What Hester Prynne Can Teach Us About Shame THE SCARLET LETTER ‘D’
In 1850, American author Nathaniel Hawthorne published perhaps his most famous work, “The Scarlet Letter.” The narrative follows Hester Prynne, a young woman who has given birth to a baby of unknown parentage. Because she had her baby out of wedlock, the townspeople demand that she don a scarlet letter “A” on her chest as punishment for her alleged adulterous nature. This punishment embodies a harmful social stigmatization, which is present throughout the entire story. In turn, Hester and her secret lover attempt to navigate the public and personal shame and humiliation following their liaison. At the time of its publication, “The Scarlet Letter” highlighted the rigidity of the puritanical community, but for modern readers and many of our clients, it signals something slightly different. Whether you are in the initial phases of filing for divorce or have been separated from your spouse for months, Hester’s feelings of public humiliation might resonate with you on many levels. You might even feel as though you have been branded with a scarlet letter “D” announcing your failed relationship to friends, family, and the community. But your letter is different than Hester’s because no one has literally sewn a red mark to your outfit; your letter is a figment of your imagination, stemming from fears swirling around inside your mind. These fears will cause you to ask yourself questions: What does my divorce say about me? Am I a failure? Do people think I couldn’t
keep my family together? Do they think I just gave up? Am I now just another statistic?
Because we have heard clients outwardly ponder these questions, we understand how difficult it can be to answer them from a logical standpoint or even to think about them at all. Many people will distract themselves with the more technical legal aspects of the divorce or focus on their resentment toward an ex-spouse rather than allow themselves to reflect on these frightening questions. But a lot of our clients find that once they are through the process, they realize that all of these fears were based on false thinking and that the people who love and care about them will support them throughout this transformation. It’s likely some people will form negative opinions or pass judgment because, unfortunately, the stigma surrounding divorce exists for a reason. Many people still value the notion of the prototypical fairy-tale romance, and they think that another couple’s divorce affects them in some way. But this approach is what my team and I strive to fight against. We are inspired when we see clients take control of their own happiness. In doing so, clients usually find that the people in their lives who truly matter will offer support and encouragement regardless of the situation. Many soon realize that they’ve spent a lot of their energy being unhappy, and they no longer want to surround themselves with people who prefer to wallow in their misery rather than help them achieve contentment. Sometimes the scarlet letter “D” can be more frightening than the divorce itself. If you take time to work through the fears associated with this invisible symbol, you’ll find that you enjoy things you didn’t know you enjoyed, and you’ll discover a sense of courage you never knew you had. In doing so, you’ll exhibit the same fortitude demonstrated by Hester, and you’ll learn to put your own judgment before anyone else’s.
4 Dishes Your Table Needs THE MOST UNDERRATED THANKSGIVING FOODS
and your children decide on ideas, be sure your ex-spouse knows of your plans and that you both have a solid holiday-parenting plan in place. 2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE In addition to making new traditions, be intentional about spending time with your extended family. Whether you celebrate with your children, siblings, parents, or even close friends, having a strong support system in place makes the holidays easier and more enjoyable. This is also an opportunity to volunteer at a local event or charity. When you think of Thanksgiving food, the first dishes that pop into your mind are probably turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. They’re a part of nearly every Thanksgiving meal. And while these delicious foods are something you don’t want to skip, there are dishes your table is sorely missing — dishes that don’t get the respect they truly deserve. This Thanksgiving, why not take a look at a few other options? SOUP This is one dish that rarely hits the Thanksgiving table. But try a butternut squash or broccoli cheddar soup and you’ll be surprised just how “at home” it feels among the rest of your spread. It’s perfect to serve ahead of the main course, as the final touches are put on the turkey, or when the green bean casserole needs a few more minutes in the oven. BRUSSELS SPROUTS These tiny greens often get overlooked during Thanksgiving, but with the right accompaniment, they can make for an extremely tasty and nutritious dish. For example,
try roasting halved Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries and bacon, drizzled with a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. SAUSAGE Put a creative spin on your traditional Thanksgiving dishes and try using sausage in the stuffing. An Italian sausage, for instance, adds a kick of flavor to any stuffing, homemade or from the box. You can also experiment with other kinds of sausage to find the flavors that best complement your stuffing. Use a sweet sausage when you need something to pair with a stuffing that incorporates apples. CRANBERRY SAUCE This Thanksgiving staple rarely gets the attention it deserves. While it’s easy to buy a can of cranberry sauce, you do your guests a culinary disservice by going this route. Instead, make your own cranberry sauce. There are many recipes online, and all you need are some fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, and sugar to make the best cranberry sauce of your life.
HOWTO CELEBRATE THEHOLIDAYS POST-DIVORCE
Plans, People, and Pampering
3. PAMPER YOURSELF Between braving the busy grocery stores, ridding your house of every dust speck, and prepping the plump turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, planning for the holidays is stressful and stirs up a lot of emotions. For this reason, our team here at Atlanta Divorce Law Group encourages you to take time for yourself. Buy yourself a pair of nice boots, schedule a massage, or go out for a nice meal. Everyone deserves a little pampering, and ensuring that you care for yourself during this time of year will make the experience flow more smoothly for everyone.
While the upcoming holiday season is typically chock-full of merriment, delectable treats, and family traditions, if you have gone through a recent divorce, the Thanksgiving routines you’ve grown to know and love will have to undergo big changes to mirror the transformations you’ve recently made. Even if you feel that the divorce was 100 percent the correct choice, if this is your first year separated from your previous spouse, you will likely experience a little sadness or loneliness during the holidays. It just comes with the territory. But it is important to allow yourself to feel those emotions without getting lost in them. Once you are able to acknowledge your feelings and losses, you can start implementing other ideas into your family’s life in order to navigate the holidays post-divorce. 1. PLAN TO PLAN This year, you have a clean slate to form new holiday traditions. New traditions help create a sense of belonging after a big family transformation. If you have children, let them be involved in generating new customs. Once you
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF ONLINE DATING AFTER DIVORCE How to Re-enter the Dating Pool
DO DETACH: Once you contact a person, just move on. You might hear back, or you might not. So just detach yourself from an outcome. This person’s response is not an indicator of your value or desirability, so don’t get stuck on one person if they don’t respond. DON’T ASSUME: You might be tempted to make suppositions about a person based on their profile, but don’t always assume that what you see is what you get. It’s best to reduce expectations until you meet someone — allowing yourself to get too excited over a profile can be problematic. Wait until you can talk to a person face-to-face before making a lasting judgment.
Re-entering the dating pool following a divorce is a unique process that embodies its own set of guidelines. You are not only tasked with determining what kind of partner is best for you right now , but you also have to evaluate yourself after this huge life transformation. You have inevitably changed since the day you first got married, so it is vital to approach the dating pool differently than you did before. Plus, depending on how long it’s been since you dated someone new, the dating world itself might have transformed as well. For example, in just the last year, the 10 most popular dating apps had over 40 million users.
If you are thinking about creating a profile on Bumble, Plenty of Fish, or Coffee Meets Bagel, here are the do’s and don’ts to consider in the process of online dating after divorce: DO RESEARCH: Be sure you are fully reading the profiles to get a good sense of each person before messaging them. Try not to base choices on looks alone; you likely have a certain “type” you’re drawn to, but that type may not equate
to your best match. Dig beneath the surface and pay attention to what a person shares or how they present themselves. DON’T PINE: Trying to analyze what the other person is thinking or feeling causes unneeded stress for you. Until he or she explicitly tells you how they feel, you won’t know anything for certain. So don’t create more internal suffering by worrying.
WHAT HAS OUR FIRM BEEN UP TO?
CHIPOTLE-ROASTED CARROT SALAD
DIRECTIONS • 30 small carrots (2–3 bunches), tops removed and carrots scrubbed • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from the chipotle can • 1 tablespoon molasses • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 4 ounces watercress, stems trimmed • Plain Greek yogurt, for serving • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste 1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a rimmed baking sheet, toss carrots with chipotle peppers, molasses, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast for 30–35 minutes. 2. Transfer carrots to a plate and let them cool completely. 3. Once cooled, toss carrots with adobo sauce. Lay across a platter, and top with watercress. 4. Serve alongside yogurt.
In September, founder of Atlanta Divorce Law Group, Sara was invited to speak at a power luncheon hosted by Hall Benefits Law. While there were speakers exploring a number of important topics, Sara used her own experience to help educate the other attorneys in the audience about how to manage a great legal team, how to create a client experience that is focused specifically on the client and not the attorney, and how to help clients reach their own pictures of success.
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Inside This Issue
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The Scarlet Letter ‘D’
Thanksgiving Dishes Your Table Is Missing
How to Celebrate the Holidays Post-Divorce
The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating After Divorce
Chipotle-Roasted Carrot Salad
What We’ve Been Up To
A Historic Veterans Day
A Historic Veterans Day Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the End of World War I
This year, Veterans Day takes on particular historic significance: Nov. 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Countries around the world will commemorate the signing of this peace agreement with moments of silence, centennial ceremonies, and historical exhibits. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day is a celebration of life. It’s a day to honor the power of peace and the living veterans across the globe who have served their countries. This November, take a moment to remember the war that helped shape the international community’s dedication to peace and thank the individuals who served to defend it. THE GREAT WAR By 1914, a world war had been years in the making, but the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by a Serbian nationalist provided the spark that would eventually burn down much of Europe. A chain reaction of land disputes, pre-emptive attacks, and strategic alliances brought over 30 countries into World War I.
The Great War that ravaged Europe resulted in a devastating loss of life, but from those ashes rose a renewed appreciation for the importance of peace and a global effort to ensure its place in the future. THE RESTORATION OF PEACE In 1918, Germany surrendered unconditionally, and the armistice ended the fighting at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, though the war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles the following July. An estimated 16 million soldiers and civilians died in just four years, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in modern history. VETERANS DAY Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was first observed on Nov. 11, 1919, to honor the one-year anniversary of the armistice, and it became a U.S. holiday in 1938. Today, Veterans Day celebrates veterans who served their country honorably. The U.K., France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate their veterans in November. If you know a veteran, thank them for their service this month.
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