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LET’S TAKE A WALK How to Escape the Virtual Rat Race
We live in a hectic world. If we’re not rushing at work, we’re rushing around at home or to get our kids to school. All around us are distractions that demand our attention, and in our pockets, we carry a supercomputer full of other things to distract ourselves with. When was the last time any of us were able to go outside and just appreciate the sound of the birds singing?
me wrong: I love reading, and I know a lot of my work demands I be on a computer. But it’s not just my teenager who can get sucked into a virtual world.
I read a book not long ago by Christian McEwen called “World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down,” which discussed the importance of slowing down and being in the moment. McEwen talked specifically about why people with creative jobs and hobbies need to embrace the moment, but his ideas extend to all of us who have run ourselves ragged in 2018. It’s important to remember real life is not in a book, computer, or phone screen. Real life is outside, with real people and events happening in the environment around you. I’ll talk more about why “World Enough & Time” is such a great book inside this issue, but right now I want to highlight one strategy from McEwen’s book to help us slow down: Take a walk. Alabama is home to some beautiful scenes, like Oak Mountain State Park. I’ve walked through the park before, and it’s a great place to go to refocus your mind. Of course, you don’t have to drive to the woods to get a good walk; a stroll around the office block during your lunch break can be equally beneficial. You just have to step away from your computer, leave your phone in your pocket, take out your headphones, and appreciate the world around you.
In this age of technological dependence, our minds can be a mile wide and an inch deep because we’re always searching for the next distraction. Sometimes that distraction is in the form of a book or television show, and other times it’s a Facebook post or the next breaking news story. It’s not a bad thing to use technology or to want to stay in the know, but when we make technology too much of a priority, we risk becoming too wrapped up in ourselves. There’s always been a rat race, but we should all be aware that there’s a virtual rat race to get caught up in. Our thoughts get pulled in so many directions — thinking about what happened yesterday, what we have to do tomorrow, and what our cousin is oversharing on social media — that we lose sight of right now. Now that it’s May and things are starting to warm up, I’m challenging myself to leave my desk and books and get outside again. I’ll listen to the birds, watch the world turning around me, and hopefully gain some depth by being more present in the now. I invite you to join me.
You just have to step away from your computer, leave your phone in your pocket, take out your headphones, and appreciate the world around you.
Kids today tend to get a lot of grief for being attached to technology. My daughter is 15, and like most teenagers, she talks to friends on her phone a lot. I try to remind her that her friends are not her friends because of her phone. They are her friends because of the real-world conversations and interactions they have together. That said, I know I spend much of my day at a desk, lost in a computer screen or reading a book. Don’t get
Call today – 205-705-3590 1. –Matt Dunaway
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Use Board Games as a Teaching Tool Get More out of Game Night
In this digital age, having a family board-game night every few weeks is a novelty. Putting away the electronics and having fun face-to-face time with your kids is reason enough to make this a family tradition. But did you know that board games can also teach your kids valuable life skills? Here’s the best way to facilitate this learning as a parent.
Find the Right Game for the Right Age
like Chutes and Ladders, can teach young kids motor skills, a sense of fair play, and what good sportsmanship looks like for both winning and losing. Does the game have rules for trading among players, like Monopoly or Settlers of Catan? These sorts of games are a great way to teach social skills. Does it offer multiple paths to victory, like Chess or Tokido? These games teach strategy and critical reasoning. Games like Pandemic require players to work together, teaching valuable teamwork and leadership skills.
Sudoku Whether you’re new to a game or an old pro, it’s worth spending some time going over how the game is played. Not only will this help you teach your kids how to play a new game, but these rules also provide valuable insight into the skills the game teaches. Even games of pure chance, It’s important to find games that fit your children’s abilities. Complex rules, small pieces, or mature content can make some games inappropriate for young kids. The first thing you should do is check the recommended age range on the packaging. This will help you find the best match for your kids. Consult the Rules
night is the most important thing you can bring to the table. No matter their age, showing your kids how to lose gracefully, win magnanimously, and have fun no matter what are skills they will carry with them the rest of their lives.
Teach by Example
While gameplay itself can be a great teacher, being a role model for your children during game
“Dunaway was very knowledgeable and helpful and was able to answer all questions and concerns. Exceptional experience.” –Clifton F. “Matt is a great attorney and is very knowledgeable and personable. I highly recommend him.” –Ethan P. “Great lawyer for a terrible time in life. Dunaway walked me through the whole process and even gave me the bad scenarios in order to allow me to make the best choices and be aware of all that could happen. I would definitely recommend him if you need someone. He is professional, courteous, and a very good lawyer.” –Brandon
Fictional Lawyers You DON’T Want on Your Case ‘I Just Play One on TV’ Hollywood loves lawyers. At least, it loves stories about lawyers. We all know movies and TV Gomez Addams (“The Addams Family”)
could have pointed out that Cole’s prenup wasn’t void, but “voidable.” The difference? A voidable contract can be valid if the minor becomes an adult and lets a “reasonable amount of time” pass without attempting to void the contract. After 15 years of marriage, Cole basically ratified the once voidable prenup. This is a severe oversight for a lawyer like Reede to make.
shows get a lot of things wrong, but you may be surprised to realize that even the fictional lawyers who seem to win every case are actually terrible at their jobs! Let’s look at a few of the best worst lawyers you could hire.
Shockingly, blowing up model trains isn’t Gomez Addams’ day job after all. The father of TV’s weirdest family takes great pride in how many criminals he puts away — as their defense attorney. In one episode, he tells a judge that telling the whole truth would cramp his client’s style. After being thrown off a different case, he brings his wife, Morticia, in to represent the client and whispers instructions into her ear. No wonder Addams was voted “Least Likely to Pass the Bar.” In the movie “Liar Liar,” attorney Fletcher Reede manages to win a messy divorce case by revealing that his client, Samantha Cole, was only 17 when she got married. Since minors can’t enter legal contracts, Reede argues the prenup that Cole signed was void. Reede treats this like a slam dunk, but in reality, the opposing lawyer Fletcher Reede (“Liar Liar”)
Matt Murdock (“Daredevil”)
Fortunately, most real-life lawyers are far more skilled in their craft. Sure, they might not be superheroes or TV stars, but you can count on them to behave with dignity and give your case the respect and attention it deserves.
When Matt Murdock isn’t running around as the vigilante Daredevil, he’s a big-hearted attorney, willing to work for pies to help those in need. But the low fees don’t make up for how terrible he is in the courtroom. On the Netflix series “Daredevil,” Murdock is tasked to defend Frank Castle, the gun-toting Punisher. Murdock shows up late and unprepared, and his biased questioning ultimately leads Castle to sabotage his own case. Plus, thanks to his reckless behavior, Murdock failed in his duty to his legal partner, Foggy Nelson.
Sautéed Zucchini and Squash With Feta Recipe of the Month
Zucchini and summer squash are arriving on grocery store shelves. Here is a great way to take these humble, delicious vegetables to the next level. This easy dish is perfect for early summer.
Genesis 13:17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.
Ingredients • 1 zucchini • 1 summer squash • 1/2 medium red onion • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Instructions 1. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick semicircles. Dice onion. 2. Heat a large skillet to medium high. Add olive oil, onion, and thyme. 3. Once onion is soft (about 2
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese • Salt and pepper to taste
Season with salt and pepper; cook 4–5 minutes until squash barely begins to caramelize.
4. Place in serving bowl and top with feta.
minutes), add zucchini and squash.
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NSIDE Gone Walkin’ ................................................ page 1 Get More out of Game Night ........................ page 2 Our Clients Say It Best .................................. page 2 The Worst Hollywood Lawyers ................... page 3 Sautéed Zucchini and Squash With Feta....................................................... page 3 Take a Breath and Get Creative.................... page 4
‘World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down’ A Page FromMatt’s Bookshelf
There’s a sound from your pocket. It’s your phone reminding you of the meeting you have at noon. In the meantime, you need to take your kids to school, make it to work, catch up on the constant stream of breaking news coming from the internet, try to do some work, feel guilty about not having time to exercise this morning, and address the next dozen notifications and reminders from your phone and email. We run ourselves ragged every day by being constantly busy, yet we somehow feel like we’ve forgotten something important. Christian McEwen spent a decade training teachers in the art of poetry so they could teach it to their students. She realized we cannot create anything worthwhile when we spend all day spinning our wheels. “World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing
Down” is McEwen’s attempt to identify how we can find ourselves by escaping the frenzy of the world. In her book, McEwen doesn’t demand we isolate from society entirely. Instead, she offers a simple suggestion: slow
investing in a conversation, or just looking at the world without a screen in the way.
As a writer and a poet, McEwen examines the importance of slowing down in order to foster creativity, but finding space for ourselves is important no matter our careers or hobbies. Lawyers, accountants, stay-at-home parents, store managers, and everyone else can benefit from taking a break from all the distractions and making time to live in the moment. “World Enough & Time” is a mix of life advice, spiritual teachings, poems, and memoirs. This book offers a lot to anyone who picks it up and learns McEwen’s core message. “Walking, talking, reading, drawing, praying, telling stories: The nourishment is there, as close as our own breath. We only have to pause a moment, notice, and enjoy.”
down. McEwen claims we suffer from “hurry sickness.” In order to heal ourselves, we need to take a break. This doesn’t mean vanishing to some tropical island. Instead, McEwen encourages embracing simple things like taking a walk,
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