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A JOURNEY THROUGH
head and ignoring his child. He may have missed a beautiful interaction with her because he allowed his thoughts to take him away. ‘The Power of Now’ Even after reading the book, I continue to struggle with the goal of living in the present. To be honest — I’m a worrywart. Like everybody else, I sometimes ruminate about past events, and I am constantly planning for future contingencies. While this type of thinking may be an occupational hazard for lawyers, the stress it causes is unhealthy. One trick I’ve learned to reduce worry that’s helped me live in the present is to employ the rule of 10. If whatever is worrying me is likely to resolve in 10 hours, 10 weeks, or 10 years, is it really worth worrying about for even 10 minutes? Probably not, which makes it easier to get out of my head and focus on life now. If we let go of the past and stop worrying about the future, we make room for the present. I try to employ “The Power of Now” in both my personal and professional life. Each case I am working on has my full attention. It’s hard to do, but I deliberately cut out distractions. If I am working on behalf of a particular client, my aim is to focus 100 percent on that client’s problems. Our staff knows not to interrupt me with a phone call from a salesperson or claims adjuster. Unless a judge is on the line, the call can wait. When I return the call, that person will then have my full attention. In the same vein, I have disabled email alerts so that I am not sidetracked every time an email arrives. These time management skills have really helped me become less stressed and more effective as a lawyer. Has “The Power of Now” made me a fully enlightened person? Unfortunately, no; I still have a lot of work to do. I still become stuck in my own thoughts at times, like the father with his daughter. I worry about world events that I have no control over. I procrastinate by thinking too much about the trial brief I have to write instead of just starting to write it. I sometimes miss out on chatting with the nice stranger in line at Starbucks because I’m looking down at my iPhone. But now, I’m more likely to recognize when I’m not being present, and I have developed an ability to pull myself back to reality. That’s the nature of life, isn’t it? It’s the great balancing act. I encourage you to check out “The Power of Now” and try living in the present to find your happiness. –Lisa Pezzano Mickey 1 (908) 293-7330
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.”
–Eckhart Tolle, “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”
I’m not a new-age, crunchy-granola type of gal, but some years ago, I read a book that resonated with me. It was Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” The concepts in the book have been meaningful to people all over the world. Tolle’s central message is that you should
always strive to live in the present. You should not dwell on the past or live for some theoretical point in the future. Don’t put off happiness until you reach a certain goal, such as “I’ll be happy when I get that promotion” or “when my kids are out of school,” or “I’ll be happy when I retire.” You will find more peace by focusing on the here and now. In “The Power of Now,” Tolle also discusses how your thoughts are not you. Your mind is a tool to be utilized for making your life and the lives of those around you better. But your thoughts should not control you; instead, you should control your thoughts. Of course, we can and should learn from the past. There are moments or seasons in our lives we would handle differently if given a second chance. But Tolle instructs us not to dwell on those perceived mistakes or failures. You must pick yourself up and move on. Similarly, although we cannot go through life without some planning for the future, if all of our attention is focused on tomorrow, we will miss today. Even the most mundane tasks in life, such as doing laundry, can become more joyful if you focus on them rather than allowing your mind to wander. You will also find that you get things done a lot faster! I believe that most people would benefit from being more “present” in their daily activities rather than permitting their thoughts to pull them in all different directions. For example, I recently noticed a father with his daughter while waiting in line at the grocery store. The little girl was trying to speak with him, but it was obvious that he wasn’t listening to her even though he was not busy with any other tasks. He was clearly lost in his own
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ROAD TRIPS DON’T HAVE TO BE PAINFUL Try Games, Audiobooks, and Podcasts to Pass the Time
INCLUDE THE WHOLE FAMILY
Once the travel games no longer pique anyone’s interest, try an activity that can be fun for the whole family: a traditional road trip game. If you have a car full of storytellers, try “Fortunately, Unfortunately.” The rules are simple. The first person starts by saying, “fortunately,” and mentioning something good about the road trip or the destination. The next person (moving clockwise) then follows by saying something “unfortunate” about the previous person’s statement. Take turns with every passenger in the car. If someone stumbles, they get a strike; three strikes and you’re out. The last passenger standing wins. We get it. Sometimes passengers don’t want to play games. Occasionally, they’d rather relax or take a nap. However, your listening material doesn’t have to be limited to Dad’s favorite music. Instead, consider listening to a family-friendly audiobook or podcast, which can make the longest and most boring parts of your trip an entertaining or educational experience. Almost any popular book is available in audio form, but it can be hard to find an enjoyable podcast. “Transistor” is a science-focused podcast that explores subjects kids and adults will find fascinating. Or if you’re looking for something fictional, try “Storynory,” in which the narrator tells fairy tales and legends from all over the globe. PLAY AN AUDIOBOOK OR PODCAST
Summer is right around the corner, which means you’ll soon pile the whole family into the car, ready to brave the road for a vacation. Everyone knows that riding in the car for hours can be torture. But with a little creativity, you can turn the worst part of a long trip into a fun event.
PACK A TRAVEL GAME
When the excitement of the family vacation starts to wear off, keep the peace and entertain your kids with a travel game. Many board game manufacturers offer travel-sized versions that are easy to pack and play in the car. Before your next road trip, consider purchasing digital Yahtzee, which packs all the fun of the classic game without the dice, or IQ Fit, a logic game with over 100 challenges. Both games cost around $10 and can provide hours of entertainment. Without Ever Looking at Medical Records The Doctor Who Denied Care In February, it was disclosed that Aetna’s medical director had been denying medical claims without ever looking at patients’ records. Thanks to a lawsuit, this negligence was brought to the public’s attention. In his deposition, former medical director Dr. Jay Ken Linuma said he was simply following the training guidelines of the insurance giant. According to Dr. Linuma, this meant nurses would review a patient’s records and make recommendations to him based on their review. Aetna refuted the doctor’s statement, reporting that their medical directors are trained to review all medical information that is available about a patient. Dr. Linuma has admitted, under oath, that not once in his three-year tenure as medical director did he look at patients’ records. It’s shocking that this was happening within one of the world’s largest insurance companies.
denied Washington’s claims, and Washington’s condition deteriorated to the point where his lung collapsed. Soon after, the doctor’s testimony revealed the shocking truth — the ignorant denial of claims may have happened on a much grander scale. Washington has brought a lawsuit against Aetna, and the case will likely be far from the first of its kind. Commissioner Jones is encouraging anyone with a similar story to come forward. This type of injustice should never happen; yet, all too often, we see insurance companies denying claims and keeping benefits from the people who should be getting them. If you or a loved one have had a claim denied by a workers’ compensation carrier or auto insurance carrier, call the law firm of Pezzano Mickey & Bornstein to find out if you have a case.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones was outraged, and he’s not the only one.
The injustice was brought to the state’s attention after a young man, Gillan Washington, was denied treatment for lifesaving blood transfusions that he needed due to an autoimmune illness. Dr. Linuma
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KERRY’S KNACK FOR HELPING PEOPLE Bringing Peace of Mind to our Clients O lie t
In her role of supporting our clients, Kerry is here for people from start to close of their workers’ compensation case. When clients come to our firm, she’s here to greet them and tell them it’s going to be okay. Kerry also helps our attorneys file court documents and communicate with insurance carriers.
other opportunities and that led me to Lisa and PMB. I just really like to help people; it’s in my nature, and that’s what draws everyone here. Everyone here is like a family.” When asked about her role, Kerry says she enjoys the variety of tasks she manages and the opportunity to help people get the treatment they need. “Every day is different. Many of our clients need medical treatment, which we help expedite. A lot of times when they call in, they’re really upset. They are in pain and don’t know what to do. When we can get them the treatment they need, that’s very rewarding; it means everything to me. If I can answer questions and put someone at ease — that’s a lot of what we do here.” A desire to help people seems to run in the family. Kerry is a committee chair for the local Boy Scouts chapter, and both her sons are in the Scouts. Her elder son is finishing up his Eagle Scout project: renovating and landscaping an outdoor space for a local women’s shelter.
Basically, she handles the day-to-day non-legal issues that arise in all workers’ compensation cases, to free up our attorneys to obtain the best result possible for our clients. “Really, we solve their problems,” Kerry explains regarding the peace of mind she brings people. Before joining our team, Kerry worked with another firm that represented insurance carriers. “I felt myself, even on the cases we were litigating on behalf of the insurance company, take the side of the injured worker. I thought, ‘Maybe I need to make a change.’ I began to look for
We’re grateful to have someone as passionate about helping people as Kerry, and if you ever visit our offices, we know you will be too.
TAKE A BREAK
WITH ASPARAGUS Grilled Skirt Steak Sk a
Asparagus and steak is a classic pairing. Skirt steak packs a ton of flavor without the high price point of other cuts, and this is the best time of year to buy asparagus. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get grilling!
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2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
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1 1/2 pounds skirt steak 2 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound asparagus
on desired doneness. Skirt steak is thin and will cook quickly. 4. Let steak rest for 10 minutes. While it’s resting, grill asparagus for 6 minutes, turning once. 5. Sprinkle cheese and crushed red pepper on asparagus. Serve alongside steak.
1. Heat grill to high. Season room- temperature steak with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil. Any oil with a high smoke point, such as canola, will work. 2. Trim bottom inch of asparagus. Season with salt, pepper, and remainder of oil. 3. Cut steak into four portions and grill for 3–5 minutes per side, depending
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Living in the Present
How to Make Your Road Trip a Breeze
How One Medical Director Made His Decisions Hello From Our Incredible Client- Support Staff
Grilled Skirt Steak With Asparagus
Gear Up for Grilling Season
Get Your Grill On
2 May Holidays, 2 Reasons to Grill
THE MEDITERRANEAN BURGER
Take your patty to the next level with a Mediterranean twist. Mix feta cheese and garlic into your ground beef before forming your patties. Serve it on a grilled ciabatta bun topped with marinated red peppers and arugula for flavor and texture. If you want to get extra fancy, pour a bit of balsamic reduction over the patty before adding the toppings.
THE PORTOBELLO BURGER
Is there anything more American than grilling a burger outside on Memorial Day? This year, there’s another reason to fire up the grill that weekend: In addition to being Memorial Day, May 28 is also National Hamburger Day! Enjoy this delicious coincidence by heating up the grill, gathering the fixings, and making one of these tasty burgers at home.
For a delicious veggie burger even meat eaters will love, use a portobello mushroom as your patty. Remove the stems, then marinate the mushrooms for 15 minutes in a mixture of 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and a clove of minced garlic. Season the shrooms with salt and pepper, then place them on the grill just as you would any other burger. Gruyere cheese is the perfect creamy topping, and you can use grilled focaccia bread topped with garlic aioli. As you bask in the late spring weather and the inviting smell of delicious food this Memorial Day, take a moment to remember the Americans who gave their lives so we could enjoy these freedoms, and thank those who served.
THE CLASSIC BURGER
Nothing beats the American classic: a seasoned beef patty, a slice of cheddar cheese, a squirt each of mustard and ketchup, a layer of crunchy lettuce, some thinly sliced onions, and a couple of zesty pickles. For a homemade touch, make the pickles yourself by soaking cucumbers in a brine of vinegar, dill, and salt.
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