Law Office of Paul Black - September 2019


September 2019

Finding Beauty in Transition CHANGING LEAVES

B y the time this newsletter reaches you, my wife Nadia and I will (hopefully) have our backyard garden up and running. Even as I write this, I have already been consulting my copy of Erica Glasener and Walter Reeves’ “Month-by- Month Gardening in Georgia” to prepare for the coming fall. Looks like we will be planting broccoli, collards, or lettuce this month, so there will be plenty of greens on the menu this autumn, I suppose. Regardless of what we grow this fall, our little vegetable patch is a triumph of adaptation. Shortly before our marriage in July, Nadia and I moved in together. It was an amazing milestone in our relationship, and like all milestones, it required change. Nadia suddenly had to adapt to a longer commute to her job, I had to admit that she has better interior design sense than I do, and we both had to readjust to sharing a space with another person again. Times of transition, even positive ones like this, can certainly be discombobulating. But, as Nadia and I started building our garden, I saw what makes these moments worth it. Every time I talk to my clients, something is changing in their lives. Just today, I

talked to a couple with a newborn, and the day before that, I chatted with a family whose mother was moving in with them. Tomorrow, I will be chatting with an active 80-year-old who’s facing the question of whether assisted living is right for them. Seeing so many people go through milestones and having just gone through a major one myself, I’ve begun to notice a pattern. Moments of transition bring life into perspective. They force us to take a step back and ask ourselves, “Which parts of my old way of doing things really matter to me and which can I live without?” Of course, we could ask ourselves this question at any point, but, when the status quo gets shaken up, we gain the best perspective on what we have. This might seem negative at first, but getting this perspective can be a really positive thing when you have the right attitude. Not only do you gain a new appreciation of what you have but you also get the opportunity to plan out something entirely new. Summer may be ending, and the rains of autumn are on their way. One could

be glum about the loss of sunshine and reminisce about the warm weather, but that won’t keep change from coming. Instead, why not plant a garden with someone you love and get the most out of those last warm days? And then, when the rains come, you can smile with the knowledge that the sprouts you planted together are getting the water they need to grow. I don’t think it’s an accident that people of all ages seem to get back into a rhythm this time of year. School starts, leaves change, and the monotony of summer disappears. In one way or another, we’re all reminded that no day is the same and nothing lasts forever. But, with the right planning and by remembering what you care about most, these changes can bear fruit. Here’s to a great fall,

-Paul Black

P.S. If Nadia and I inspired you to get into gardening, I highly recommend visiting They have great guides to get you started!

Do you have estate planning or elder law-related questions? Write to me at with Asked and Answered in the subject line. Your identity will be kept confidential. The opinions offered in this column are not intended to replace or substitute any financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. | 1

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