While we cannot control every aspect of our lives, we can control our responses
You may remember that in November of 2019 I wrote that 2020 would be a “fabulous year because after all, it is the year of awesome vision.” I mentioned my learnings from Sara Blakely regarding taking risk and not being afraid to fail (see “O.D. to O.D.: The Power of Failure,” Optometric Management November 2019). I reminded you that when facing a challenge, it is important to pause, regroup and take a new direction if needed.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE
There have been many challenges thus far in 2020. I have watched you pause, regroup and move in new directions and I have to say I am so proud of my colleagues and my profession for adapting and finding ways to continue to provide essential eye care, even in what some have said is one of the most dangerous professions in this pandemic.
2020 LESSONS LEARNED
The year 2020 will always be a reminder that we cannot control every aspect of our lives, yet we can control how we respond to challenges. I have learned so much already this year. For example, I have learned:
- How important my family is. I have been so impressed with my children and their ability to adapt and move forward through the pandemic.
- How to better meet my patients’ emotional needs. This makes their lives better and results in improved outcomes.
- How to improve efficiencies and decrease wait times. For instance, we allow patients to complete as much data gathering possible prior to their appointments.
We have all learned to watch our patients’ eyes closely over their masks looking for any signs of anxiety, stress, happiness or illness. I have enjoyed being able to interact with my patients again and provide concierge service by assigning one team member to each patient. We have even found ways to be able to utilize team members remotely and have seen a boost in their efficiencies from a distance.
Having fewer patients in the day has been enjoyable. Being able to really connect with each patient, respecting their time and needs by being totally present in the moment has been rewarding financially as well. Who would have thought that we could work smarter not harder?
WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Unfortunately, this newfound “vision” has come at some cost. However, in the end, I refuse to let the circumstances we have been thrown into not result in something wonderful. The year of vision, 2020, is not over. The story we tell our children and grandchildren will be up to us. I know for me I want the story to be that in 2020 we learned to love more and that although we could not control all of life’s circumstances, we worked together to adapt and empathize with others, and we came out of it better in the end because of how we chose to respond.
I want my children and yours to know that no matter the circumstances they face, they can make their lives “fabulous” if they choose to. OM