Rebecca Adelman

Personal Injury Lawyer

In December 2012, on, we started a blog called “Beyond the Bio.”

With each entry in the weekly blog, we ask MBQ Power Players to write a post of their choosing about their industry or perspectives on business.

This post, by Rebecca Adelman, one of the POWER PLAYERS in the category of Personal Injury Lawyers, appeared on April 3rd.


Last night, near the end of his nighttime routine, my young son asked me to sit on his bed. “Mom, I’m the happiest kid I know. I have a super-long hug for you.” Time stood still as he embraced me with pure love.

After lingering for some time with the emotions of his words and expressions, I unpacked my “work-box” and began my nighttime routine, completing projects, responding to emails, and planning ahead. I’m often asked about my take on managing a life as a woman business owner and lawyer, sole parent, and communitarian with many interests and inspirations and drive. Having ruminated about these issues, I’d like to coin a new phrase for discussion around the personal and professional satisfaction. For me, the notion of “Having it All” has never been the measure of success. The idea of “Work-Life Balance” is an illusion and can’t serve as the standard for happiness.

Consider, instead, “Work-Life Being” as a path to identifying the choices and meeting the challenges of professional achievement, committed parenting, and self-care in a political and social climate that still needs changes for women.

The idea of “Work-Life Being” is to reject the stress, guilt, and anxiety of the expectations and cultivate the ability to be present at work, at home, on the soccer field, packing lunch, paying bills … so that whatever your choices are, you are increasing your chances of feeling fulfilled, happy, and content because you are alive in the moment and not distracted by the past or future.

Women are not alone in having to evaluate if and when to advance their careers, have children, and define themselves as a professional and parent. Men also want to move away from a one-dimensional work life.

More hours aren’t necessarily more value either at your job or with your children. We all want to have not only integrated lives but satisfying ones.

Perhaps when considering how to achieve work success and prosperity and a meaningful family life, the direction to go isn’t upward but inward. By moving inward, we can discover what we really want and need and can identify the obstacles to contentment. There are times when work needs all my attention and intention. Other times, my son and I need me more than any client. There’s no chance for balance. It’s in the “off-balance” where the real lessons can be found and where we experience the truth of our character and the values we hold closest.

When I’m with my son doing homework or cheering at a game, “Work-Life Being” reminds me to put the iPhone away, forget about what I need to do when I get home, and to just be a parent and engage in the energy of my son. As I’m boarding a plane for business travel, preparing for a presentation, or up all night with a project, “Work-Life Being” is my way to let go of any guilt or worry for missing a play, serving take-out, or rescheduling time with a friend.

Don’t strive for “balance.” Celebrate “being.” May we all share my son’s feeling and “be the happiest kid I know.”


Shareholder and President, Hagwood Adelman Tipton, PC. More than 20 years in healthcare law, long-term care, assisted living and medical malpractice defense litigation, and risk management. Experience in corporate law, premises liability, and employment law. Licensed in Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator. Founder of the Resolution Resource Center of the Mid-South. Memphis Business Journal’s Executive of the Year, 2006.


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