Earlier this year the desktop computer that I had been using for way too long died. Most of my data was backed up (thankfully) but I soon learned that my billing software was hopelessly out of date and could not be brought back to life. What this means, besides dragging me into the 21st century, is that it forced me to take a long hard look at my accounts receivable. In layman's terms, I had to carefully review those former clients who have owed me money for a long, long time. Some of these debts go back to the turn of the century. Every account came with a story and much like the occasion of Festivus, brought about "the airing of grievances". I carried a lot of animosity towards many of these people who, for whatever reason chose not to pay me.
A funny thing happened when I was setting up my new billing system, I postponed entering my really old accounts receivable. I figured that I would get these accounts entered eventually but I was more concerned with getting my current clients set up properly. What I discovered was that a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I quit worrying about these debts and these people who will never pay me and more importantly, I quit being angry about it. I have neither forgiven nor forgotten, but I’m not angry. Hopefully, I've learned some lessons in the 34 years I've been doing this. This seems like a good metaphor going into this new year. I know that I can be a better and more efficient lawyer if I can get over being angry or out of sorts about every perceived injustice. It's good advice for some of my clients too. You can either spend a lot of money trying to make someone else’s life miserable because of some injustice or you can try to look ahead and move forward. I hope I can remind myself of this every day.