I am a glass half-full kind of person. I think that you have to be, to be
a family lawyer. I see so much upset and sadness in my work: people
devastated at the end of a relationship, people angry at the loss of
what might have been, people mourning the loss of their children. I try
to help my clients look on the bright side. A smaller house will be easier
to maintain and keep clean. Sharing your child’s time will give you the
opportunity to do the chores when they are away so you can give them
more attention when they are with you. Planning your new life will lift
your spirits. I wonder, could I follow my own advice?
This year has been a test for any optimist. In January I was looking
forward throughout 2020 to my daughter’s wedding in New York,
conferences in Oslo and Prague and a big family Christmas. It hasn’t
worked out that way. So many events have been cancelled, so many
visitors couldn’t visit, so many people have suffered in so many ways.
For me though, I have enjoyed the changes of this year. The cleaner
air when no-one was driving into town. The long walks exploring both
countryside and beaches, all accessible from central St Helier within
minutes. The empty office when everyone else was working from
home. The simple pleasures of lockdown cupboard cleaning and
shopping locally. I have been so very fortunate. I have been able to
carry on working, I have no young children to home-school, I have not
experienced death or disease.
Our family is scattered around the world but we have been able to
spend time with our granddaughter at her home and at ours. Her
first birthday party in March marked the turning point in our freedom.
The summer has been filled with trips to castles and beaches as we
stretched our wings. The autumn came and with it a return to an island
hibernation of cosy teas with crumpets and black butter.
I love a party. I have missed the company of friends but it is actually
rather nice to step off the roundabout for a moment and to contemplate
a simpler life. A socially distanced world gives more space for us all to
grow...for a while. How long will the world of 2020 define us?
I am so very lucky. My glass is still half-full. But I can’t forget all those
whose glasses are half-empty. For them I hope that we can keep the
good that has come out of this unexpected year and leave the bad
behind as we look to the new one coming in with the tide.