Photograph by Teri Romkey
BY HEIDI YERNBERG, PARTNER
At Jayaram Law, we believe that our team members should take time to recharge and value their health. Finding work-life balance is a personal journey, but it’s important to step away from work to avoid feeling depleted and exhausted. It’s not only fun to have free time, but the exposure to different life experiences also develops internal resources that have a positive effect on a professional life. We find that most satisfied and resilient people engage their mind, body, and spirit. It’s also widely known that engaging in the arts, whether through music or artmaking, enhances brain function and changes our outlook of the world.
Recently, we took an informal survey at Jayaram Law to uncover what we do outside of work, learning more about what makes each person tick. Our sample size was small, but the results illustrate that we have a diverse, creative, and quirky group of people who value their personal lives—as well as the lives of others. As a partner, it’s rewarding to see our team engage in their communities and refreshing to see the varied interests of the people you bring on for their professional acumen.
For a law firm that focuses on creativity and innovation, it’s no surprise that we have artists among us. Creativity relieves stress and reduces anxiety and depression. Teri, one of our newest team members, is a photographer, while Srin is an interior designer. One of our attorneys is even hoping to have his kitchen (co-designed with his wife) featured in a prominent magazine. Many Jayaram team members enjoy fashion, visiting art galleries, and attending theatre productions.
We also have a passion for the musical arts. Vivek reports that playing music is one of the only activities that both connects him to his childhood and inspires him to think about the endless possibilities of the future. We also found we have trumpet players, drummers, guitar players, pianists and even singers among us. I think I speak for our musicians when I say that performing music allows us to immerse ourselves completely and transports us to a state of flow, truly relieving stress in mere moments of meditation.
Interestingly, a surprising number of people work with fiber. Wendy, Erica, and I, all knit for relaxation. Kelly told us she specializes in amigurumi crocheting. Google it—it’s worth it! I suspect the repetitive activity is calming for us, and the resulting work is, of course, highly satisfying. It could also be that settling in for that known quantity of ‘me time’ switches something on in us all that just feels “right as rain.”
Not to be overlooked, our team also likes to get in a good mental and physical sweat! It’s great to see that so many people use their hobbies to prioritize their physical health. Nicole and Erica play tennis, Michelle likes to hike, and Kelly and Josh are both runners. Others at our firm meditate and do yoga and Pilates. Victoria rides horses, spending weekends with her daughter at horse shows and, on the homefront, Palak has taken over entire rooms in her home so she can work on 2000-piece puzzles. Someone told us that grocery shopping constitutes a hobby (who am I to judge?), but surely the most unique hobby of all comes from Julia. She collects horror memorabilia and video nasties on VHS!
Simultaneously, we mentor high schoolers and volunteer at schools. We are members of religious communities. We explore the world through travel, and we are amateur chefs. And just turn to our “pets-on-parade” Slack channel, which features the best-looking, and most-pampered, collection of Jayaram Law cats and dogs this side of the Wesminster Kennel Club.
As a firm, we love that our many interests bring varied experiences to our professional life. This helps us understand our clients better, both as businesses and as people. Hobbies are more than just a way to pass the time outside of work: they help us to do our work better. Research shows that engaging in a hobby that is completely disconnected from your job can also help you build skills like self-efficacy; the strength of your conviction in your own abilities. After finding time to recharge, we often find ourselves more productive and confident but most importantly, perhaps, our hobbies and their takeaways make us more interesting people and draw us even closer to our incredibly interesting clients.
Vivek Jayaram at the Rubell Collection
Amigurumi Crochet by Kelly Caputo
Video Nasty: Possession 1981