Wishes Matured by Thoughtful Choice

My youthful wishes all fulfilled
Wishes matured by thoughtful choice.
I stood an inmate of this vale,
How could I but rejoice?
Dorothy Wordsworth

Six years ago this month I went into my office for the last time. I was a senior partner in a prestigious law firm, with all the advantages that come with that. Later that morning I packed my car and drove to Virginia, leaving behind a law career I’d been building for over 25 years.

My youthful wishes had included breaking out of this vale that held me inmate–to a life among the educated and affluent. But those youthful wishes mercifully matured by thoughtful choice.

So I came home.

Now I’m a goatherd and a gardener, an inmate once again of this vale–my youthful wishes all fulfilled, in ways I couldn’t have guessed back then.

How can I but rejoice?

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24 comments on “Wishes Matured by Thoughtful Choice

  1. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, congrats on the strength to follow the thoughtful choice of your youth and put action to those thoughts. It’s an interesting thought to be held prisoner by a job but in most cases that is a true statement. I can sort of say the same thing. When I attended middle school, I dreamed of becoming a farmer. As I made my way through high school. I was introduced to this amazing thing called technology which fascinated my mechanical side. I was schooled in a two year associate degree in electrical technology and never looked back. The next 41 years were truly amazing and it couldn’t have fit me better. There was never a day of work that I didn’t like or a time when I disliked what I did for a living.

    After retiring, the second normal thing to do is kick back, relax, play some golf (yuck). I took on the task of building a garden. It’s the most amazing time of my life. Returning to the roots of my family heritage just feels right.

    Have a great Wishes Matured by Thoughtful Choices day.

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    • Bill says:

      You’re fortunate to have had a career you enjoyed so much. In my case I had a successful career and was regarded as very good at what I did. But on most days I didn’t enjoy it. I took my time about it, but moving on to something else was definitely the right decision for me. I know lots of lawyers who feel trapped and would prefer to be doing something else. But I also know some who genuinely love their job. I remember walking into a friend’s office one day to find him yelling and arguing with someone on the phone (the sort of thing that gave me heartburn). After a while he slammed the receiver down, looked up at me smiling and said, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.”

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  2. shoreacres says:

    As we often say in Texas (and as others have learned to say): “What goes around, comes around.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thesnowwoman says:

    Wow that is a big leap, but an impressive one! Congratulations!

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  4. bobraxton says:

    in D.C. at the New York Avenue Presbyterian church – sermon text Numbers 27:1-11 and one poem of mine for the morning: ‘theologically’ identity / grounded land and / community

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  5. You weren’t meant to be a lawyer because you’re LIKEABLE—not at all lawyer material. Ha!
    Seriously though, what a wise decision. Think how much better the world would be with more folks providing great food . Wonderful to think of!

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  6. avwalters says:

    I have a garden, but no goats. (And I still practice, in a reduced sort of way.) Your freedom makes me feel just a little bit guilty–for keeping a foot in each world. Congratulations for the joys of matured wishes.

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    • Bill says:

      I kept a foot in both worlds a long time. I continued practicing for 7 years after we moved here. For a few years I still worked full-time and stayed near the top of the firm in hours billed and fees generated, even while commuting 700 miles on weekends and working on the farm. That was insane. The last few years I was “part time,” but when a trial came along that meant nothing. I did spend more time at home though when I could. That was less insane, but still crazy. 6 years ago I cut the cord completely. It was scary. I’m conservative by nature and not one to take risks. But looking back at it now, I can honestly say I have no regrets. If it works for you I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t stay in both worlds, at least until the day comes when it doesn’t make sense anymore.

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      • avwalters says:

        I confess that I have a fondness for many of my clients. Most of what I do at this point is consulting–helping folks to stay out of trouble. When it comes to actual litigation–I refer them elsewhere. It’s too difficult to litigate from thousands of miles away. I beg off, citing distance. In truth, litigation seems an enormous waste of resources–especially human effort. I have trouble now when it’s just money. I can fight for principles, but not for greed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bill says:

        I actually preferred being an advocate in competing claims for money, because at the end of the day what was at stake was just money. Commercial litigation is all I ever did. I deliberately avoided work where the custody of a child or someone’s liberty (or even life) was dependent upon my advocacy. Of course I realize how important it is that there be good lawyers willing to take on those kinds of cases. But it wasn’t for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. A courageous man… may your dreams continue to become your reality, Bill. –Curt

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  8. Laurie Graves says:

    Coming back was a choice, and that makes all the difference.

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  9. And that is why we enjoy your posting so much. Here’s to doing what is right and makes you happy!

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  10. The answers are always right in front of us, aren’t they? ❤

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  11. You need a ‘Life is Good’ t-shirt because I can envision that you already have a smile on your face. 🙂

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