Life: Most of all, I will remember that every day in a vertical position is a gift. Whether I spend it with my family, my friends, my colleagues, my adversaries, or all by myself, I resolve not to waste a single minute.

Happy New Year!


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