I made a joke recently that I will have to stop talking about my boyfriend at work because when I move home my patients may actually know him. I am not an over-sharer by any stretch. I actually consider myself to be somewhat of a private person; but I like to share some things about myself with patients and make a connection. I like to tell them about good restaurants in the area, share about killer sales at the mall and discuss family holiday traditions. They like to know that I have a nice boyfriend at home waiting for me to graduate. I think it is easier to trust someone you know. It is also easier to treat someone you know...most of the time.
Today a patient shared some things about her life with me that I know are difficult for her. It really made me feel privileged for the job I have. Not only can I fix smiles, but sometimes I can also be somewhat of a therapist. I certainly don't claim to know how to fix problems as well as I can prep crowns, but I have learned to listen. And sometimes that is just what people need. The moral of this long-winded story is that my patient today made me reflect on how precious life is and how we need to be grateful and make the most of every moment.
I was a little depressed over the weekend because I felt like I wasn't making the most of my time here. Tomorrow marks exactly 4 months until graduation and I spent a weekend doing almost nothing. The exception was a Girl Scout Cookie event which I helped to run at school on Saturday morning, but I don't really consider that a "California thing". I could have been anywhere. I feel very motivated to get out and explore and really experience this West Coast life I have just a short time more to live. I feel this way not only because dental school is coming to end, but because life is short too. Sometimes it feels really long, like when everything is going wrong. But let's face it, the good stuff always kind of flies by. I am making a pact to myself to get out there and explore. To see things I haven't seen. To revisit the old things that I love. To get in the car and just drive. Even if I have to go it alone. Roll the windows down and blast music and open the sunroof because next year in January it's going to be snowing and I will be shoveling and taking call at 2 pm on a Saturday because some kid fell off his sled and banged his face up. That will be a good life too, but it certainly will be different than this one.
What's the big picture?
Live it up. Life IS a party and we should act, and dress, like it. Try something new. As often as you can. A new workout, a new dish, a new lipstick shade. I drink OJ out of wine glasses with brunch, even when it's not a mimosa. I like leopard as a neutral and I don't feel bad about it. I have truffle ice cream pops (Skinny Cow!) in the fridge for dessert tonight. I hate the saying "Live life with no regrets." We all have regrets. That is life. But if we live and have fun and do things that make us happy and nervous and uncomfortable and that make us smile, every day is going to be a little better. Order the glass of wine with dinner. Ask that guy out. Get the grande instead of the tall. Kate Spade says it really well. What's wrong with having champagne with pizza? And why do we save the good china for special occasions? Every day can be a special occasion if we want it to be.