Kissing at the Stoplight
By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), PublisherWhen my wife and I were dating, we found a way to make stopping at red lights more enjoyable. Instead of spending the time just waiting, we spent the time kissing. As you might imagine, this caused me to modify my driving in order to put more enjoyment into each intersection.
Last night it occurred to me that it has been a long time since I stole a kiss from my wife at a traffic light. In fact, with the current pace of our lives we don't even ride in the same automobile much anymore. This seems to be a mistake.
In the past few years, in many ways, we have been told to look at the quality of our lives, not just our accomplishments. In recent times, "Captain" John Keating (echoing the words of Horace in 35 B.C.) encouraged his students in the movie "Dead Poet's Society" to "Seize the day!" (Carpe Dium!) His words to his students apply to chiropractors as well.
Several years ago, Ferris Bueller admonished us: "Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it." Mr. Bueller's "day off" was not unlike the lesson taught by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby as they travelled "On the Road to ." (Fill in the blank with the name of your favorite "road picture.")
Even our music reflects the same warnings. Several years ago, pop-rock performer Huey Lewis was complaining about "Working for a Living." Today all he wants is "A Couple Days Off."
I am reminded of the statement made to my father's generation by Rosalind Russell: "Life is a banquet, but most poor bastards are starving to death." Sometimes this speaks to me in a very meaningful way, how about you?
When my father was the editor of Dynamic Chiropractic, and something or other would go wrong, I would ask him why he wasn't upset about it. He had a saying, which for him became prophetic: "Life is too short."
Life is too short: too short for regrets; too short for revenge; too short to take what we have and those we love for granted; too short to put our noses to the grindstone without ever enjoying the incredible gift of life we have been given. Just as cobbler's children can go barefoot, chiropractors (who give life and health to others) can forget to put quality into their lives (as can editors).
It is easy to get into a rut. As one commercial put it, most of us seem to be content with the "same place, same thing." There is security and familiarity in our rut.
When was the last time you took a new route to work?
When did you last take a day off just for you, to do what you wanted to do?
When was the last time you did something because you wanted to, not because you had to?
What are the unaddressed areas of your life?
What are your dreams and what are you doing to make them come true?
Many people begin working because they have to: student loans, a family, a house, and all the other needs we have that force us to work very hard. But is that all we are? Is that all there is to our lives?
Someone once told me something I refused to believe. It couldn't possibly be true. At first it sounded like blasphemy. But in time, even though I didn't want to admit it, I had to. I would like to share it with you, if you don't already know it: There is more to life than chiropractic.
The amazing part about putting quality into your life is that as soon as you do, you will increase the quality of other people's lives. Think about it.
How you feel about yourself, your day and the richness of your life will spill over into the lives of your family, friends, and those you work with. As you enjoy more of the banquet of life, you want to share what you discover with others.
When was the last time you told your spouse, "I love you and appreciate you."?
When did your children last get the pleasure of being with you just because?
Do the CAs and associates in your office know how much you appreciate their hard work?
A few words, a day at a baseball game, and a few flowers could do wonders for the quality of the lives of those around you. But only if you seize the initiative.
The quality of your life depends on what you decide to put into it. Make it the best it can be, life IS too short.
DMP, Jr., BS, HCD(hc)
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