Work, Gratitude, and the Problem of the Current Second


I’m late to my very own social gathering, however April 1, 2020 marked twelve years since I give up my job as a lawyer to journey the world.

By now you guys know the drill: every year I wrote an annual replace publish for April 1st, about my frame of mind and the state of my enterprise. I’d normally even have a get along with pals to rejoice, wherever I used to be. In Saigon, it was a celebration with bun cha and rice vodka. In Oaxaca, it was mezcal and quesadillas.

This yr, the date fell through the lengthy trek again to Montreal from Florida. I used to be attempting to maneuver shortly sufficient to get residence safely, however gradual sufficient to not exacerbate my spinal CSF leak.

Whereas I used to be technically on the street on April 1st, the date concerned rather less celebration and a bit extra pandemic than common.

Since right this moment is my forty first birthday, I assumed I’d use the event to try this annual write-up.

Right here’s a publish about what’s happening, and a few of what comes subsequent.

12 Years of Authorized Nomads

Well being clever, my leak is ongoing. Different power points are ongoing.

Nonetheless, I’m right here right this moment, alive, feeling beloved, looking for gratitude for what I can and remind myself that human connection is a part of what sees us via.

With elevated acceptance of my day-to-day actuality got here a way of elevated dissonance after I checked out Authorized Nomads. That smiling particular person on a motorcycle on my entrance web page is now not me. Telling tales via meals is now not me. These are a part of me, positive, and I’m pleased with no matter roads took me to them.

Nonetheless, I’d open my dashboard once in a while and suppose, “what am I even doing? Is there a degree to any of this anymore?”  Questions that many people are asking as of late, and ones that take sharper kind as a result of the bodily alternative prices of working are so nice for me.

I really like writing, and my thoughts misses writing. Penning this publish in morning increments felt like coming residence. My physique, although, it doesn’t a lot like me writing. My leak signs worsen after I do and whereas I’ve tried inventive options like voice to textual content or transcription, they don’t scratch the writing itch. I really like the typing itself, the act of phrases falling out of my mind and rearranging themselves into prose.

So I made a decision I’ll do one thing a bit extra drastic.

Killing my Darlings

To be able to create a superb piece of writing, you typically must first cull these paragraphs or characters you are feeling connected to although they now not contribute critically to the entire. It’s essential to “kill your darlings” to make a better-working piece.

For me, killing my darlings outcomes not from decorative prose however from the bodily limitations on my potential to work. Whereas my inventive time is infinite, the precise creating takes the form of bodily overhead I now not have at my disposal. I’m divesting a number of the initiatives I’ve clung to within the hopes that I’ll have the ability to construct one thing thrilling for my neighborhood.

I’ve a half-finished writing course workbook, and a full define for a product for legal professionals who wish to change careers.

Neither might be doable within the subsequent very lengthy whereas with my limitations. However the purpose I wished to construct these merchandise was as a result of readers requested for them, and clearly had a necessity for them. So I’ve partnered with folks I belief to repair these ache factors since I can’t.

Inform Higher Tales in a Digital World: My Storytelling Course

I deliberate to do a storytelling course, and I’ve a half-completed workbook and lots of signal ups from readers. I’ve tried to consider ways in which I can do that mission whereas leaking, as a result of I love to show storytelling. In the mean time, I don’t suppose it’s attainable to take action with out consuming into all my uptime.

So I’ve partnered with two folks I belief to supply two completely different programs; which one is likely to be finest for you relies on your wants.

Storytelling Course with Lola Akinmade Åkerström

How can we craft and share these tales with others that may create empathy and reference to others? How can we cradle with care the duty of telling different folks’s tales? How do you hook, interact, intrigue, and preserve your readers all the way in which to your closing message? How will you discover threads and narrative arcs to construction your story?

These are all questions Lola addresses in her complete course about storytelling.

The course is self-paced, and contains lectures, video modules, and plenty of case research and examples for example the teachings Lola teaches. Lola simply launched this course, and I contacted her to see if I might refer my readers her method as a result of it’s a terrific various to what I deliberate to do.

Lola has supplied $50 off for Authorized Nomads readers when you let her know that’s the place you got here from for the course.

Running a blog Course with Mike Sowden

I’ve additionally referred a few of you to my pal Mike*, who has a course referred to as Interact! A Storytelling Course for Bloggers. Quite a lot of readers aren’t bloggers and thus need a broader extra technical story instruction, which Lola can present. For individuals who are within the running a blog world, and/or don’t have the finances for a bigger course,Mike’s course is a good possibility.

His course is self-paced over 8 weeks, geared toward instructing bloggers find out how to be a greater storyteller. It contains e-mail classes, audio classes, PDF guides (together with my fave, “How To Edit The S#!t Out Of Your Writing”), and 1:1 help from Mike.

He has supplied a $15 low cost for Authorized Nomads readers: enter the code donkeyballs2020 or use this hyperlink to buy.

*Mike additionally kindly edited this publish, and lots of others, for me. Mike is an effective set of eyes in your mind.

Leaving Legislation Behind with Casey Berman and Adam Ouellette

My Thrillable Hours sequence exists to encourage legal professionals feeling deadened by their job choices to search out the braveness to suppose extra broadly. I created it to assist with worry, profession change, and life after regulation. Although I additionally had plans to make a course to assist legal professionals take a leap, I didn’t get to complete it.

Casey and Adam have, and so I’m partnering with them to repair the ache level a few of my readers have. They’ll assist legal professionals via the method of leaving the regulation, if that’s what they need, and assist them overcome the blocking beliefs and self-sabotage that may get in the way in which. In addition they present their college students with interview and résumé assist, in addition to help to permit legal professionals to hone in on what various profession is finest for them.

Mainly, if I can’t make it easier to I really feel that Adam and Casey can at Go away Legislation Behind.

The plan is to hopefully report a video interview with them, too, for Authorized Nomads readers.

The “Ask a Jodi” Podcast

Just a few years in the past, I purchased the area Ask a Jodi and thought I’d do movies answering questions readers had about life and all the pieces after. It was really my sitting on the bottom to dig out a tripod from my drawer that led to my re-opening the leak in 2018.

I shelved the video thought because it was infeasible, and with the bodily pressure this yr’s posts about COVID-19 took on me, I made a decision that writing would want to return second to one thing else.

I’ve lengthy mentioned I’d write if nobody had been studying. However sadly as I mentioned, my physique and writing don’t get on as properly. So a brief (10-15 min) podcast is the place I netted out, particularly to reply the numerous questions I obtain from readers about resilience, grief, hope, and a lot extra.

This can take time for me to get off the bottom, as a result of I’ve realized all the pieces takes extra time if you’re sick. I stay up for sharing it, when it’s prepared.

In the event you’ve bought a query for me that you just’d like me to handle in a podcast episode, I’ve made a Google Type right here so that you can ship it my method.

Redesigning Authorized Nomads

This website began on Blogger and moved to WordPress in 2010. It’s gone via fairly just a few resdesigns since 2008.

Legal nomads

Legal nomads
It’s been just a few years, and this time the redesign will streamline present classes into just a few predominant ones, and hyperlink out to the programs and sources I’ve listed above. I additionally wish to brighten up the colors and replace the photographs and ‘about’ web page to mirror the transitions I’ve gone via during the last years.

I’ll even be altering my slogan from “Telling Tales By way of Meals” to “Curious About All the pieces.” The brand new slogan higher displays my current, although it is also at all times who I’ve been.

Audio recordings for Accessibility

A few of my readers who’ve CSF leaks (spinal or cranial) or who’re chronically sick have requested if it will be attainable to report posts in audio kind, particularly those about meditation and my leak journey. My purpose is to report these earlier than I begin the podcast, warming as much as audio for starters but additionally making it simpler to entry content material for the individuals who discover studying tough.

E-newsletter Again Up and Working

Hyperlinks I Beloved was a e-newsletter I began to share the fascinating hyperlinks that I learn, together with these I shared on Twitter. I’ve had the e-newsletter disabled for the final yr and a half as a result of my ache ranges fluctuate sufficiently that I felt I couldn’t decide to placing it out each month as promised.

With the redesign and the podcast, I’m beginning it up once more. It should home just a few nice reads in addition to basic updates from my work, and podcast planning, and extra. You possibly can enroll right here.

Supporting Authorized Nomads

That is the query I get probably the most from you all: “how can I help you?”

I really feel extremely fortunate to have an unbelievable, caring neighborhood. I say this typically, and can proceed to say so. Even throughout these bewildering instances when nearly everybody’s actuality has turn into warped, you continue to attain out to make sure that I’m holding up okay.

As with final yr, the simplest help is through an Amazon reward card to, which is the place I get a number of the harder-to-find gadgets that aren’t accessible on the grocery retailer. With COVID-19, my neighbours/household/pals have helped with groceries, and ordering from Amazon means folks don’t should go attempting to find tiger nut flour.

There’s additionally my Patreon, which I launched primarily based in your request! I really like the intimate neighborhood there.

Actually, there isn’t a lot else in the mean time! Assist the podcast when it launches, and share my work if it resonates. The care I want day-to-day is probably the most urgent, and fortunately I’ve household (and now neighbours and pals!) to assist with grocery runs through the pandemic, and who drop by for socially distanced visits whereas it’s nonetheless heat.


My pal Cheryl, who I’ve featured right here, says her life mantra is LSAT. That she’s a former lawyer makes this humorous, because it’s not the LSAT of our nightmares. Her LSAT means love, give up, acceptance, and belief.

Lots more durable to embody than worry and anger and loathing.

Lots simpler to say than do.

And but, a worthy use of psychological time and power.

Each second you’re not in a state of give up, you’re in a state of lack.

That’s what will get me via every day.

Jodi Ettenberg Legal nomads
A February Florida soup journey. Well worth the ache!

Properly, that and soup.



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