A Year of COVID-19. There is just so much. I cannot reflect on the last year and not think about the lives lost or the racial and social injustice that continue to plague our country. While in quarantine, I found it so difficult to operate as “business as usual” and process all that was happening in the world, especially in the Black community. I would take my dogs for a walk around my neighborhood and think about Ahmaud Arbery. I would try and close my eyes at night and think about Breonna Taylor. I was regularly mentally and emotionally fatigued. In this last year, I have learned the importance of prioritizing myself and my well-being. Although I may have learned that I am not Superwoman, as I would like to believe, I am resilient.
com ASmith gklaw Ashley A. Smith, Marquette 2018, practices with Godfrey & Kahn S.C., Milwaukee.
Frankly, we all have had to be resilient and find healthy ways to cope while we endured the events of the past year. I’d be the first to admit that some of my personal coping techniques may have been more productive than others. On one hand, I picked up yoga and started cooking a lot more, which I found extremely therapeutic. On the other hand, I spent an unreasonable amount of time on TikTok, which I also found extremely therapeutic, and learning many of the TikTok dances made for great exercise.
I even tried picking up some new hobbies, but I quickly learned that there is no amount of tutorial videos I could watch that would ever motivate me to try and do my own manicure or pedicure again. This realization is especially unfortunate, seeing that I have enough supplies to start a small salon. Incidentally, this may be a good point to discuss how Amazon anonymous should probably be a real thing.
Say what you want about social media, but in this last year the memes let us know that we all were going through the same struggles working from home, which oddly brought everyone closer together. I found any reference to a family member or pet as a coworker hilarious! My “coworkers” (a Yorkshire terrier, Lulu, and a maltese, Lola) constantly would fall asleep during business hours and would choose to do extremely embarrassing things when I was on video calls. Once, Lulu thought it would be an appropriate time to scoot her rear end across the floor behind me while I was on video. That’s when I started blurring my background while on video.
After the past year or so that we have endured with COVID-19, I like to believe that the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter every day. I hope that when we get back to whatever our “new normal” will be, we do not take each other for granted, we remember to extend grace and respect when we see each other struggling, and we embrace and celebrate our differences.
» Cite this article: 94 Wis. Law. 64 (April 2021).
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What is on your bucket list?
I love to travel. My favorite destinations have been any place warm where I can lay on a beach, unplug, and be under the sun. That’s my idea of a vacation. One big item on my bucket list is to go to Hawaii. It’s a trip that I have to do with my mom. For as long as I can remember, we have talked about going there. Over the next couple of years, my family will be celebrating some milestone birthdays and any of those would be great reasons to finally make that trip to Hawaii happen.
com ASmith gklaw Ashley A. Smith, Godfrey & Kahn S.C., Milwaukee.
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