The People’s Court, Judge Marilyn Milian put down the gavel and spent the weekend at the Chicago Ultimate Women’s Expo. The charismatic Cuban judge talked about her experience as a TV court judge and shared the top 10 lessons that she’s learned after all of these years of being in court, on and off camera.
Simplify your routine
Never change purses in the middle of the week because when you change your purse in the middle of the week, you forget things, you forget money, your wallet, ID, keycard, you forget something. If you do it over the weekend when you have time and you’ve had time to recharge, you will be less likely to forget things. Similarly, structure your life so that things are simplified and insist that your family does the same, that they simplify things for you.
You need to take the time to do something that is just for you every single day. I live in Miami and I’ve been flying to New York now for 15 years for People’s Court and my mom always tells me that I go to work to relax. Everyone keeps adding more work to your day and you have to stop that. I once heard a French journalist say, “I could do 12 months of work in 11 months, but I can’t do 12 months of work in 12 months”, which means you have to take the time to recharge your own batteries to be able to do all the things that you need to do. We’re not European, so we can’t take a month off, but we can take an hour a day just for ourselves, have a nice lunch, meet up with friends, or even engage in retail therapy.
You will never be perfect
So stop trying to be. We all want the perfect career, the perfect relationship, the perfect little children, and the perfect relationship with our parents—it’s not possible. I get asked a lot by young lawyers if you can have it all and yes you can have it all, but not at the same time, so do yourself a favor and don’t define perfection that way. Don’t define having it all by perfection because if you’re holding your family, your mate, your job, and your friends to that standard because then you will be constantly disappointed. Your world will not crumble if you don’t do every single little thing on your to-do-list. Don’t let your perfect get in the way of doing the things that really matter.
Take the time to play with your loved ones
All of the balanced checkbooks in the world, all of the perfect meals, all of the impeccable spreadsheets on the job, all of the on-time thank you notes—you will be remembered for none of that. Your kids need you to get on the floor doing puzzles and playing with Barbies; and your teenagers need you to get to know them, their friends and their families. You have to live in the now and forget about the to-do-list. You don’t want to miss what’s happening now because you’re busy planning for tomorrow.
I don’t want to be my kids to remember me as the person who keeps barking orders and moving things along and they’re going to remember my husband as the fun guy who’s always running around and playing hide-and-seek and who they seek gleefully right before bedtime. You have a limited window in which to sculpt their morals and get them on the right track, get that tree bark nice and steady and let those branches reach out to the high heavens! Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of playtime and the next thing you know you’re just barking orders and moving things along.
Ditch the guilt
You can’t be all things at the same time to all the people—you need to be present. If you are with your family do not think about work otherwise, you are missing the joy. You should not feel guilty for doing the job you love, which will keep you away from your children, but at the same time, you have to make the best out of whenever you spend time with them and not think about work.