Vail Daily column: Groove with the holiday vibe
Holiday fires are beginning to kindle in homes across the valley and the seasonal acceleration of time has begun in earnest. As the pressure of rampant commercialism essays to press ever more firmly upon us and our kin, the hollowness of materiality reveals itself. The blatancy of corporate appeals has in the end spelled their doom: We can no longer be fooled into believing that goods can replace the love and happiness that is the company of family and friends.
Religious or secular, this special time of year brings out the best in humanity and communities. With this sentiment in mind, now is the perfect opportunity to stop feasting on each other through lawsuits and instead imbibe hot cocoa and toddies, gorge on gingerbread and goose.
That it is already December again is our yearly reminder that life is fleeting and precious. Another 365 days older, hopefully we have gained wisdom and a measure of peace to go along with the more prevalent aches and pains. Harken back to the last time that you donned that reindeer or other “ugly” sweater: Much has happened. Babies were born, grandchildren have graduated, wedding vows were made, adventures were ventured. Now, imagine years and years of litigation subsuming your life and robbing all of these milestones of their luster.
Picture yourself surrounded by family lighting the menorah or decorating the tree or engaging in your other holiday rituals and not present in the moment because you are so worried about that looming deposition.
This season is one for forgiveness; for overlooking your shortcomings and the ones of those around you in the spirit of the holidays. Yes, your uncle is a boor and probably drinks way too much and it can be uncomfortable to sit next to him on Christmas Eve when he embarks on politically charged diatribes. Yet you rejoice in his company nonetheless because he was the one who snuck you fireworks and your first sip of beer (hopefully not at the same time) when your parents were not looking. The holidays have a way of conjoining the past with the present.
PRACTICE SEASONAL TOLERANCE
The same seasonal tolerance should come into play in regard to that business partner or neighbor with whom you are feuding. You may not like their current behavior, but there is no reason to spend thousands of dollars fighting with them.
Think back to the heady days at the beginning of your business, when every new client was a triumph and you were closer than brothers. Or remember when your neighbor came over to help you hang drywall and you stayed up until the late hours trading stories. Embracing the good cheer of the holidays and exorcising the bad juju of your dispute will do wonders for your mental health and wallet.
A bunch of lawyers are the last people with whom you want to spend your holiday week, either physically, electronically or metaphorically. It is not uncommon for attorneys, just like other business people, to cram in important work before the end of the year. A couple of years ago, I was forced to schedule a deposition on the day of New Year’s Eve due to the deponent’s travel plans. Nobody was happy to be there, least of all the plaintiff, who had to answer my tough questions and very much regretted putting herself in such position. It was not a great way for her to ring in the new year.
PUT CONFLICTS TO REST
The psychic energy that you conserve by putting your conflicts to rest can find much more productive outlets. The veneer of holiday decoration masks whole swaths of the community that are desperately in need. The valley is full of nonprofits that can use volunteers to spread holiday cheer. Instead of paying your lawyer to trade barbs with your opponent’s attorney, use the financial and mental resources to brighten a family’s December. Depending on the scale of your litigation, the money you save by ending the fight may be enough to throw a joyous celebration for an entire neighborhood.
The next few weeks are often touted as being the most stressful of the year. That is a self-fulfilling prophecy that need not come to fruition. Reduce the burden by inhaling the aroma of roasting chestnuts and exhaling the stench of litigation. Remember, it is the nice and not the naughty that reap the bounty of the season.
T.J. Voboril is a partner at Reynolds, Kalamaya & Voboril LLC, a local law firm, and the owner/mediator at Voice Of Reason Dispute Resolution. For more information, contact Voboril at 970-306-6456, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.rkvlaw.com.