Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I used to thrive on stress. I was a criminal trial attorney. I loved the courtroom drama, the back room negotiating, the power over other people's lives. After 15 years of law practice, a tough divorce and custody battle, and trying to raise three gifted daughters on my own, I'd had enough. I was depressed, and I felt like I was living on a slippery slope leading to Hell, and sliding fast.

So I made some changes in priorities. I quit practicing law. My income went to nothing. I learned to live cheap. Do I ever miss the prestige that goes with being a successful attorney? No, not once. Do I miss the great income, and the other benefits? Maybe a little once in a while. But I would never go back. I'm like every other woman. I like nice things. I like to wear nice clothes. I like to have nice hair and nails. I like to drive a nice car when it is especially cold or rainy or slick outside. I like to go out to a nice dinner. Do I have to have those things? No. I'm lucky enough to have most of them right now, but I don't need them. I'll gladly wear clothes for several years instead of replacing them every season if I can buy a few more gallons of gas instead. I'm happy to get a $10 haircut at Great Clips instead of paying $50 at a salon if it means I can get another farkle for my bike. I can cook hamburgers in my backyard instead of eating steak and lobster if it means I can go on a few more rides.

I also married a good guy. He's not perfect. Neither am I, but we make a good team. We talk through the tough times, and there is nothing in the world that feels better than knowing someone always has your back. Do I need an expensive lifestyle? No. What I need is what my motorcycle gives me. When I ride my mind is clear of everything except the road. When I get off the bike, suddenly the things that were weighing me down are easier to figure out. A good friend of mine always says you never see a motorcycle outside a psychiatrist's office unless it belongs to the doctor. She's right. Riders know that death is one distracted soccer mom away. They strive to survive every time they get on the bike. So will I admit motorcycles are dangerous? You bet I'll admit it. But living is dangerous. The only thing really safe is death and I'm not interested.

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