New . . . nu? by Pamela J. Starr

For the non-Yiddish speakers among us, ‘nu’ is a delightful, non-committal exclamation along the lines of “So?” “Huh?” “Well?” “What’s up?” “Hello?” and “Are you farking kidding me?”

Nu?? How is it already 2015? I wasn’t quite done with 2014 (or 2013 …).

For me, the transition from December 31st to January 1st is less about New Year’s resolutions, but more about remembering to write/type the correct year (2015 . . . 2015 . . . 2015 . . . not 2014). I try to treat each new day as a new beginning rather than reserve that distinction for January 1 or 1 Tishri (the Jewish New Year).  

Were it not for peer pressure – c’mon, we’ve been bombarded ‘year in review’ and ‘what are your resolutions?’ for weeks on every possible medium – I would never concern myself with the newness of it all. I try to think in terms of fluid, dynamic goals. I just don’t need the guilt associated with failed resolutions. Nu? Isn’t it enough that I strive, daily, to do more, work harder, and to avoid beating myself up for my missteps?

I have more important things than this fascination with new year/new beginning to clutter my pretty little head. As a paralegal in ‘private practice’ (remember, I’m a 21st century freelancer … translated: self-employed), my concerns are far more tangible – successfully running my paralegal business, retaining existing clients and signing new ones, due dates, bar dates, filing deadlines, and, the all too inevitable, tax deadlines. Then there are the ancillary concerns like acing grad school, writing, blogging, tweeting, negotiating speaking engagements, and being a good daughter and friend.

Every day, for that matter, every call, is a series of ‘Nu?’ moments:

  • What can do today to bring in more clients?
  • “How may I help you maximize your billable hours?”
  • “Yes, we do petition preparation – from intake to filing.”
  • How can I be more productive?
  • “No, paralegals can’t work with the general public.”
  • “E-filing? We can get you registered to e-file and we can e-file for you.”
  • Ugh! Am I current with my homework and assignments?
  • “Oof! Again? Remove my number from your calling list!”
  • “Oh honey, bless your heart, but you’re never going to get a job if you can’t spell.”
  • “I’d love to be a speaker at your conference.”
  • “Really, paralegals can’t work with the general public. Not. Gonna. Happen.”
  • Hmm, maybe I should tweet that.
  • “I’m confident the definition of plagiarism/copyright infringement covers using ‘most of’ my language but substituting your company’s name.”
  • Oh, that’s a blog post!

Practically speaking, I have a whole slew of ‘new’ with which to contend. New bankruptcy forms and rules went into effect on December 1st. PACER/ECF is instituting new login and maintenance protocols. Various jurisdictions are rolling out new local rules and forms. I’ve committed to present at two conferences during the first quarter of the year and to write a couple new articles for publication. Oh, the list just keeps growing.

Nu? What’s new with you?

 Pamela J. Starr, CBA, J.S.M., Virtual Paralegal Extraordinaire and tenacious redhead from the GSOT. As the lead paralegal and owner of StarrParalegals, LLC, Pamela also blogs as her alter ego, ‘Pamela the Paralegal‘ and has launched ‘Sessions with a Starr’ – a Career Mitigation© platform devoted to helping professionals redefine their career options in an e-based economy.