This is What You Wanted, Ain’t You Proud?

A former client of mine died yesterday.  She was 31.   I have not spoken with her in five years and our relationship was strictly business.  But, her death rattled me, not only because of her age, but because she died of complications related to a bout with pneumonia.   As it turns out, my son spent last week in the hospital thanks to a not-so-mild case of pneumonia.   And, as I write this, I am coughing up a lung of my own and wondering if it’s time to see my doctor. 

A lot has changed in the last 20 years.  I sleep much less.  My body no longer responds to commands with the split-second obedience to which I have become accustomed.  My inner college athlete is dying  a slow, painful St. Elmo’s Fire style death.  I can still hit on the girl next door, but not if it interferes with . . . well, anything else.  If I can make it through a week without any major damage to my children, home, or client relationships, I can withstand some collateral damage to my body or ego.  

But, it occurs to me, perhaps 40 years after it should have, that I don’t want to die.  The narcissist inside posits that there are too many people who rely on me and they could not possibly survive without me.  But, that’s probably not true.   And, there are certainly things I fear much more than death.   The reason I never gave mortality much thought is because I was too busy engaged in the pursuit of happiness.   And, to be honest, that quest is so exhausting that a little rest – – any rest – – starts to become attractive.

But, I recently discovered that the pursuit of happiness is a mirage.  It’s a mouse on an endless wheel just trying to get some cheese.  You cannot pursue happiness.  You either find happiness in what you have, or you spend your life looking for something you will never find.  I have always appreciated my life; having achieved milestones that I do not deserve.  I will always pursue more. And better.  But, not happiness.  I am happy beyond my share and that is reason enough to live.    Rest In Peace, Sandra.

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About aweisbrot

Ari is a partner in the Litigation Department of an historic and renowned law firm located in New York. He has been featured on CBS Radio’s Wall Street Journal Report, quoted in legal and non-legal periodicals, and has been recognized as a “SuperLawyer” in New Jersey and a "Top Ten Lawyer to Watch" in New York. Mr. Weisbrot is a true “client’s lawyer,” representing a diverse range of clients from among the largest retailers in the United States to smaller local businesses to religious and charitable organizations. Ari was appointed by Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey to a three-year term of service on the Committee on Character. The Committee determines the fitness to practice law of each candidate for admission to the Bar of the State. Mr. Weisbrot also continues to serve on the District Ethics Committee (IIB - Bergen County), which operates under the auspices of the New Jersey State Office of Attorney Ethics. Mr. Weisbrot has been awarded an 'AV' rating for his professionalism and the quality of his legal work from Martindale-Hubbell, the premier directory of legal professionals, and has been selected by his peers as a Super Lawyer. In addition, Mr. Weisbrot has written several articles on commercial litigation, which have been published in the New Jersey Law Journal and the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. A Former New York City prosecutor, Mr. Weisbrot is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the Urban Law Journal and a featured columnist in the Law School newspaper
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2 Responses to This is What You Wanted, Ain’t You Proud?

  1. Sorry to hear about your client/friend. As a the husband of the “girl next door” please don’t hit on my wife. That would make me “happy”.

  2. Nitsana says:

    Hi honey – you are wrong – what you wrote is kind of profound, even if they are musings. But since you are now coming to the realization that you would like to live – please take care of that inner athlete. Its not because of how you look – it really makes a difference to your overall health and keeping you around a lot longer. And I would like that.

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