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Is Integrative Law a Path to Work/Life Fit?

In this new piece for the ABA Journal, Hollee explores how lawyers who adopt the principles of the integrative law movement have achieved better balance and greater job satisfaction.

Hollee to Talk Work/Life Balance in Panama City Beach

On Friday, Hollee will deliver two breakout sessions for an audience of 200 ladies at the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Annual Women’s Work-Life Symposium. She will be signing copies of Good Enough Is the New Perfect during the event — we’d love to see some New Perfect fans on Friday!

Teaching Kids to Face Challenges

Here’s a new piece I wrote for the Learning Care Group about how to help kids handle challenging situations. I share a little bit about how my younger son coped with our moving 2,500 miles from home for our sabbatical semester. I promise to write more about the experience soon, and I’d love to hear your own strategies for helping kids cope with change.

Lawyers Finding Paths to Balance

Here’s my piece in the upcoming issue of the ABA Journal on how lawyers are finding better balance through an interesting model known as secondment. The men and women I interviewed said secondment firms, which place lawyers in temporary assignments, offer more flexibility and sophisticated legal work — a win/win!

On Making Things Easier

So I felt compelled to dash off a post on a cool new app that I’ve found, as it’s actually having a profound impact on my life. For those of you who are superorganized and not needing help in that dimension, thanks for stopping by.

However, if you are at all like me (maybe a bit fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, so to speak), this one might be for you.

So as I was scrolling my Facebook feed the other day, I saw a post by my friend Rachel from Southern Fairytale (her recipes rock and if you’ve been to my house over the last year or so you’ve enjoyed both the pulled pork barbecue and the guacamole). But I digress.

Rachel linked to an article about awesome apps, and I clicked through and read about the top family organization app in the bunch — Cozi.

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I have been clinging to my paper calendar for a few too many years. I tried to make the switch to an iPhone calendar awhile back, but it required all sorts of scrolling and I found it to be difficult to use, so I just went back to the pencil and daybook.

Lest you think this isn’t relating enough to work/life balance or perfectionism, give me a second. Over time, and especially over the past few days, I’ve realized that because I never switched to a phone-based calendar system, I end up storing a lot of to-do’s in my brain. I think it actually became a source of pride with me (hello, perfectionist). But it actually made me a little bit tense … most of the time. I am constantly running the lists through my head, and always a bit edgy that something will slip through the cracks.

Last week, I was rattling off a list of about six things that needed to be done (send check for Cooperstown baseball team, figure out how to electronically deposit rent check, remember to buy posterboard for stegosaurus project, you see where this is heading by now…). And John exclaimed again that I was the most highly effective, least organized person he knew.

So anyway, this app is about to change all of that for the Temples.

The app even lets you pick a family photo for your online calendar — I liked this one.

We now have a shared calendar, so I don’t have to remind John for what feels like the 20th time about … anything! He can access the calendar on his computer or his phone. If it’s really important, I can just let Cozi send him a reminder. We can both add items to the grocery list with the touch of a button. We can even create shared to-do lists (not going there quite yet, but thought you’d like to know). The whole “sharing without nagging” process seems brilliant to me, and good for the marriage to boot.

I’ve had the app for a few days now, and today I told John that I feel like my stress level has gone way down because I’m not keeping all of the to-do’s in my head anymore. He said that’s like the equivalent of a person realizing that eating will make you less hungry. I laughed and said that while it’s true, I sometimes take the long road to the easy destination.

So I guess today I learned — again — that everything worth doing really doesn’t have to be hard.

Hope Floats

There’s a movie quote I’ve been coming back to frequently over the past month. It’s from Hope Floats, a movie I barely remember watching, but I ran across it on a blog I like, and I keep returning to it nonetheless:

“Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.”

That resonates today, more than a month after our family began the cross-country adventure that landed us in a new town with both more excitement and more challenges than I could have expected.

Southern Rim hike at the Grand Canyon

I don’t think I allowed myself to think about the hard stuff too much before we left. It might have stopped me, you know? Sometimes you just have to let go and let life happen. Who would do this otherwise? I can tell that the locals we’re meeting think it’s more than a little strange to uproot the family for a semester for no specific reason. Just for the experience and the adventure, I say, and then I see them imagining themselves doing the same … and sort of shaking their heads. But I’ve spent the last few years encouraging women to make the unconventional choice, so it seems fitting that I should jump in the boat myself, right?

So what’s been exciting? The cross-country journey.

Route 66

So much easier than I expected, and so many memories. The Grand Canyon was a highlight, and the kids keep talking about the visits with family and friends in Ohio, Louisiana, and Phoenix.

John and boys at Mama Dot’s farm in Louisiana

When we finally pulled up in La Jolla, G kept repeating, “I just can’t believe we made it.” We did it — and the photos and memories will last a lifetime.

And the weather’s been a huge boost, of course. Every morning I get emails about the snow delays at home, and I look out at the palm trees and sunshine and can’t help but smile. I’ve been running alongside the Pacific some mornings and even though I detest running, I can’t help but feel good when I stare out into the waves.

San Diego and La Jolla both have so much to offer, and we’ve been trying to take advantage of it all. So far, we’ve spent a good amount of time exploring everything that’s within walking distance … La Jolla Cove, Windansea Beach, the chic town, the recreation center and libraries. We’ve also made it to Balboa Park and Seaport Village; G and I took a “floating lab” boat out into the bay for a field trip last week.

But it’s been hard, too — really hard some days. John is suffering from a bruised rib sustained during one of our surfing attempts, and I had that nasty virus for the first week we were here. Moreover, the kids are feeling more cabin fever than ever in our tiny little beach house. They’re picking at each other and tearing up and somewhat unsettled. H cries for the teacher he left back in West Virginia when he’s tired at night. It’s a little bit heartbreaking.

Boys at the canyon

But I see what they’re gaining, too. G fit right in with his new classmates, and he’s told me that he realizes now that he could get by almost anywhere. He’s excited to start on a new baseball team this week, and he’s enjoyed all of the outdoor time that we couldn’t have gotten at home. H has launched a somewhat lucrative lemonade stand, and he loves taking his earnings to the weekly farmer’s market at his school, where he typically buys more lemons, kettle corn, and these cookies that I would devour if I hadn’t given up sugar.

So I’m not sure where that leaves me. Many days, I’m exhilarated by the adventure, pleased with the progress I’m making on my work, and generally astonished that we pulled this off. Some, I just want to pack the kids back into the Honda and start driving east.

Somehow, I have confidence that the hope’s going to float up soon.

What have you done lately to pull yourself out of your comfort zone?