Sunday, July 22, 2018

Playing with fire!

https://youtu.be/ZQ6Qep2uDBw

This episode is about big challenges, self-therapy, and what it means to live my life.

To understand the relevance of the title, my decision to qualify for the Ontario Bar was not imposed on me. I undertook to do it because it would allow me to practice law in Ontario without artificial constraints. I knew it was going to be demanding, but I know I didn't appreciate the scope of the challenge and the demands it would place on me.

I still don't know the results of the second exam.

It was tougher than the first, not because the subject matter was more difficult or more alien, but because it naturally lent itself to inherently wordy and somewhat convoluted questions along the lines of "Amy, a lawyer, is consulted by Darrin who is considering an appointment as trustee to his friend Fred's estate. Fred's partner Arnold owns the matrimonial home as a joint tenant with Jessica, Fred's estranged sister..." The mind reels and spins trying to keep track of the fictitious people you were introduced to mere moments earlier and to make sense of their peculiar relationships as the question unfolds before your eyes like origami in reverse. The question finally pops at the question mark, and the four possible answers shimmer before you, as all the while a tiny obsessed corner of your brain reminds you in a nervous twitchy way that you only have one minute and forty-five seconds to process the question, and to pick the correct answer, and it's already taken you 52 seconds to read the question, read the answers, then re-read the question. This is question 56, and there are 184 more questions to go. Ughhhh!

 In that sense, I was playing with fire, all day long, all week long, for months on end. It was like trying to digest an encyclopedia.

The silver lining came in the form two quick breaks and a life-changing gift. The breaks happened before each of the exams, one in February when Susan and I took off to L.A. and San Diego to visit with family and very dear friends, and one in early April when our immediate family flew to Vancouver to be with our kids Andrew and Anuschka for the birth of Kaia, our first grandchild. Susan and I arrived at the hospital early on the day following Kaia's birth. It's difficult to express how special that was.

These past six or seven months marked a second fracture in the rhythms of my life. First the move to Toronto after a lifetime in Montreal, then the Bar Exams. It feels like a lot to process.

On the occasions when I felt I was hitting a wall, I promised myself that if I pushed on, when that last exam was behind me in June, I would find a field, lie on my back, and watch the clouds drift by until I felt redeemed. and that's exactly what I did. The jet threading a contrail straight as an arrow high above the wispy clouds was an unhoped for sign that the time had come for me to get back on my feet and launch into a slightly belated summer of fun and relaxation.

In a nutshell that's what I attempted to do with this video, to explain as best I can what I have been through and get beyond it. At least emotionally. Those results still loom over me though. What if I flunked? I don't know what the answer to that last question is.

I may never have to answer it.

Thanks for sticking with me as I work all of this out. It means a lot.


2 comments:

  1. It seems, David that when it comes to exams one feels the anxiety of a youngster passing a high school exam, no matter the life's experience. I am pretty sure you'll pass.

    And even more so, you have already passed much more difficult tasks such as raising your kids. Now you have the opportunity to be an awesome grandpa, and you'll certainly pass that test with flying colours.

    But don't forget... to live, my friend. Carpe diem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words, as always Sonja :)

      Carpe diem... excellent advice. I have a note on my iPhone that is simply titled Carpe diem. It serves to track whatever it is I need to do next and to remind me to make the most of each day.

      Right now I struggle with blogging and vlogging.

      The time commitment for vlogging is quite a challenge. It takes hours, easily the better part of a day to put up an episode. That's the down side. The upside is that I feel that vlogging provides a more intimate connection, for better or worse.

      I am hoping to sort it all out in the coming months.

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