Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When is Enough Enough?

This phrase, if you will, is dear to me. My husband I named our first boat "Never Enough." Her name stemmed from a heated discussion regarding things and time. I loudly (I am certain) said, “It’s just never enough, is it?!"

At that statement, he quickly smirked and said, “Honey, that's a great name for our boat!” We both laughed and agreed, and she was christened "Never Enough." That summer was, as we had hoped, amazing on the beautiful waters of Lake Huron. Unfortunately, on Labor Day weekend we were away and received a call from our marina saying that our girl was taking on water and that they had been pumping her out most of the weekend. Kevin rushed to get her to the lift when we got home. She wasn't fancy, but she was perfect for that first year.

During the winter of that same year, I was determined to make certain we would have a boat (preferably one that would not take on water) for the following summer. I was successful, and she was christened "Still Never Enough."

Think of your life. Do you have enough? I am not only referring to the obvious material things we collect, but emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually as well.

I have only just achieved fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry, and now am very actively pursuing the work I need to gain mastership. Why can't we be happy with what we have? Why must we constantly push to have more and want more!?

What are we in search of exactly? For me, it is a goal. I feel I must always have a goal to pursue. As a young child, I knew I wanted to be a dentist. My life was about getting the grades needed to get into a great college, which in turn would allow me to be accepted into dental school.

Once graduated, it my focus shifted. What kind of practice do I want? Do I want to go solo, group or partner? I was fortunate enough to have a family friend that is a periodontist who recommended me to my current partner. My family friend had the intuition to know that we’d be a good match. Therefore, I began the experience of being an associate and practicing “real-world dentistry” outside of the school setting. Within a year of being an associate, thoughts of being an owner/partner trickled in. By year three, the owner dentist and I were sitting with our advisor discussing the specifics of a partnership. After three and a half years, I bought in to become a full partner with the addition of a second practice location.

I took a short professional hiatus because of the unexpected loss of my father just shortly after my 30th birthday. His death, and taking on the responsibility of becoming an owner/partner with a satellite office, truly decimated my desire to do anything more. I felt I’d had enough. Fortunately, time healed my wound (although the scars remain), and I found my drive and ambition to push forward again.

Fellowship was granted, awarded, and received in June 2013.

Friends and family asked what this fellowship would to for me. While I would give the appropriate AGD response, what I wanted to say was, “I really like to push myself. It’s just never enough!”

Now, only three and a half months after fellowship, I am signed up for the first of what will be many more MasterTrack courses. As the time allows, I am studying and prepping online. I hammered out more than six lecture hours recently. My OCD tendency kicked in and I determined that the hard work was the equivalent of about 1.4% of my remaining requirements to Mastership.

Boy, maybe enough should be enough. But then again, I’d be stagnant. When I was a little kid, my aunt told me that if we played in stagnate water, we’d get typhoid and die. Although it was a scare tactic to keep us from playing in the standing water, it stuck! I do not want to be anywhere near stagnant, and neither should you! There will always be challenges to face, both personally and professionally. The trick is to find the balance.

Will enough be enough someday? Perhaps. But each of us will have to decide that for ourselves.

Colleen DeLacy, DDS, FAGD

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice op/ed!!! As participants in the AGD we are DRIVEN to be anything but stagnant. I think that many are stagnant across the board. If you are driven by change, I think that too is across the board...personal life and professional. When it affects your business and the delivery of healthcare, it's essential. Dr. Laurence Grayhills


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