ChronicBabe: 5 Reasons Why Leaving My Job and Working From Home Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

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Wear, Tear, & Care

Check out my guest post for Jenni Grover Prokopy’s site, ChronicBabe!

5 Reasons why Leaving My Job and Working From Home Was the Best Decision I Ever Made

Hi! My name is Jen, and I’m a 29-year-old attorney, editor, writer, and patient advocate. I have spinal fractures from two car accidents that required two cervical fusions. The jury’s out on whether I’ll need more surgery.

I worked in an office for three and a half years after law school. At that point I was dealing with the fallout from my first car accident, which happened in 2004 and decimated my thoracic spine. Law school happened, and then my job, and then… another accident. That second accident became a barrier to a normal life.

Eventually I decided to leave my job and work from home. Here are the reasons why it was the best decision I ever made.

My health comes first now.

I was living the dream: I had a legal job that started at 8 am…

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Everybody Has Something Wrong With Them

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“Our attention is split in half. One half is focused on our regular lives, our jobs, and our families. The other half is focused inward, caught in a storm of such great strength that it pulls the breath from our bodies. So if we seem distracted or forget what you’re talking about, that’s why.”

Wear, Tear, & Care

everybodyEverybody has something wrong with them.

I don’t care who you are or how many marathons you’ve run or how loud you are about it, but literally everybody on this planet, no matter how young or old, has something inside that is actively working against them. That young boy bicycling to school has Type I diabetes. The teacher shepherding students into the classroom has arthritis. The school bus driver has sciatica that runs down her right leg. The mailman has a limp because his hip gave out after twenty years of walking his route. The old woman shuffling down the sidewalk has cataracts, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin cancer from the days of tanning with baby oil.

If something isn’t wrong with us when we’re born, something will go wrong. As soon as we are born we start to die, and little chips of us are broken away year after year…

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‘How Do I Break the Cycle of Pain and Feel Better?’ by J.W. Kain

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In my head, my pain takes the form of a skinny meth-head-looking man who molds himself to my frame, his hands clasped so he can piggy-back me. His mouth is by my ear and he screams without end. I have to navigate my life — appear as a normal human being, talk to people, engage in activities — with this man hanging from my neck, choking me, clinging to my back, and screaming one long, high, unyielding note into my ear. He never takes a breath. He doesn’t have to. He hasn’t stopped screaming for almost twelve years.

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE–

How Do I Break the Cycle of Pain and Feel Better? Also, a PSA for Pain Advocates

Gone Girl

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Nick and Amy will be gone, but then we never really existed. Nick loved a girl I was pretending to be. “Cool girl”. Men always use that, don’t they? As their defining compliment: “She’s a cool girl”. Cool girl is hot. Cool girl is game. Cool girl is fun. Cool girl never gets angry at her man. She only smiles in a chagrined, loving manner. And then presents her mouth for fucking. She likes what he likes, so evidently he’s a vinyl hipster who loves fetish Manga. If he likes girls gone wild, she’s a mall babe who talks for football and endures buffalo wings at Hooters. When I met Nick Dunne I knew he wanted “Cool girl”. And for him, I’ll admit: I was willing to try. I wax-strippe my pussy raw. I drank canned beer watching Adam Sandler movies. I ate cold pizza and remained a size two. I blew him, semi-regularly. I lived in the moment. I was fucking game.cool girl blue

The Ralph Nader Reader

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From Ralph Nader, “Law Schools and Law Firms,” New Republic (1969)

“Thus was launched a process of engineering the law student into corridor thinking and largely non-normative evaluation. It was a three-year excursus through legal minutiae, embraced by wooden logic and impervious to what Oliver Wendell Holmes once called the ‘felt necessities of our times.’ It is not easy to take the very bright young minds of a nation, envelop them in conceptual cocoons and condition their expectations of practice to the demands of the corporate law firm. But this is what Harvard Law School did for over half a century to all but a resistant few of the forty thousand graduates. The Harvard Law pattern – honed to a perfection of brilliant myopia and superfluous rigor – became early in the century the Olympian object of mimicry for law schools throughout the country.” (388)

“For decades, the law school curriculum reflected with remarkable fidelity the commercial demands of law firm practice. Law firm determinants of the content of courses nurtured a colossal distortion in priorities both as to the type of subject matter and the dimension of its treatment. What determined the curriculum was the legal interest that came with retainers.” (390)

“Thus the great legal challenges of access to large governmental and corporate institutions, the control of environmental pollution, the requisites of international justice suffered from the inattention of mechanized minds. There was little appreciation of how highly demanding an intellectual task it was to develop constructs of justice and injustice within Holmes’ wise dictum that ‘the life of the law is not logic, it is experience.’ Great questions went unasked, and therefore unanswered.” (391)

nader reader 391

“As the law becomes more and more a determinative force in public and private affairs, the lawyer must carry the responsibility of his specialized knowledge, and formulate ideas as well as advocate them. In a society where law is a primary force, the lawyer must be a primary, not a secondary, being.” (Professor Reich, Yale Law School)

“The absence of remedy is tantamount to an absence of right. The engineer of remedies for exercising rights is the lawyer.”(395)

“The yearning of more and more young lawyers and law students is to find careers as public-interest lawyers who, independent of government and industry, will work on these two major institutions to further the creative rule of law. The law, suffering recurrent and deepening breakdowns, paralysis and obsolescence, should no longer tolerate a retainer astigmatism which allocates brilliant minds to trivial or harmful interests.” (396)

Letters to My Daughters, Paul Friesen

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I don’t want to paint all men in a bad light, but let me be very clear on this: dating a man who says he wants to prove his love by becoming physically involved with you is like having dinner with a man who says he will show you how much he loves you by eating your serving of prime rib.

One of the ways you can know a man’s love for you is by his desire to honor you and your relationship together by not becoming physically involved prematurely.  (140)

Pocket-Sized Gods?

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“American Christians- especially those studying and working in colleges and universities- cannot remain complacent with theological, historical or political naiveté. Wilful ignorance is inexcusable. Americans have ready access to a wide range of scholarly literature and the latest information technologies that the rest of us envy. They don’t have to watch Fox News or listen to the latest chauvinist or demagogue. Some of the finest biblical scholars, theologians, philosophers and historians are found in the American Church (sadly, it is not their works that are exported to the rest of the world).

Moreover, every American city is multi-cultural and multi-religious. You can meet Christians from all over the world, as well as thoughtful Muslims from every Muslim sect, Jews, Sikhs, Jains or Buddhists. You can have your prejudices dispelled, your viewpoints and worldviews enlarged through such encounters and friendships.
If American Christians do not avail themselves of the resources and opportunities on their doorstep, they will remain culturally marginal, intellectually lightweight, politically reactionary, and a deep source of embarrassment to the rest of the global Church.”

Vinoth Ramachandra

The Malaysian Church, in recent decades, was engaged in a prolonged legal battle with their Islamist-influenced government which prohibited non-Muslims from using the word Allah to refer to the supreme God and creator. Church leaders received directives stating that several words of Arabic origin, including Allah, Nabi (prophet) and Al Kitab (Bible) were not to be used by non-Muslims as Arabic was the language of Muslims. Usage by Christians would sow the seeds of “confusion”. The import of Malay Bibles printed in Indonesia (which used Allah) was effectively banned.

Christians countered by pointing out that Allah was the common term used to refer to the supreme God long before Islam came into existence in North Africa. Arab Christians continue to worship God as Allah and Malay-speaking Christians have also been using Allah for centuries. Far from sowing “confusion”, it has facilitated communication and promoted mutual understanding between Christians and…

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Self-Righteous Outrage?

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Perhaps we should re-phrase Obama’s speech thus: “We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté, égalité, fraternité are not only values that the French people have (fitfully and unevenly) cared about- just like the rest of us- but that we should all repent of our complicity in historical injustices and renew our collective commitment to pursue justice and peace for all humanity.”

Vinoth Ramachandra

In a speech expressing his solidarity and sympathy with the French, US President Barack Obama described the brutal and cowardly attack last friday evening as “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

“Paris itself represents the timeless values of human progress,” Obama said. “Those who think they can terrorize the people of France or the values they stand for are wrong. … The American people draw strength from the French people’s commitment to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté, égalité, fraternité are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but are values that we share.”

And in a message of solidarity to the people of France, the British Prime Minister David Cameron he said: “Your values are our values, your pain is our pain, your fight is…

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De-Colonizing Minds

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“Respect for other peoples and their cultures involves mutual listening and interrogation, not blind accommodation or arrogant dismissal.”

Vinoth Ramachandra

Last weekend we were invited to remember World Refugee Day, Father’s Day and International Yoga Day. No need to guess which was the most popular. Crass commercialism rules. And the greatest tragedy for me is the way it has engulfed so many affluent churches, reinforcing their inward focus and tendency to being mere pawns in the hands of corporate and political forces.

If anyone experienced a local church remembering World Refugee Day, I would love to hear from you- and especially how it was remembered.

Since 2000, the 20th of June has been marked by the UN as World Refugee Day to honour those who are forced to flee their home countries under the threat of war, persecution, conflict and environmental disasters. The UN High Commission for Refugees informs us, in a report released last week, that one out of every 122 people in the world is now either a…

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