What Do You Do for Fun? - Articles

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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Feb 27, 2019

Journal Issue Date: Mar 2019

Journal Name: Vol 55 No 3

You’re killing it in your job and loving (or hating) the high stakes you are faced with each day, but a lot of research says you will be better off if, when you leave the office, you do something straight-up enjoyable. “It may seem counterintuitive that if you want to get ahead at work, you should make time for a life outside of it,” according CNBC. “But career coaches and business leaders alike say that having a hobby is key to being able to handle work-life stress and thinking creatively.”1 Study after study says these nonwork, fun activities can aid work performance, improve physical and mental health, reduce stress, improve focus and increase happiness.

We recently asked on Twitter what lawyers are doing for fun and stress-relief. Here are some of the responses:

Ben Rose displays his award-winning heirloom
tomatoes, winners at a recent Williamson County Fair.

Ben Rose of RoseArters PLLC in Brentwood has been growing heirloom tomatoes for about five years. He says he got into gardening because he loves seeing what can grow with just a few ingredients and a little effort.

“I used to think all tomatoes were the same,” Rose, who has a statewide civil and criminal practice, says. “I was wrong. My plants are shipped live from California and are delightful. Plus, gardening is an excellent barometer for litigation — almost like a scheduling order. For example, I can grow 100 ears of corn in the time it takes to complete depositions in most cases! I have actually used that one before.” 

This has been Laura Wood’s view every Sunday
morning for 20 years, playing the piano
at Blountville United Methodist Church.

“Swimming lets me get into my thoughts and wander,” Laura Woods says. “I often come up with ideas for work doing that. I love swimming because you must unplug (except for my waterproof iPod that plays my favorite podcasts while I log the laps). There is no answering this one email, or taking this quick call, or anything like that. It’s pure solitude and escapism.”

But swimming is not her only outlet. She’s also been playing the piano for 39 years. Woods, who is senior counsel at Eastman in Kingsport, says the piano forces her “to shut down and be captive in the moment. I’ve found that when my mind feels cluttered or I’m running ragged, and no one is getting my best, a few pieces on the keys do wonders for my soul. There is no multitasking when playing; it’s you, the music and the keys. It engulfs you.”

When she was in school, she would go into the music building on campus and play a few songs from time to time: “Not having a piano where I lived during those years really helped me understand how much it is part of my well-being.”

Check out Steve Gilly’s podcasts at
@storyapplachia and @myappalachia.

Steve Gilly, of Stephen L. Gilly and Associates in Kingsport, writes, produces and co-hosts two podcasts about Appalachia, “bringing the folklore of Appalachia to the world, one tale at a time.” He worked in radio before going to law school and says he enjoys podcasting because it combines his interest in audio production with Appalachian history and culture.

“Not only does it provide a creative outlet,” he says, “it’s a great talking point with clients when I show them a recording studio in the back of my office!”

What do you do for fun? Tweet us @tennbarjournal, #AttorneyEscapes. 

1. “3 science-backed reasons having a hobby will help your career,” by Marguerite Ward, CNBC Make It, https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/02/3-science-backed-reasons-having-a-hobby-will-help-your-career.html.