Decades, Redux

January 1, 2020

Decades, Redux

decades, redux

Mark Rubin

I give in! For me the 20th century ended on 12/31/2000, and this decade ends in 364 days. Right is right, but what does and doesn’t matter matters too … and when the decade ends represents a non-issue.*

The Teens started early for me, on Friday, September 4, 2009. I was winding down for the afternoon, ready for the Labor Day weekend. Leaving my building—I owned it—I noted some water coming out of a pipe, into the parking lot. Bothered a bit and thinking about the hassles associated with finding a plumber on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend, I left.

By Tuesday morning, I understood the nature of the problem: a bad water heater. Plumber. Repair. A final weld, too close to the overhead sprinkler. An hour’s worth of flowing water. A two-week shutdown, and $35K of insured repairs. Then, two weeks of sick.

Scared, I sought one law partner and, with a fortuitous call, the new decade started with my joining a fine Tucson law firm, Mesch, Clark & Rothschild, P.C. (I don’t know many partners I got when I joined the firm. Lots more than one, for sure.) There I stayed until August 2015. A fine place, but law firms—at least, those which I don’t manage—and I fit together like a cheap jigsaw puzzle: poorly. (I did get the chance to share 5+ years with Lowell Rothschild aka Mr. R., an experience I will treasure forever.)

I left the firm to re-start the solo practice I had from 2000 to 2009 and become part-time General Counsel for a long-standing client. The old experience—the solo gig—told me stuff gets harder at 58 than it was at 43, and the new experience taught me lessons about how to manage a single client with many voices and more needs.

The decade also brought about many life changes. My daughter Cate went from 10th grade to college graduate, employed for 4+ years, and married. My wife Jane I started the decade married for 22 years and are, now, divorced for five years. Changes!

Life and work merged, beginning in late 2014. Separated, I took up with an old friend and colleague, Leigh Bernstein. We got through my issues and her mom’s passing in late 2015 together. By the end of 2017, we decided to start a law firm. (‘tis a great story, we think. Stay tuned.) Rubin & Bernstein PLLC—and our fiduciary business, Southern Arizona Fiduciary Services LLC—head into their third year in a few months, and Leigh and I start year six of our journey, along with the R&B Canine Corps (Corgis, June Carter and Ozzie Smith, and “something” Max Atticus Finch). We love our little business, and have a grand time together!

Unfortunately, the last four years have seen too many passings! Leigh’s mom died in October 2015. My mom died a year later, dear friend and mentor Steven Phillips a after my mom, Mr. R another 13 months later and too, too many more. Doris Goldstein (my mom’s dear friend and the last member of The Crew) and my stepdad Irwin Sattinger survive, and I take great comfort in their presence in my life.

I also take pleasure in my grand-nephew, Charlie Gleichman, my parents’ first great-grandchild. He’s a happy little tot with a wonderful mom and dad, great grandparents, and many others who will watch out for him. To me, he’s also a reminder that there’s “a time to be born, and a time to die.”

Speaking of births, Mark Rubin Writes got fetched up on February 8, 2014. (Some posts with earlier dates reflect sporadic writing at a different site.) The writing brings me great joy and pleasure, even as my marketing efforts flag, leaving me an underperformer on the readership front.

In the summer of 2016, after about 2-1/2 years of steady writing, five or six times a week, we did a website refresh. Within three weeks of going live, my mom got sick and died in 18 days. Then, bam! With death appearing all too often, the writing fell off. (There was work, too, along with a healthy helping of life!) How off? In almost six years I have written almost 800 essays; about 150 of them come in the last three years.

The tough three years represents only a part of the problem. The rest? POTUS aka DJT. I’ve written many words our National Horror but I try hard, always, to bring fresh perspectives. Regurgitating what I read from better writers—the ones who get paid big bucks to write two 750 word essays a week—interests me not at all. (Frankly, even the pros get challenged when it comes to fresh perspectives on Mr. Trump.)

Then there’s the election cycle. Freaked out, I am. Worst. President. Ever. Likely running against a challenger with the kind of baggage I used to bring along on trips, before my arms and shoulders gave out. I don’t want to watch the show, much less write about it.

So, as the new year and decade arrive, I intend to write more often, and in ways more personal and, I hope, more interesting. I know some of my regular readers look for the Left-leaning slant on the issues of the day. I’ll try, but expect more about law, as it relates to those matters.

The bottom line: look for more writing, but don’t expect too much about the bigger, broader world.

I must, as I say goodbye, share a bit of Max, from New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Last night, Leigh and I journeyed .7 miles to her old next-door neighbors’ home to celebrate. With one Corgi fireworks-challenged and Max challenged in every other way, we got home by 10ish, watched Indiana Jones moves until just about midnight. Heading for bed, I noted a container of Keto cookies on the living room floor, unopened. Max, but no harm, no foul. In bed, I wondered about the loaf of Killer Dave’s bread, not next to the Keto container on the counter. Gone. No crumbs. No crust, No plastic wrap. Just plain gone!

On New Year’s Day we took the dogs to campus for a long walk. Max did a crazy man run through new mown, wet winter rye. Here he is (and the picture does not reflect the depth of the green), and I must assure you that he did not enjoy the hosing down he got!!!

max in green

Max Atticus Finch

Happy New Year! May the year bring you good health and much pleasure!!!


*I’m riffing on The Serenity Prayer, which goes like this, more or less: “G-d, grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” If I die better able to incorporate this gem in my everyday affairs, I will leave those around me better off, for sure.

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