I was just reading an article in a magazine about how a well known woman coped with her breast cancer diagnosis. One suggestion was to make your mess your message.
I've shared a lot with you all about my life in the dental practice I work in and my personal life, to some degree. If you've been reading for a while, you know that my 30 year marriage is ending in divorce. While I don't understand most of the reason why what I thought was a good marriage is ending; there is something that has nagged at me. I guess it's my mess, and maybe making it my message will make it stop nagging so much.
My mess is that I'm getting divorced, but the thing nagging at me is the thought that I was really very focused on my job. I had stayed home to raise children for 14 years. Going back into the dental office, and finding that I had a talent for managing a practice really made me feel good. My kids were growing up and getting busy with their interests and didn't need my constant presence. My husband traveled all week and came home on weekends so I was alone a lot. Work filled the empty places and made me feel important. I became kind of one-dimensional. I loved my job and thought it was fascinating. I thought everyone else would find it fascinating too, so I talked about it a lot. I think I became kind of self-involved and maybe a little boring. I lost my balance in life.
Now, don't get me wrong, that certainly didn't give my husband a reason to give up on our marriage, or on me. But, looking back, I can see that I should have developed other interests and talked about myself less. I still probably should do that. What's done is done with my marriage, but what about you? Do you focus on work too much? Has it become obsessive for you? Is your family sick of dentistry being the main topic in your life? Then do something about it. I can tell you, this is not fun. It's lonely and painful and so full of regret. I don't want that for you. I don't know if I would have listened if someone had told me this a few years ago. I wish someone had and I wish I would have listened. Please, if you're like that, listen. That is my message now that I have a mess. Let your message be that you listened to mine and made things right. Your work is important, but your family and personal life are most important.