It's no secret that I run - I am very open and vocal about my love for this sport. It's also no secret that over the last couple years or so, the distances and frequency of my runs have increased quite a bit. One question I get a lot is "why"? And "how"? "Why on earth would you want to run that much?" "How is that any fun?"
Well, today, I had one of those runs that might help me answer this question. You see, most of my runs have a purpose. It might be to help build speed or endurance or it could simply be a recovery run. And the purpose usually comes attached to a goal - a race in which I'm trying to accomplish a new best - whether that be running longer or faster than I've gone before or running a certain pace for a certain length of time in order to prepare me for yet another race down the road in which I'm looking to run longer or faster than I've gone before. I know, it's a bit manic, a bit obsessive, a bit crazy. As my wife points out all too often - no one's paying me to do this, it isn't my job and there isn't a person in the world watching my results or keeping track of how I do. Yet, nonetheless, I continue my quest because that's my DNA - I set goals and I go after them. It's how I tick. And this is to say nothing about the health benefits, the calories burned, the blood pressure lowered, etc., etc. That is all part of it too, but for another blog post entirely.
But then there are other runs as well. A run like today. A run in which you step out the door with no particular plan, no goal, no purpose. And you just start running. You start out in the dark and soon, the light breaks. A steady mist of rain falls the whole time and after just a few minutes, you don't feel or notice it. You run and at some point, you have no idea when, your mind and body just separate. Your earthly worries and day to day problems lift from your shoulders and vanish. You become - lighter. You don't feel your feet hit the ground, hills are vanquished without knowing you were even on them. You see nothing. You hear nothing. Your mind goes wonderfully blank. You are in a blissful moment of ignorance where all the stress, the self doubt, the countless tasks, all your demons - are nonexistent. And before you even know how you got there and without any clear idea of where you just were for the past hour and a half, you find yourself back at your doorstep - the run is over and tears of raw emotion are streaming down your face. You are, for that moment, completely cleansed and calibrated.
These runs don't happen often. There is no summoning them. But they are indeed magical. This is why I run.
The newest addition of Mattacola Law Matters is ready for your viewing/reading enjoyment - it can be found here: http://www.themattacolafirm.com/LawMattersVol2Issue1.pdf
In it you'll find everything from news on great upcoming events, legal updates, good food wisdom and more. We hope you enjoy it.
Many will remember the Terri Schiavo case where the debate was whether a woman in a persistent vegitative state could be disconnected from life support without a specific written directive on file saying to do so. Now, the New York Legislature is trying to avoid that situation with the Family Health Care Decisions Act which, in the absence of a written directive to the contrary, will allow family members to make health care decisions, including the withdrawal of life sustaning treatment, even without the patient having prepared any advance directives. The Governor is on the verge of signing this into law. His press release is here: http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/press_02241003.html
The long and short? If you don't want your family making decisions that you might not have agreed with, have your wishes in writing ahead of time via a straight forward Health Care Declaration/Living Will/D.N.R. It is a simple document to have prepared and it not only will ensure your wishes are followed but will take the pressure off those you leave behind to have to make those decisions.
Yours truly wrote a guest article on the subject of the overall health and quality of life for lawyers, for the site lawyerist which is a cool conglomeration of blog posts on all things legal. This will be one of a series - check it out here: http://lawyerist.com/
This past Saturday, President Obama signed a bill that extends federal COBRA health insurance premium subsidies for the unemployed. Buried in a military spending bill was a provision that extends the nine-month, 65% premium federal subsidy by six months. It applies to those involuntarily terminated through February 28, 2010. It was previously the case that employees who lose their jobs after December 31st would have been ineligible for the subsidy. It also gives beneficiaries whose subsidy expired and who didn't pay the full premium the opportunity to receive retroactive coverage. As more details unfold, we will get them to you.
Previously, we gave you the link for the form that the New York State Department of Labor was requiring to be used to notify new hires of their pay rate and overtime rate. It was said at the time that the form they gave a link to, was the required form to use. Not anymore apparently. It now says on the DOL site that: "No particular form is required. Employers may create their own forms, or use and/or adapt a sample form available at the link below. In the near future, sample forms for a variety of pay agreements (salaried, prevailing rate, exempt, and others) will be provided here." You can read this for yourself at: http://www.labor.state.ny.us/workerprotection/laborstandards/workprot/lshmpg.shtm
The Department of Labor, I assume, realized what myself and a client realized the first time we went to use the form - it did not work for every situation and some modifications are necessary. It appears they are now allowing for just that. Go figure, a government agancy changed its mind.
If you haven't noticed, I try pretty hard to intersperse the boring legalese with some odds and ends of "life" and "community". It's kind of the whole theme here on this hugely read and widely demanded blog. Cough. If there were another theme, it'd be balance. Balance, actually, is the mother of all these things and what allows me to do what I do. There'd be no way I could run my practice well, be a Husband and a Dad, contribute to my community and take care of myself via running and nutrition without balance. You've got to keep it all in perspective and keep all these things moving forward in a positive direction.
Just recently, we've had three happenings at the Firm that speak to the whole balance thing and from which I'm still feeling ripples of positive change. It's been an amazing few weeks to say the least.
First, on October 22nd, I sponsored the movie Food, Inc. to come to the Capitol. I wanted people in Rome and the surrounding area to get a chance to see this important documentary. Nearly 200 people came. Eyes were opened about our food industry and just where our food comes from and how it's produced and the effects on the environment and our workforce and most importantly, our health. I cannot tell you the amount of people who have thanked me for bringing it and who have told me they've made changes in their shopping/eating habits as a result. It's mind blowing and humbling. Many have asked me about local places to get meat that isn't raised with steroids and genetically modified corn. One such place that you can check out is Winters Grass Farm - Jordan Winters is the rock star there. Here is the link: http://www.wintersgrassfarm.com/
Jordan actually apprenticed with the farmer in Food, Inc. - Joel Salatin - you will remember Joel as the "good guy" as my kids refer to him. His beef and poultry are grass fed and natural and humanely treated. Take a ride to Holland Patent, it will be worth it.
On October 28th, I spoke to the Rome Twigs at their annual dinner - they are the volunteer army at Rome Memorial Hospital. I was the keynote speaker and the topic, as given to me, was 'Friendship, Sharing and Laughter'. A slightly random topic but I ran with it and enjoyed the time with the Twigs . The overall theme? Simple. Let us all stop being brainwashed by Madison Avenue and stop seeking the great white whale of perfection - doesn't exist. And we are wasting life's precious moments in this foolish pursuit. Let us live our life with love, with friendship, with sharing, with laughter - let us celebrate our imperfections and not chase after windmills trying to get what isn't possible. It was a tremendous evening and one which I'm still receiving gratitude from. Good stuff.
And finally - gnarly facial hair. Yes, that is a moustache sprouting on my upper lip if you've seen me in the past week. it's part of an international movement called Movember - Mo being the nickname for a moustache in Australia where this started. It is part of dedicating the month of November, now Movember, to men's health issues. This year, the funds we are raising are going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong. As part of this fun endeavor, I've been dropping some healthy tips on Facebook and Twitter here and there. I've already had someone tell me that I've inspired him to fix some bad health habits he's gotten himself into. That is pure gold. I can't tell you how fired up that makes me. If you are interested in donating to our team, Team Captain Kangaroo (the Captain had one fine Mo), here is the link: http://us.movember.com/mospace/232957/
We would be grateful for anything you might want to do - it's for cancer awareness and prevention - it's for awful facial hair - how can you go wrong?
So there you have it - Food, Twigs and Facial Hair. Oh my. it's all good stuff and that which I am very proud of. I need to go grow my Mo now. Onward.
Previously, we informed you about the new requirement from the New York State Dept. of Labor regarding notifying new hires in writing of their wage and their overtime wage. This went into effect October 26, 2009 and they had promised a sample form to use. It is now finally available. The form can be found here:
This is the form that needs to be used for new hires before they do any work - notifying them of their rate of pay, their regular payday and their overtime rate of pay.
This blog is posted by Greg Mattacola of The Mattacola Law Firm, located in Rome, New York and serving clients across New York State. This blog shares our thoughts on the law, our strong promotion of a fulfilled life and a deep caring for our community.
This is a blog. It is designed to pass on thoughts and information which will hopefully be of some interest to someone, somewhere. It is meant to inform, entertain and to spark some thought and dialogue amongst the readers, if there should happen to be any. The posts are not comprehensive in nature and nothing on here is intended to be legal advice upon which life decisions are made. Every legal issue and situation are different and call for unique solutions based on their factual differences and the applicable law. If you should need legal assistance, please, contact The Mattacola Law Firm directly. Do not rely solely on what you read here. This message will self destruct in ten seconds.