The Mighty Reinvention – Part One

There comes a time in everyone’s life when the bells of reinvention tend to ring. Call it midlife crisis, call it boredom, call it burn out; however you describe it, my thought is we all experience it at some point. Lately, this moment has been knocking on my door, and suddenly almost without warning, it kicked the door in. Where once stood a vibrant young man full of energy and excitement, now stands an irritable old bore with one too many cats and a healthy disdain for anyone 10 years or more my junior.

“Turn your music down!”

Ok, it’s not really that bad, but I have my moments.

After mentoring several people several years in a row, teaching a class in April which we spent 16 months writing, and all the while maintaining a full patient load, it donned on me that maybe, just maybe, there was a reason for my constant fatigue. Maybe I’m not really as spry as I used to be. Many people know I’ve temporarily removed myself from the mentoring scene, I’ve also withdrawn from other extra-curriculars outside of VT, because it was time to give myself a breather and focus on only two things rather than two hundred.

One area of focus, or perhaps I should say refocus, has been my output in the VT room.  After several years of going 100 mph and conducting VT sessions with 98 other things on my mind, I wanted to get back to quality therapy in my quiet little space. I’m an introvert by nature, and for me, silence is golden. Way back when, I started in a very small VT room which was barely two shoe closets glued together and sometimes when I need a recharge, I find solace in such an environment. Big offices with big VT rooms filled with lots of patients are always welcome, but there are periods where it’s nice to just be able to sit down with someone to ask how life has been treating them, and really listen to their answer. I consider it a real triumph for the “people first” movement.


Part of my reboot process has been an evaluation of myself, my output as a therapist both in quality and quantity, and my effectiveness in assisting patients reach their goals. I’ve found it becomes very easy to slip into a “business as usual” routine while just going through the motions here and there, especially when we’re busy.  Activities become repetitive and mundane, questions become redundant and automatic, and effectiveness takes a jarring and painful hit.  I don’t ever want to be that kind of therapist, so I do anything I can to keep things fresh.

I know…maybe I should just take up fishing, right?

You’re probably wondering why would I mess with a good thing? Why fix something which seemingly is not broken? The office is running smoothly, our VT output is quality, things are going well, so why rock the boat? Why do that to myself?

My answer is simple. I want to be better.

Besides, it’s my boat to rock.

If there’s one thing age and experience have given me, it’s a clearer understanding of the importance of facing challenges rather than backing down. So, I’ve challenged myself to get better, a lot better. This means setting aside the same old line of questioning and same old thought processes and finding new angles, new perspectives, and new platforms to work from and build upon. That’s the goal of this exercise.

What’s the worst that can happen?


Posted on August 2, 2016, in From My Perspective.... Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. WilliamsandMintOD

    Robert, I see that Dr. Press and Dr. Torgerson have already responded positively to what you have to say. We usually are only motivated to work to make things better when things are not going well. Dr. Press has said in the past, that being constantly challenged about what we do has some advantages. Yours, as usual, is a good perspective to share. Gary J. Williams, OD


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