Friday, August 14, 2009


Hey all,
Hope you are having a great week.
Let me tell you what a crazy week I have been having. I forgot to blog Wednesday. I started this blog yesterday thinking yesterday was Wednesday. I realized about half way through it that, "Today is Thursday." I am totally losing it.
I think I am all discombobulated because I have to give THE TALK to my 10 year old son this weekend. I can't stop thinking about it. I am kind of nervous. I know it is going to be okay. I know it will strengthen our bond. And it is something that should be done.
But I am going to have to use words I am very uncomfortable saying. Like I can't use the word Neh Neh when it comes to the female anatomy. Or I can't say Wee wee or "down there" or "your privates".

I am laughing right now knowing how uncomfortable it is going to be. This is going to be one of the things I ask God when I get to heaven. "Why did you make this stuff so complicated." I am freaking out (if you haven't figured this out yet).

My father wrote me an email about Monday's blog. I have to share it with you. He doesn't read the blog, but one of his friends told him to read Monday's post and this is what he wrote me.
He tried to comment on the blog but being fairly computer illiterate it vanished.

My response to your blog went into cyberspace, so I will do it here. First, being your dad and partner for the last 14 years has been a blast! I think there are certain characteristics of people who come into our profession; the desire to improve people's lives, to make a difference in their smiles and self esteem, etc; we also tend to be perfectionists. We all fall short of the glory of God. I gave up perfectionism when I realized that it was a contributing factor in getting divorced from your mom. You must learn to leave the office behind you and when you go home, give your family 100% of your attention. Then you will sleep better knowing that you are giving your family what you want to give your patients. The other reason for going into this profession is we want to constantly receive "Atta boys". We want to be accepted, loved and appreciated; but the only atta boy that counts is when God says to us, "well done my good and faithful servant."

My dad and my relationship has really grown. This email from him made my week. I don't think I have told you how hard it was for us to practice together for the first 5 years or so. But it has really been great for the last 9 or so.

I watched a movie called Reservation Road last night (not to be confused with Revolutionary Road). This was with Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Rufallo. Mark Rufallo was driving a car and accidental hits Joaquin's 10 year old son and kills him. But he leaves the scene of the accident.
Joaquin looks for the killer of his son and Mark is trying to deal with going to prison and how to turn himself in.
It was okay. I have plenty to be depressed about in my own life, I don't need a movie to add to that.

I am reading a book called BlackBird. It is suppose to be some critically acclaimed bestseller. The book is suppose to be about a child's life after she lost her mother. Well I am on page 150 and her mother is STILL ALIVE. I keep thinking to myself, "Won't this woman die already."

Okay topic of the day.
As the school year is getting ready to begin I have had the pleasure of seeing some of my patients go off to college.
I remember this time. I was scared, nervous, excited.
But I had ZERO direction. I didn't know what I was getting into.
So last week I had a patient and his father ask me to dinner to talk about college. See the kid is thinking about being a dentist and wanted to know my thoughts.
I thought about this for a long time. What do I tell a young man about college?
Wow, this is very daunting.

Well we went out and we started talking.
I first told him how things are going to be so great. You are going to have so much fun.
But it is going to be hard. I remember my father telling me one thing that I can remember and that is "Don't worry, college is like 13th grade." WRONG.
For me college was like 18th grade.
I told this kid that he has always been the golden child. He is a good looking kid, never did anything wrong, always got good grades, went to one of the finest private schools in Orlando. He was captain of the lacrosse team. He was the Golden Child.
And he is going to a place where you are one in a million. Everyone is the golden child. Everyone is smart (he is going to the University of Florida where everyone is smart and good looking).
You are going to a place that chews up kids like you and spits you out. You are going to a place where everyone wants to be a dentist or a doctor or a vet or pharmacist etc, and if everyone passed there wouldn't be enough space in graduate school.
They don't want you to fail but they kind of need you to fail.
The first couple of years when you are taking "core" classes, they make them hard on purpose so people will change there minds about dreams.
Oh, did I tell you that college was going to be so much fun. "The best 4 years of your life"

I warned him that college was about expanding your mind. So along school there are so many things fighting for your attention. Football and basketball games, Intramural sports, parties, drugs, fraternities, girls, etc...
This is the kiss of death. If you forget why you are there you will lose. If girls become more important than school you will lose. If you think sports are more important then school you will lose. School must be first always.

That parlayed well into my next and most important point. You are going to fail.
This is something I don't know I know how to explain to a Golden Boy.
It is not if you are going to fail, it is when. What is going to separate you from the next guy is how you deal with this failure.
EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE there is failing. Some might be failing in school, some might be failing with the ladies, others might be homesick; everyone is dealing with something (and it is no different than the real world.
Now some people hide it very well and you might think they have it all together, but they don't.
I think this was something I tried to tell him over and over again.
You ARE going to struggle with your classes and you ARE going to be homesick. Prepare yourself. The more you are prepared for this the better off you are going to be.

I try to equate this to my career. I just graduated from dental school and I thought I was hot snot. But no one told me I was going to fail on a monumental level. No one told me I was going to be lonelier then I have ever been. No one ever told me to fight through it and that it was going to be okay.

This is getting long for a Friday,
I may come back to this.
Wish me luck this weekend.


Anonymous said...

"It is not if you are going to fail, it is when. What is going to separate you from the next guy is how you deal with this failure".

VERY well said. It's amazing the level of stress and the nights I spent crying (yes I said crying) during my ENTIRE time in college. I
I knew it would be hard....but I had no idea the level of dedication that was required... or that learning how to study for advanced chemistry and physics classes will leave you on the verge of a break down.
Perfect advice though. It's important for him to be prepared to fail - and prepared for disappointment. It's reality.
But there's light at the end of the tunnel...eventually.

Vicki said...

Your words to the golden child were very wise-- you'll do fine with the 10 year old. You can do it!


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