Thanksgiving

The approach of the end of another year brings with it an opportunity to reflect upon life changes over the past months. There is also a lot of activity in the final month of the year as we all try to finish what we started while also carving out some precious time to spend with our family and friends. And of course, there is the end-of-year rush to ensure that we are in compliance with our annual CLE requirements.   

As I enter the final month of this year and pause to reflect, I remember some very good advice given to me by friends who have also had the privilege of serving as president of your bar association. They each told me to say yes to every invitation I received to appear or speak or meet during this year of service because you only get to do this one time and the time goes by very fast. Also, it is very important for you, the members of our bar association, to know that the people you trust in this position are listening to you and working for you. So far that advice has proven to be invaluable, and I am grateful to my friends for steering me down the proper path. Saying yes has allowed me to witness the good work of so many Tennessee lawyers and to learn about your ideas, your concerns, your solutions and your hopes for the future.     

Although Thanksgiving Day will have just passed when this Tennessee Bar Journal arrives on your desk, your computer or your Blackberry, I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all of you for helping me this year as I reflect on some surprises and challenges that happened to me and around me over the last few months.  

Like many of you, I lost a dearly loved family member this year, whom my family misses very much, and I am thankful for the support of my bar family for helping us through that sad time. Many of you have just attended local annual Memorial Services for lawyers we lost this year, and I am thankful that we still take the time to gather together in our profession to reflect upon their lives, to remember them and to honor them. I am thankful that my friends have recovered so well and so quickly from surprise health issues; that my friends who faced surprise job challenges and changes came through those changes in a positive way; and for the hard work of lawyers who volunteered their time and gave money to make a difference in the lives of our fellow Tennesseans who so desperately needed their time, talents and financial support. They did this all at a time when many of those same lawyers were facing personal economic difficulties.  

As we all look forward to a new year with renewed hope, new goals and resolutions, I know we are all thankful for our families and friends, our health, our profession, our country and many other accomplishments of this year. I am personally looking forward to saying yes in 2010 and to celebrating another Thanksgiving.