WELCOMING SPRING WITH EID-NOWRUZ
My mom and kids in front of our family Nowruz spread (called Haft-Sin).
I’m Persian, so in my family, we celebrate Eid-Nowruz. Nowruz has been celebrated in Iran for at least 3,000 years, and today it is celebrated all over the world in a variety of locations, including China, India, Iran, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Egypt. In America, if you’re Iranian, chances are you’re adamant about celebrating Nowruz, too. The Nowruz celebration combines elements of both New Year’s and Christmas. On the Iranian calendar, the new year starts in the spring, with the start of a fresh season of light. On the night of the spring equinox, we spend time with our nuclear families and gather around a table set with items meant to symbolize our hopes for the new year: Flowers represent spring, coins represent prosperity, sprouts represent rebirth, and goldfish represent life itself. Sometimes, people include lit candles, which symbolize enlightenment, decorated eggs to symbolize fertility, and a mirror, which symbolizes self- reflection and introspection. Traditionally, this symbolic table remains in the home for 13 days after the beginning of Nowruz. Just like on New Year’s, we celebrate Nowruz by counting down when the clock turns, tipping the balance forward into a new year. At the stroke of the vernal equinox, we exchange well wishes and celebrate the beginning of the new year.
My family’s celebration includes a massive spring-cleaning where we get rid of things we no longer need to make sure we are ready to start the new year fresh. Many people welcome the new year by shopping for new clothes, too. Nowruz celebrates the boundary between the new year and the old year, and Persians have a tradition of building little fire pits, lighting fires in them, and jumping over the fires. The idea is that when you jump over the flames, you are able to burn off the things you want to leave behind in the old year and keep what you want to carry forward with you into the new year. Nowruz celebration is about welcoming what’s new and connecting with family and loved ones. It’s traditional for children to get money for Nowruz, which is meant to help them practice saving. It’s also common for the family to prepare a big feast with fish and fresh greens to celebrate spring’s return. We join our close friends and family to greet the new year with compassionate hearts toward ourselves and forgiving hearts toward others. It’s about beginning the new year fresh in the spirit of connection.
Upcoming Complimentary Seminars and Support Groups WHAT’S HAPPENING AT ATLANTA DIVORCE LAW GROUP?
At Atlanta Divorce Law Group, we strive to reduce the stress of family events as much as possible for our clients. That is why we offer a complimentary Divorce Support Group, and it’s also why we provide regular complimentary seminars aimed at providing the kind of education that will leave our clients feeling empowered. SEMINARS
WHAT: Happily Ever After Divorce Support Group WHERE: 3510 Old Milton Pkwy WHEN: April 15 Atlanta Divorce Law Group cares deeply about supporting the whole client in overcoming both the legal and emotional hurdles associated with divorce. We are excited to partner with licensed marriage and family therapist Kathleen Shack, M.S. to host this support group and help our clients meet others who can empathize with what they are going through. The goal of the group is to process the feelings of anger, sadness, and grief that often accompany a divorce. To RSVP for one of our seminars or to learn more about our Divorce Support Group, check out our website at AtlantaDivorceLawGroup.com.
WHAT: Divorce Process 101: What to Expect WHERE: 3510 Old Milton Pkwy WHEN: Thursday, April 16, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Thinking about divorce is overwhelming. When you get divorced, you leave behind life as you know it and step forward into an unknown future. While every divorce is unique, the basic process remains the same. Regardless of whether you have already decided to get divorced or are still weighing your options, this seminar is for you. In this seminar, an experienced legal expert will outline the hallmarks of every divorce and answer your questions.
WHAT: What You Need to Know About Adoption WHERE: 3510 Old Milton Pkwy WHEN: Tuesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. At our complimentary seminar “What You Need to Know About Adoption,” a legal expert will discuss what to expect from the adoption process, including financial considerations. We will also provide tips and tools for adjusting to a new normal post-adoption. We will provide light refreshments. Come learn about adoption and meet other people who are going through the same struggles, joys, and challenges as you!
Imaginary Friends Promote Real Life Skills THE POWER OF PRETEND
Studies show that up to 50% of young children have imaginary companions, ranging from entirely conjured entities to beloved stuffed animals. The popular social stigma around imaginary friends is that these children must be shy or lonely, but psychologists disagree. In fact, if your child develops an imaginary friend, most psychologists say it’s an activity you should promote instead of discourage. Psychologists claim that the invention of an entire friendly persona points to the fact that the child is both creative and highly social. Imaginary scenarios also give kids an opportunity to indulge in their wildest aspirations, like going to the moon or inventing a time machine. Their creativity gives them the ability to dream, explore, and experiment in useful ways. Imaginary friends can also be there to comfort your child when they’re feeling down or experiencing a tantrum, which is helpful when they are learning how to manage their emotions.
There are also many ways parents can take part in interactions with imaginary friends to strengthen their own relationship with their child. Imaginary friends can make interactive play more meaningful and can be useful in accomplishing daily routines, like cleaning up or getting ready for bed. They also provide a window into the way your child’s mind works by encouraging the vocalization of thoughts and feelings they may not otherwise share. Imaginary friends are often a proxy for the children who invent them, so the conversations your child has with or about their friend can provide a lot of insight into how your child views the world and themselves. Imaginary friends are so important to how some children learn and grow that they’ve been featured in pop culture for many years. Entertainment like “Calvin and Hobbes,” “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” and even adult shows like
“Supernatural” — which featured an episode about a main character’s childhood imaginary friend returning to teach him valuable lessons as an adult — portray the inventors of imaginary friends as outgoing and creative. It just goes to show that letting the imagination run wild not only encourages healthy development but can also lead to lots of fun.
STAYING STATESIDE FOR ST. PADDY’S? CELEBRATE WITH THESE LITTLE-KNOWN FESTIVITIES
A LITTLE LUCK IN AMERICA’S HEARTLAND
There’s no place quite like Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. What was once a purely religious holiday to honor the legend of St. Patrick chasing all the snakes out of the country has turned into a global celebration. But if a trip to Ireland isn’t in the budget, check out these three little-known stateside destinations that are just as festive.
O’Neill, Nebraska, is home to the world’s largest shamrock and more unique St. Patrick’s Day traditions. This Irish community doubles down on its heritage every March with a traditional parade, music, and Irish dancing. But the town also hosts a popular dodgeball tournament and donkey basketball. What could be better than pummeling your opponents in dodgeball and outpacing the competition
SHORT AND SWEET IN ARKANSAS
Thanks to the clever thinking of some Irish friends meeting for a pint at a bar on one of the shortest streets in the world, Bridge Street in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade will travel 98 feet once again this year. Don’t assume the turnout isn’t robust just because the distance is staggeringly low. The parade lasts for hours, drawing thousands of people to watch celebrities, musicians, bands, floats, and Miss Arkansas glide by. The event also features a Blarney stone kissing contest and a parade king and queen.
while riding a donkey in the school gymnasium? Perhaps enjoying a pint or two with your teammates afterward. And O’Neill is just the spot to do it.
OHIO’S LITTLE PIECE OF IRELAND
You may not be able to fly to Ireland, but you can visit a little piece of it right in the U.S. Head to Dublin, Ohio, this St. Patrick’s Day for a traditional celebration sure to put a wee bit o’ pep in your step. Partake in a traditional Irish breakfast or enjoy a parade complete with bagpipers and Irish dancers. Boasting one of the largest celebrations in the U.S., Dublin is an affordable alternative for those looking to celebrate the Irish way.
CONCIERGE PARTNERS’ CORNER:
HERE’S WHAT OUR Clients Are Saying!
Aditya Patel, an Edward Jones Financial Advisor
Getting your personal finances right is an essential step in taking back control of your life, especially after a divorce. That is why one of our partners is Aditya Patel, an Edward Jones Financial Advisor. He works on understanding his clients’ risk tolerance and goals so he can help them build a balanced investment plan that makes sense for them. Aditya Patel has five core areas of specialty: preparing for retirement, enjoying retirement, education planning, preparing for the unexpected (divorce, new job, family protection) and saving on taxes.
“I cannot say enough good things about this law firm. I met with them two years ago, just to talk, and they gave me some guidance. When I was ready to file for divorce, the process was easy. They held my hand, emotionally, the entire way. They really care about their clients and work hard for them. Thank you to all of them. I am grateful!”
Whether you are saving for your children and grandchildren, planning for your own retirement, or just want to implement strategies designed to help you hit a broad variety of financial goals, Aditya Patel will take the time to fully understand your goals and work with you to hit them. To learn more, give him a call at 770-664-5085.
– Alane A., 5 Stars
3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make When You Declutter YOUR GUIDE TO SPRING- GREENING
It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring- cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring-cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring- greening , and make some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 1. SWAP YOUR PLASTIC SPRAY BOTTLES FOR BULK OR DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit UnderATinRoof. com and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. 2. EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE LAUNDRY DETERGENTS. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your
comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant-based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on 1MillionWomen. com, and read up on ivy detergent at Permacrafters.com/English-Ivy-Laundry-Detergent. 3. SAY GOODBYE TO PAPER TOWELS. Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick. If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing.
CELEBRATING THE MANY WAYS WOMEN CONTRIBUTE
In the Workplace and the Home
March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women’s Day. In honor of that, if you are a stay-at-home mom and you are going through a divorce, I want you to know this: You are adding incredible value to your family members’ lives. Without knowing that there was a caregiver at home nurturing their children, your spouse would never have been able to go out there and work, hunt, and build in the way they did. While your spouse was working, you were at home, taking care of the most important things in their life. All too often, women make the mistake of undervaluing that contribution.
Growing up, my mom was not my caretaker. My dad was. And while my mom never played with Barbies or dolls with me, I saw what she was doing. I attribute 100% of my work ethic to my mom. And I’ve seen that working moms also question their value. Stay-at-home and working moms tend to question themselves. While stay- at-home moms might question the value of their contributions, working moms deal with the pressures of work and ask themselves, Am I doing too much or too little at home? Am I being too masculine or too feminine? Am I balancing the emotional needs at home and the professional demands at work? Working women have to constantly find that line. Whether you work or stay at home, chances are high that if you’re a woman, you’re going to look back and ask yourself if you made the right choice. It is especially easy to undermine your contribution to your family if you’re going through a divorce. For Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, I hope we can all find a way to slow down and recognize the many different ways to be a woman, and a mother, and to do it well. It’s easy to forget that regardless of whether you work or stay home, you’re adding value, and you’re doing it in the way that works for you.
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