Manely Firm - November 2020

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N ovember 2020

D ía de los M uertos : H onoring T hose W ho ’ ve P assed

In the religious practice I come from, we honor Día de los Muertos by bringing a picture of our loved one to an altar at church. We light candles, sometimes speaking their names, reflecting upon who they were and what they brought into our lives. For us, it’s similar to Advent: While many churches celebrate Advent for Christmas, we honor Día de los Muertos starting on the first Sunday following Halloween. While I haven’t been so formal as to set up an altar in my home to celebrate the holiday, I must confess that I’ve considered it. Setting up something to honor my grandparents and parents at home would be nice, but I’ve always done so at church. Día de los Muertos is something I’ve celebrated my whole life, though I believe my family’s celebration is a little different than if you were in Central or South America. The holiday there is far more elaborate — it can come across as a type of carnival at times. Everything is so brilliantly colored; people dress up in extravagant attire and paint their faces to resemble skulls. One popular tradition, too, is to make and decorate sugar skulls, which are used to decorate the offerings provided at the altars of a person’s loved one. This holiday is part of the beginning of the high holiday season. Halloween begins on Oct. 31, which then moves directly into Día de los Muertos . From there we celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast, and by the following month, we have all the holidays that come with December. While we move into November, let’s prepare for the holiday season, whatever it may be like for us this year.

F rom Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, people will celebrate the Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos . While I’m aware not everyone celebrates this particular holiday, I’m sure many people are aware of it because it is the Mexican holiday featuring colorful skeletons, dancing, and almost party-esque celebrations. More recently, this holiday was thrown into the light by the movie “Coco,” where the main character, Miguel, finds himself in the colorful Land of the Dead during Día de los Muertos . Growing up, my family celebrated a number of holidays throughout the year, which made us quite diverse. We certainly celebrated holidays like Thanksgiving, but we also observed several other holidays, too, including Día de los Muertos . One of

the most central parts of this holiday is honoring your dead ancestors, the people who were part of your family who have passed on. This type of celebration is not unlike All Souls’ Day, which is celebrated throughout Europe. Although Día de los Muertos is not celebrated around the globe, it’s observed throughout Central and South America and much of Europe, too. The significance of this holiday is what it celebrates. Although it is known as the Day of the Dead it’s a celebration of life and death. It’s an opportunity to honor the lives of people who have come before and made an impact on your life. It’s a celebration of how they influenced you and the direction you’ve taken in life because of that influence.

Happy holidays, everybody!

–Michael Manely


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M editation A lternatives For People Who Don’t Like to Medi tate Meditation is lauded for its health benefits and is often suggested as an effective way to clear the mind, organize thoughts, and reduce stress. Realistically, however, it’s not for everyone. In fact, some people don’t experience any benefits at all from meditating. In a recent study published in New Scientist about the effectiveness of meditation, researchers confirmed that some people do not benefit from meditation and that about 8% of people who try meditation experience an “unwanted effect,” such as an increase in anxiety.

If you’re not interested in meditation, or it just doesn’t work for you, here are some alternative ways to clear your mind and reduce stress.

Get serious about physical activity. Aerobic exercises — like walking, jogging, running, cycling, and swimming — are great for clearing your mind and getting your body moving. Really, any exercise that gets the heart pumping and increases your respiratory rate will do. Research supports that aerobic exercise is a great alternative to meditation that yields many of the same benefits. Exercising outdoors or in nature — especially in new places — enhances these benefits. Because your surroundings are going to be unfamiliar, your mind is more focused, which can help if you’re searching for clarity. Stay mentally engaged. Many people achieve clarity, focus, and stress reduction through simple but engaging tasks, such as immersing themselves in an adult coloring book, doing brain teasers, or assembling LEGO sets, which proves they can be effective

therapeutic tools or alternatives to meditation. The LEGO Company has actually been developing more products for adults with this sort of research in mind.

But why LEGO products specifically? In addition to being objects you touch and push together, LEGO products come with clear, step-by-step instructions, which make them easy to put together and allow you to focus more on the task at hand. Even if you don’t complete the piece in one sitting, working on a project a few minutes a day can be a beneficial way to find a little clarity.

M eet Z achary C ole Law Clerk and Performance Analyst (Art ist )

Before entering law school, Zachary Cole, one of our amazing law clerks at the Manely Firm, first entered college intent on achieving an engineering degree. However, as he neared the end of his college years, Zachary switched over to a more liberal arts focus in preparation for his new passion, law school. The legal field is something he was very interested in, even throughout middle and high school. Zachary was drawn to the idea that anything can be true in this field because legal issues are not usually cut and dried definitively one way. Usually, facts and rules are involved in such a way as to make an argument either way. As he began to research these nuances more, that interest pulled Zachary toward the law field. This led Zachary to discover two other passions in the law field: “First, specifically with clerking, there’s all the research and delving into what the law actually says in a situation,” he says. “There are quite a few arguments to be found there. When an attorney asks me to research how certain rules apply, I try to find a lot of cases that suggest one thing and then another which suggests something

else. I try to contrast those cases and differentiate them, then try to apply them to our fact pattern.”

Zachary continues, “Second, I have another job at the firm as a performance analyst. I gather all the data on the firm’s successes, attempts, and what can be improved. It’s not only fun to play with these numbers, but there’s also quite a lot of subjectivity with it, too. You would think the numbers are very objective, but they’re really not. How you constrain the data can give you a totally different result. Of course, I always try to make it as accurate as possible, but even in this, there are a lot of arguments to be made.” One of Zachary’s favorite activities is analyzing data and numbers in the sports world. “I’m big into sports numbers,” he explains. “So, taking data from previous seasons and trying to use that to predict trends and outcomes in future seasons — it’s kind of like the history of sports but based on data.” Although the sporting season this year is a little uncertain, Zachary will continue to follow several sports teams in baseball, basketball, and football, including his two favorite teams, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the University of Florida Gators.

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R emarrying S omeone Y ou ’ ve D ivorced

A Form of Recidivism

A popular animal fable is the frog and the scorpion. The scorpion asks the frog for a ride across the river, promising not to sting the frog, but halfway across the scorpion stings the frog. When the frog asks why the scorpion did it, dooming them both, the scorpion says, “I’m a scorpion, it’s in my nature.” This story teaches the lesson that there are vicious people in the world, and that no matter what they promise, they cannot resist hurting those around them, even those who try to help them. This sad tale can also be the same for people who try to patch things up with their ex-spouse. After a divorce, a couple may decide to get back together again. While this isn’t true for the majority of individuals, it is for a usually unfortunate portion of the population. It’s unfortunate because the remarriage almost always never works out the second time. While the second divorce is often gentler because the couple have gone through the process before, many negative implications still come with it. In addition to being filled with a fair degree of self-recrimination, other pitfalls come with trying to patch a relationship that didn’t work out the first time around. Usually, a person who divorces their spouse because it was difficult to be with them, only to remarry in the hopes of working things out, will soon realize the spouse is still just as difficult as before. Another aspect to consider is if children are involved with the divorce; divorcing again certainly impacts the children’s emotions. Also, the parents may believe their first custody order from their first divorce will hold. This isn’t true. When someone divorces, they must work from the ground up again because the judge must look at all the factors in a child’s life during a divorce, no matter if it’s the first or second. Additionally, if a mother and father divorced after a bitter custody fight, but end up remarrying and divorcing a few years later, it can create other problems. No matter how awful the mother may have said the father was, she still remarried him. The judge will think, “He just can’t be that bad.” While not all of these stories may end horribly, it’s still important to consider these factors. If someone is considering or planning remarriage to their ex, it is a good time to consider a prenuptial agreement. This will help resolve some of the issues that may come up later on should the couple divorce again.

C innamon -S piced C andied S weet P otatoes

Inspired by

I ngredients

4 lbs orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, then cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

• • • •

1 tbsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed 4 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks

D irections

1. 2. 3.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place sweet potato wedges in a 4-quart baking dish. Sprinkle sugar, salt, and cloves over sweet potatoes.

4. Dot with butter and place cinnamon sticks around sweet potatoes. 5. Bake, turning every 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and the liquid is syrupy, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. 6. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. 7. Discard cinnamon sticks and serve.

If you are thinking about remarrying, just remember the old joke, “This food is terrible. I think I’ll have it tomorrow for leftovers.”


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211 Roswel l St . NE Mar ietta, GA 30060 (866) 687-8561 l fami


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Dia de Los Muertos: Honoring Those Who’ve Passed

Clear Your Mind in a Different Way Shining the Spotlight on Zachary!

Remarrying Someone You’ve Divorced Cinnamon-Spiced Candied Sweet Potatoes

A Number of Importance

T he 11 th H our of the 11 th D ay of the 11 th M onth Why Veterans Day and the Number 11 Go Hand in Hand

Veterans Day comes every Nov. 11. It’s a national holiday that recognizes veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces and honors those both living and deceased. Historically, the day marks Armistice Day and the end of the Great War: World War I. But what is the significance of the number 11?

days but was extended month after month. This led to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, when peace was officially declared.

Later that year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that Nov. 11 would be known as Armistice Day to honor those who fought in the Great War. This lasted until 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed a proclamation turning Armistice Day into Veterans Day. The change was made in order to recognize all veterans who had honorably served their country. By 1954, the U.S. had fought in more wars — specifically World War II and the Korean War — and hundreds of thousands more Americans had served. Unsurprisingly, there was some political drama surrounding the day. In 1968, Congress made Veterans Day a federal holiday under the Uniform Holiday Bill. The idea was to increase the number of three-day weekends in the year. Veterans Day became a holiday that would fall on the fourth Monday of October, a far cry from Nov. 11.

The armistice was signed at 5:45 a.m. in France, but it took effect at 11 a.m. that same morning — which happened to be Nov. 11, 1918. The armistice originally lasted 36

However, in 1978, Veterans Day was restored to its original Nov. 11 date. But why?

The answer is simple. It’s a number that sticks with you. When the clock strikes 11:11, you always take notice. By that same notion, we all remember the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Because of this, we’ll never forget the end of the Great War, nor will we forget those who served.

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