Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life is Too Short

We have had two funerals in our congregation recently. One was for a woman in her 60s. She left behind her husband, daughter and granddaughter. My wife visited with her regularly. She had come over to our house to pump us up when there were political issues in our small town. She was fiery, she was fun, and she loved helping others.

The other was for a husband and father in his 30s. He died in the night and left behind his wife and three young kids. I cannot even imagine what his family is going through. I think of his kids, knowing they do not have a father with them now. I think of how his wife has to go to bed every night alone, and how she likely doesn’t sleep well with his side of the bed empty and cold. I think about how she might just want the kids to sleep in her room with her because she feels lonely.

I think of these families and I realize that, for those of us left, life is a gift. We have the opportunity to do with it what we want. We choose what our life will consist of every day. Our life is made of those moments. Our choices make up our lives.

The people we spend our time with have an effect on our lives, even the people we work with. I am lucky in that I can choose my coworkers. I think hard about who I hire. We wait and interview and have them in the office and spend a lot of time getting to know them; I do not want to work with someone I do not like. I have done that, and it is not fun. I also don’t have a problem if a patient wants to go to another office. As long as we can help them be happy, I don’t care if it’s at our office or not. I am okay with that.

Life is too short to be angry about it. Life is too short to waste time doing things you don’t like with people you hate for people that don’t appreciate it. No thanks.

Take time to enjoy life. Make choices that will allow you joy, even when life is difficult. I heard author Andy Andrews speak last week and he said something that stuck with me. He said that, in life, you are going to be pushed into the pool. How will you handle that? Life is full of crises. Throughout life, you will be in one of three states: going through a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or going into a crisis. The sooner we can accept that, the sooner we can move on, and learn from those crises. I’m not saying that it isn’t difficult, or that bad things will happen and we should ignore them. Just don’t freak out. And don’t make yourself suffer any more than you have to when you are between crises.

Life is too short for that.

Michael Lemme, DDS

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