Happy 2018 Everyone! Instead of a dental related blog today, I’ll share with you a little life perspective that I continue to learn every day.
This fall, one of my daughters was diagnosed with epilepsy and it’s so crazy to see your perfectly healthy, energetic little 7 year old go through a little health scare. But - she’s fine and we are fine and we just had to learn some new things and change a few things and be prepared for her seizures. And while I would never choose for anyone to have any health issues, things like this bring about so much perspective and gratitude for our health, and the people in our lives that love and support us. Yesterday was a “bad day” when my little girl had 2 seizures at school and they had to call 911 and we had to spend the day at Children’s Mercy while she was monitored and recovered from the seizures and sedation to stop them. But during all the craziness of it....the staff at her school, her friends and their parents, the doctors, nurses, my family, our friends, my staff at work and my patients....they make it all okay. Back at home last night with a bubble bath, a watermelon slushee and Disney channel on - you’d never know what her day had been like. Her smile and hugs seem brighter and tighter after days like these. She was just so happy to be home and go back to school today like normal. She wasn’t at all bogged down by her rough day. What a beautiful thing!
I write this blog post with an overwhelming sense of grattitude as I go into another new year. As I have gotten older and had more life experiences, I have learned that I am not only grateful for the amazing, cool, fantastic things in my life...but I am also grateful for the bad days, the hard times, the challenges and the heartbreaks. Honestly, maybe I am even a little more grateful for the latter because those experiences are the ones that have really taught me who I am, made me stronger, made me better, pushed me farther and make me love and appreciate the people in my life so much more. The bad days make me really appreciate the good ones more, and the challenges make me feel more rewarded for the successes.
I know we are all in the same boat with our lives....we have wins and losses both personally and professionally. I feel so happy that I have way more good days than bad. But, candidly, this isn't all up to chance...it's also by design. While I wouldn’t necessarily choose the hardships, I am prepared for them and know I can learn valuable lessons from them.
Of course, as they say, sh*t happens. It's unavoidable in life, that sometimes crap rains down on you and you feel like you just can't catch a break. But that's when you have to get gritty, brave and be mentally and emotionally strong. If you can't do it in that moment, allow yourelf some grace to feel bad, sulk a little, complain for a minute, shed a tear, pound a fist down in private, and then move on. From there, you need to know and believe that it's only temporary and you will come out the other side. That's when you have to find the positive using some method like humor, exercise, or something or someone in your life that lifts you up, listens, gives your perspective or can chill you the heck out. Find a way to let the bad day build a better day.
Surround yourself with good, kind, calm, smart, loving people and set yourself up to overcome the losses, the failures, the emergencies, and the heartbreaks. So many times, we plan for ways to be successful. But do we plan for our failures and our bad days? We should! Have a plan for what you'll do when that bad day comes. My pastor at my church says “the worst thing is never the last thing.” So plan for that, be mindful and prepared for that! Find gratitude in the lesson or the strength you found in your hardship.
And be THAT person for the people that you've chosen to have in your own life. Be their first emergency responder, or the person that just listens and says "you know, that really sucks, but you're handling this great and I’ve got your back.” The people we choose to invite into our lives are our most important asset so choose them wisely and take care of them back.
Remind yourself and the important people in your life that "bad days build better days” but we actually have some control by being prepared for them and responding in a way that allows us to learn and grow from those bad days.
Again, Happy New Year to all of you. I’m planning for mine. :)
Ali Jones, D.D.S. - Dentist