Three Things I Can’t Do Without

by Adrith Bedore Bicchieri, Head Editor, INALJ Maryland

Three Things I Can’t Do Without

Adrith_BicchieriI will freely admit that right now stress has me by the tail, instead of me having stress by the tail. In addition to my job search going into the fourteenth inning, my husband is now deployed and I’m home alone with a puppy.
To say things are a bit crazy is a wild understatement.
In lieu of profound thoughts on the state of our profession, I thought I’d share the three things I would absolutely not make it twenty-four hours without.
  1. A coffee-maker with a timer. I used to be a night owl, and then we got a sixteen-week-old puppy. She’s just over a year old now, but she still isn’t ready to let the humans sleep in – and now that I’m flying solo, there’s no one else to take the 6 AM wake-up call. Ready access to caffeine in the morning helps.
  2. My smartphone. Aside from the ability to receive phone calls from the other side of the world even when I’m at the grocery store, the doctor’s office, or the theater, my smartphone is saving my bacon daily. My doctor informed me during the last deployment that stress can have a profound negative effect on the ability to remember things – which I discovered to be absolutely true. So now I set alerts for everything – even down to putting the trash out the night before – yet another chore that wasn’t mine until two weeks ago. (And the GoodReads app now scans barcodes! Now I can fill up my “to-read” queue even easier, ensuring that I will never, ever get to the end of it.)

  3. Puppy day-camp. Up until last November, I would have said that I worked pretty well in any type of environment … and then we brought a puppy home. One who chases and tries to herd the cat, whose baying and barks could knock a seasoned meditator out of peaceful repose. We drove each other crazy until I discovered puppy day-camp during my last stint of solo puppy-parenting. The dog has a place to go to socialize with other dogs and burn up a bunch of energy, and I get the uninterrupted time I need to finish a project. 
As I’ve sat here considering my three things, I’ve noticed that there is a common thread. This list is about recognizing what I need, and acquiring the tools and the help I need to be successful. It’s easy to think that we should have all the answers and be able to do it all, especially when we’re trying to convince an interview panel that we are the best candidate for the job. But in reality, very few of us work alone in an absolute vacuum.
What are the things that you can’t do without?

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