Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Midlife Crisis

Midlife Crisis

2012. Doesn't that just roll right off your tongue? It is a little painful for me. I don't know how, but I can remember a lot of my childhood (I can't remember last week, but I can remember jumping on a trampoline with Jeni when I was 7).

One of the things that I remember is when I was in middle school I would think about what it would be like in the year 2000. WOW!!! I will be 30 years old when it turns 2000. THIRTY! Well, here it is 2012 and that means I am 42 (43 in February). And I still say it. Dang! I am going to be 43!

It is hard. I mean, life is going so fast. My kids are growing up so fast. My life is almost half over. My practice life is almost half over. I think I am going through some sort of midlife crisis. Not the "quitting my job, cheating on my wife, getting a fast car and a tattoo on my chest" kind of midlife crisis. The midlife crisis when my eyes are being opened to reality.

There are so many things that I am starting to see now that coming into this job, my eyes were just closed to. Now, I am kind of thinking out loud here because when I bring in an associate I have to understand that his/her eyes will not see the same things I see. And when he/she wants to conquer the world or wants to do things that I am going to think are stupid and never going to work, I have to be supportive and be there when he/she falls.

Or when he/she believes everything a patient says like, "Money is no object." I love that one. I mean, I used to get so excited when someone said that to me (because then we could do ideal treatment and I could work without strings attached). But then I would do all this diagnostic prep work and do this really put-together presentation and they would look at me like I had nine heads. Or they wouldn't even show for their diagnostic discussion appointment. Now when someone says that, I see a red flag. See the difference?

I guess having a midlife crisis is seeing the world through jaded eyes. I told my assistant I just have to lower my expectations. You know, I used to feel like if I treated people well, if I was happy all the time, if I loved my job, went to church, loved my wife, tried real hard at being a parent, everything would be awesome. (I know all of you people that are 43 and older are all chuckling and all the ones under 43 are wondering what is wrong with that). I now know that if I do all the above, SOME of it will happen, but not all of it. See, lower my expectations. I mean, when you work with people, either staff or business people or patients, there are a lot of variables.

I have vowed it is not going to change me much. Meaning, knowing that it is not going to always work out is not going to stop me from loving my job and treating people well. I am going to love my wife and kids and I am still going to go to church. I just know that poop happens.

Good parents have wayward children. The Gators are not going to win every game. I am going to go to church and still act like an idiot sometimes. I am going to try real hard to be the best dentist I can be and teeth are still going to hurt or be lost. I am going to love on my wife but we are human and we are still going to have crappy days and fight like crazy. I am going to work really hard and sometimes not make enough money to pay the bills. I am going to try to be really nice to my patients and they are still going to go somewhere else (I have voodoo dolls of all my patients and if they leave I am going to stab them with pins).

But about the midlife crisis... I still want a fast car. I want a Shelby Cobra. No, not the real thing (I saw one auctioned last week at $780,000,) just a replica. I think I can get one in the $20,000 to $45,000 range. You know the 1965 variety. Nice.

So I have started to save up. Heck, my kids can pay for their own college. It is my midlife crisis and I can spend my money they way I want for once.

I don't know why I chose to talk about this on the first blog of the year. It just happened. I am not done talking about this, but that is enough for today.

Hope you are having a great week. See you Friday.


I watched a ton of movies and read a couple of books. I will tell you about them on Friday.


Work in progess said...

good post john. great way to start 2012. wishing you a fantastic year! the biggest thing i've learned as i get older is that circumstances can't dictate happiness. easy to say, but hard to do. all the best

Meagan said...

Wow that's a great point of view to have! Its great to get that "open your eyes" moment every once in a while. And it always comes in different parts of your life. I'm happy for you! That car sounds awesome too :) good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hello John,
Great post, I have said it before, I will say it again. We are very alike - I am also 42, three kids, practicing almost 17 years. Midlife crisis? Yes, but you can make it a midlife Christmas if you do it right. I don't mean fooling around on your wife, etc. I mean doing things for YOU that you couldn't or wouldn't do before because of other obligations or fear. Try something new that you were previously scared of - make sure you do it right and not in a manner that will get you killed - and you will find yourself smiling like a kid. My two cents.
BTW where can you find these replicas? I was checking around for something similar a while back and couldn't find anything that reasonable. Do you have any manufacturer in mind? And would you build it yourself?
Your Friend in Canada

Anonymous said...

John, Shelby Cobra replica in the Chase. Guy never drives it. He remodeled it and one day when he had a yard sale showed it to me in a workshop he has in the back of the house. Worth much more than 20K. JA

Trishski said...

YES, I remember thinking that in the year 2000 I would be thirty as well! At the time that seemed so old, and now I'm about to turn 42. Life is going by so quickly... you better get that fast car to keep up!


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