Brooks & Crowley - April 2021

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Review Brooks & Crowley

April 2021


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts


Hello, everyone! I’ve talked about Mother’s Day before, but since it’s my round on the newsletter, I thought I’d do an early tribute to mothers everywhere — specifically about the superhero powers they have over the rest of us. I lost my mother a year ago this past February. She left us with so many good memories that it is tough to be sad even though we miss her. My mother was always sharing wisdom and life lessons. She once told me as an adult, “If you retained 10% of the lessons I passed on to you, you’ll be fine.” Hopefully, I held onto a few more than that, but it was a philosophy that reminds me of what amazes me most about moms. Mothers have a way of making life work — no matter what. Dads may be good at big picture things, but moms are take care of all the details that make the big things work. My mom was a firecracker. She worked as a nurse when we were kids. My father worked in construction, which could be subject to layoffs when the economy went sour. When that happened, my mother would pick up extra shifts to make up for the lost income. She would always switch her schedule, though, to ensure she could see us off to school or be home when we arrived from school. She was always there, but I’m sure it felt like she was always working without a moment to rest. Still, she never complained, not even once. That isn’t easy for a lot of moms. In 2018, the U.S. Census said that over two-thirds of mothers with children under 18 were working full time. This was challenging enough with all of the demands on a mother's time. Then COVID-19 put a lot of new challenges on these moms trying to maintain a work-life balance. But moms have a way of making an impossible job possible. My wife, Diane, is an example of this. When our girls were babies, she showed me that when kids are little, they pass through developmental stages pretty fast. Some were more enjoyable than others, and it’s hard to keep up with, but she always had the forethought of the stage that our kids were in and why they’re acting a certain way. After that, I could sympathize that our daughter didn’t want to be up at 3 a.m. either and that she was teething or some other normal growing issue.

Now our kids are 18 and 16, and I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t stop. Life is a series of short stages. If you are enjoying this one, great. If you don’t, another is coming. With everyone taking classes at home with the same isolated routine, the weeks and months start to blend together. My wife, however, has never stopped putting effort into traditions, like “changing the seasons” at home. You name it, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every season, she decorates for them all. It’s always been fun for us — but, especially during the pandemic, she helps us get excited about life’s festivities so the year doesn’t pass so quickly. The kids notice right away if one of the decorative pieces is missing or in another location. These traditions have always given us something to look forward to and created normalcy during quarantine. They have allowed us to both reflect upon past memories and look forward to when we can celebrate these events properly. A mother’s ability to make the best of any situation should be appreciated all year long. I think about it all the time: I’ve been very lucky, as both a husband and a son. No matter what your plans are for Mother’s Day, I hope you get to show a little extra love for the mothers who make every stage of your life special. –Neil Crowley


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How Intuitive Eating Can Help You Quit Diet Culture

The concept of mindfulness has fully saturated mainstream culture at this point. Though it’s more likely to conjure up an image of someone sitting cross-legged with closed eyes than sitting at a table looking wide-eyed at mealtime, it’ll serve you just as well on your dinner plate as it will on your yoga mat. What is intuitive eating? Eating mindfully, also known as intuitive eating, is trending in the health and wellness world. But it couldn’t be more different from fad diets or other trends like fasting and cleanses, which have restrictive lists of rules and foods to eat or avoid. Intuitive eating starts by simply tuning in to your body’s needs and cues, but it goes further than that. As a Harvard Medical School article put it, “In essence, mindful eating means being fully attentive to your food — as you buy, prepare, serve, and consume it.” And that includes focusing on how different foods and eating habits make you feel, both physically and mentally. While this may feel … intuitive ... it’s easier said than done in a culture with consistent and often confusing messaging around what constitutes healthy eating. Even the tried-and-true method of calorie counting has raised doubts in recent years due to inaccuracies in calorie calculations for the nutrition labels and research on how calorie restriction can backfire by changing your hormone levels and even slowing down your

metabolism. Kristen Smith, a registered dietitian and the spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says it’s also linked to disordered eating habits. Intuitive eating may just be the antidote. Singer Demi Lovato, who has been open about her struggles with an eating disorder and body-image issues, credits a more mindful approach to eating with helping her overcome harmful eating patterns.

How does it lead to better health outcomes? Having a regular exercise routine and eating well have long been known as the two pillars of physical health. When it comes to the latter, intuitive eating helps you create healthy and sustainable eating habits. The upshot is that when you eat better, you’ll feel better. Being attuned to that connection is the foundation of mindful eating. Most of us know that we should eat whole foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, but feeling the outcome of increased consumption of these foods will help you stick with and build the habit.

In an Auto Accident? 5 Things You Should Do First

No one expects an automobile accident to happen, which means very few people know how to proceed when it actually does. Unless you’ve been in an accident before — or you’re a personal injury lawyer in Boston — chances are you have no idea how to proceed. Luckily, we’ve put together five things you can do after your car accident to keep you on the right side of your claim: Take pictures. Not just of your car, but of the other car(s), surroundings, and even the weather. Be sure to take pictures of any injuries sustained during the accident. This way you’ll have proof of injury long after the bruises have healed. Keep a diary. The aftereffects of an accident might interrupt your life more than you realize. Keep a log of things you couldn’t do because of your accident. Whether it’s missing that 5K you were planning on running, or

skipping a day of work to get your car at the shop, these details are important. Don’t talk to the other person’s insurance company. Just don’t do it. The insurance company has one goal in mind: to avoid paying a claim. Don’t give them any material to work with. Don’t sign anything! Claims adjusters or “insurance company representatives” will talk to you about how they feel terribly about your accident. It’s natural for us to downplay our own injuries in this situation and say, “Oh, I’m feeling just fine, thanks for asking!” These “representatives” will say they just want to help you pay your bills and offer you a document to sign and may even make a fast offer to settle your claim. However, these initial offers are often very low and the full extent of your injuries may not be known. Documents are powerful in court.

Don’t sign anything the insurance company gives you as these can be used against you later in court. Forward all correspondence to your lawyer. The law is complex and filled with loopholes you might not be aware of. Play it safe by sending all communication, whether it’s with the other person involved in the accident or the insurance company, to your lawyer. We hope these help you! And if you find yourself in an accident, don’t be afraid to get our professional help at Brooks & Crowley.


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“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

According to him, and anyone else who has ever tried creating something wholly unique, developing an original idea is no easy task. The difficulty of originality even led Mark Twain to once say “There is no such thing as a new idea. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.” But in “Zero to One,” Thiel proves that coming up with original ideas is possible, and he provides readers with helpful tips and lessons for how to get there. One such lesson: Stop trying to be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg because “if you’re copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.” Thiel uses his favorite interview question to try to identify original thinkers. These are the people who take their businesses from zero to one because they looked at past successes and thought, “I can do it differently, and I can do it better.” If you want to be in that group, then reading Thiel’s advice in “Zero to One” is a great place to start.

That’s entrepreneur and author Peter Thiel’s favorite interview question. To Thiel, a person’s answer to that question provides insight into whether they’ll be able to find success as an entrepreneur. Ideally, if you can answer with something like “Most people believe in X, but the truth is the opposite of X,” then you’re well on your way from zero to one and creating an original business idea. That’s what Thiel explores in his book “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.” “Zero to One” is all about coming up with and nurturing unique ideas, which are the foundation of game-changing businesses. As a co-founder and investor in a number of companies that have changed the business landscape, Thiel has some authority on this subject. He co-founded Cofinity (which later became PayPal) and invested in startups like Facebook, SpaceX, Lyft, and Airbnb whose ideas were so novel at the start that they were perceived as risky by many.

Throughout the book, Thiel shares his wealth of knowledge garnered from a long, successful career of recognizing and acting on original ideas.


Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks

• • • • • •

2 tbsp canola oil 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets

• •

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper


1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

4. Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to flip the chicken and potatoes, then add broccoli florets. 5. Drizzle sauce evenly over top and return to the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165 F and vegetables are fork-tender.

2. On a large baking sheet, combine chicken, sweet potatoes, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. 3. Bake for 15 minutes. In the meantime, make the sauce by combining the soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper.

Inspired by


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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026 Inside This Issue

1 No Matter What, Mothers Make It Work 2 What Is Intuitive Eating? In an Auto Accident? 5 Things You Should Do First 3 ‘Zero to One’: A Book Review

Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner

4 Together From Afar

Together From Afar

How Families Across America Are Celebrating Differently

From Passover to ‘Zoomover’

Last year, we probably wouldn’t have guessed the pandemic would still be lingering by this time in 2021 — but families have found ways to remain together, even from a distance. Here’s how people are celebrating their major events and holidays from afar.

In 2012, college best friends and Ohio natives Kara Silverman and Chad Martin started a tradition: Every year in New York City, they would host a Seder open to anyone who didn’t have one to attend otherwise. This year, however, they had to host the event digitally since they couldn’t be together in person. They decided to have it on Zoom and called it ‘Zoomover’ with the event hashtag #NextYearInPerson. Although it was virtual, a lot more guests joined since distant family and friends could tune in, too.

Birthday Parties on Zoom

Dressing up and decorating your home might feel like only half the fun of hosting a birthday party — the guests make it extra special. That’s why families like the Browns from Fredericksburg, Virginia, did all the party preparations at home, plus hosted a Zoom party so their son, Jackson, could still see all his family members face to face. Some guests even had their own cupcakes and festive decorations. Meanwhile, presents were mailed. "Instead of opening wrapped presents, he was opening Amazon boxes," Fred, Jackson’s father, told CBS with a laugh.

Facebook, including pre-recorded musical performances, and hosted a “virtual carnival” in Zoom afterward from 12–8 p.m. It included games, comedy performances, cooking tutorials, and more! In the late evening, they also hosted a “tiki lounge” for parents and caregivers to participate in after their kids went to sleep. No matter what you’re celebrating this time of year, we hope you find a way to do it while connecting with the people you love most. Have a wonderful April, friends!

A Virtual Easter Festival

Outside Boston, Phyllis Myung, the director at Highrock Covenant Church in Acton, adopted a way for her church to celebrate Easter with safety in mind: Keep it virtual with plenty of ways to interact with one another. They streamed their services on YouTube and


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