It’s quiet time at Alabama Family Law Center. Every year, typically from the Monday before Thanksgiving until the middle of January or so, I experience a quiet season. The phone rings less, people make fewer appointments, even traffic on my web site is lower.
I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. At least for the first five years, I dreaded this time of year, because of what it meant for my revenue. How will I pay for my Yellow Pages ad? What about Christmas shopping? How can I cover all those bills when there’s no business coming in?
Thanks to a relentless application of the maxim of my good friend Mike Harper (“Two ways to be rich: have more; want less”), my wife and I need less now to be happy, and we’re less concerned about money. So now I embrace this quiet time each year like an old friend bringing a hot cup of cider for a gentle visit. And I think.
I think about those poor ex-spouses who are at war about when Christmas Eve begins or who gets the kids when over Christmas. God bless them, and God bless the children who are the turf over which they fight.
I think about my future clients, being either too poor or too smart, or both, to let their divorce get out of control and fight it out with separate lawyers and retainers and judges. I know they’re holding things together at this time of year and hoping against hope they won’t have to call somebody like me come January. And miracle of miracles, some of them won’t. Some of them will find ways of holding their marriage together for another year. God bless them as they work to find ways to do this.
I think about those people who feel imprisoned in unhappy marriages who see no way out, ever, for whom this time of year is just an extra assault of vulnerability and quiet desparation. God bless them, and give them strength to survive and cope.
And I think of those people like me, blessed beyond all measure. Living in happy marriages as we do, we are free to revel in this time of year during which we remember and celebrate a God who loves us, who comes to us, even when we’re too selfish to know how much we need it. God bless those especially who think they don’t need God to bless them.