Caniculares Dies - Keeping the Faith During the Dog Days of Summer
We in San Francisco have a tendency to turn every three-day holiday into a four-day extravaganza--even our run-of-the-mill weekends are usually about 2.6 days all told. However this week, we aren't the only ones, I'll wager, feeling the "dog days of summer." I diligently checked all my "RSS" feeds today, and there wasn't a single new post among the glitterati of blawg writers--there is definitely something in--or absent from--the air today.
The "ancient" Romans called these days--the hottest of the year--the "caniculares dies"--days of the dog--after the star Sirius (the "Dog Star")--the brightest star in our celestial view other than Sol (a mere 8.6 million light years above).
The Romans believed that these "dog days" were a time, not of relaxtion, but of evil. These were days "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid." I think it speaks volumes about the Roman character that a season that engendered languidness was considered evil--I should think that there are many other cultures that would rather indulge and thank the "gods that there may be" for the respite.
Yet I tend to agree with the Roman perspective (and it is not just my Scandinavian Protestant upbringing talking). The greatest bane to the productive and creative professional are little unplanned and un-called-for holidays from the task at hand.
Now, of course, I have nothing against the occasional "mental health" day and I have been known to "work from home" unexpectedly from time to time. The point is, however, that success is a process, a dynamic, and to be measured in the long-term--but a long-term composed of lots of successful "short-terms". In short, success only comes if we do not allow our least productive times to become unproductive times.
Thus, my advice to you as a legal professional (and/or blogger!) is to make sure that those days where it seems everyone else is sloughing off are days you pointedly avoid that particular temptation. There is an old proverb that I have taken as a mantra: "the gift of youth is pleasure, but the gift of age is strength."
Let's make sure that we each exemplify that strength of character that ensures we keep on looking at our weekly list of goals and keep striving toward that perfection of mind and heart that will bring us to new and greater vistas.
By the way, not to worry, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the dog days will end August 11th--hang in there!!!
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