On Being Weary

  • November 30, 2023
  • Christine Marchetti

I wrote this piece during the height of the pandemic for Matrimonial Affairs and was overcome with doubt and fear in sharing it because it was vulnerable, and as lawyers that often seems the very worst thing you can be. But I am sharing it now (with some tweaking) because I feel that it’s just as relevant, if not more relevant, today. The aftermath of the years we spent in the thick of it has consequences, and I imagine it will for years to come. I don’t doubt for a moment that we experienced a collective trauma and there is still healing and learning and growing to be done. I also firmly believe that the experience has created an environment where expectations of what we are capable of as lawyers and humans has expanded beyond imagination, and not always in a good way. So, my plea remains that we should be kinder to one another. More compassionate. Sympathetic. We should give one another more benefit of the doubt and stop assigning the worst motivations to each other. Please.

I’ve been weary. Tired is not an accurate word. Tired implies that you’ll be right as rain if you could only get a solid 8 hours for a few days straight. I mean I am tired, but more specifically I’m weary.  Weary is a state of the soul, and the heart, and the mind, not just the physical body; I’ve been weary.

I opened my firm in September 2019, so I had six whole months as a newly minted sole practitioner before the world as we knew it ended. And so, for me, and every other small business owner who decided to hang a shingle in the months before March 2020, the learning curve was mammoth; just as we were getting into the swing of running a business, we had to pivot (that’s a word that sends shivers down your spine now, right?) and navigate how to run a business amidst a global pandemic.

And through all of this I tried (with mixed results) to guide my children through the perils of online school, stop-and-start in-person learning, and friendship connection in a digital world. I tried to keep up my informal mentorship of younger lawyers, my involvement with professional organizations, and my involvement with my community.