Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” It had me thinking about my life and how happy I am. Like many people, that hasn’t always been the case, so I started wondering, in the light of Eleanor Roosevelt’s sentiments, what have I done to generate this much happiness? To begin with, my life is full. A couple years ago I took a Sharpie to my life and cleared my calendar of useless activities, especially useless television, and began to fill it with activities worthy of my time, and with valued relationships.

  • Some of these relationships are virtual, we’ve never met, but we share online all the time.
  • Some of these were old relationships renewed.
  • Some of these were professional relationships that became personal.
  • Some of these were personal relationships that became intimate.

And then there are the activities. There’s The Legal Watercooler, which has not only branded my personally, but has allowed me to participate in a conversation with people around the world. It has led to speaking opportunities, and has opened a passion for social media and social networking. Then there’s the Girl Scouts, where I serve as troop leader for a multi-level troop  which includes both my daughters. Yes, I moan and groan the first and third Tuesday of the month, and don’t get me started on the cases of cookies that are stacked in my hallway for a month every year, but by the time I am done getting hugged and loved by 12 girls ranging in age from 5-9, I can’t help but feel blessed. There’s my daily meditation, weekly yoga, and daily visits to the gym at lunch time. Happiness does begin with our core being. But a lot of my “extra” time these past couple week s has been spent filling out my supplemental application to become a commissioner for California’s first Citizens Redistricting Commission:

Every 10 years, after the federal census, California and every state in the country, must redraw the boundaries of its legislative and other political districts to reflect the new population data. How these boundaries are drawn affects how people are represented. In California, the process of redrawing the boundaries—redistricting—was a duty of state elected officials. But when voters passed Proposition 11 (the Voters FIRST Act) in the November 2008 general election, responsibility for redrawing the legislative and Board of Equalization district lines transferred to the people in the form of a new Citizens Redistricting Commission. What is the Citizens Redistricting Commission? California’s first Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) is a new 14-member Commission charged with redrawing California’s Senate, Assembly and State Board of Equalization districts based on information gathered during the 2010 census. The Commission must draw the districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians.

I don’t know if I’ll make the commission, but I took the “why not me” attitude and completed my application to the best of my ability, which included the solicitation of letters of recommendation. I would like to take this moment to express my gratitude to the following people who wrote me letters of recommendation: Steve Barrett, Jayne Navarre, Nat Slavin, Cheryl Bame and Russell Lawson. I thank you for your kind words, but, more importantly, I thank you for your examples as professionals within our industry, your mentorship, and your valued friendships! So, Coolerites, where does your slice of happiness rest?