winds of change…
My mom used to carry a wooden cooking spoon in her purse, which she affectionately named “Jimmy” after Jimmy Hoffa. Later in life, I’ve learned the idea of the spoon was never to become physical; rather, just to maintain the illusion over our young adolescent minds that Jimmy would and could enforce her parenting wishes at any moment. My siblings and I feared Jimmy, our neighbors laughed about it, and most of my childhood friends were afraid to visit my house. The closest I ever came to Jimmy’s wrath was in the grocery store when I was about 12 years old. My younger brother and I failed to heed the numerous warnings about our raucous behavior and sarcastic mouths, only to turn around and realize we were nose-to-nose with her little splintering friend. Although no contact was made, I remember thinking “point taken.” My mom, who will turn 70 years old later this year, still threatens me with Jimmy, although these days its more of a standing family joke than anything else. As an adult, the “threat of Jimmy” has stayed with me. Knowing my boundaries (although most times I ignore them), maintaining my own dignity, and understanding the importance of self-respect are all areas I attribute back to those formative years. Nowadays the only wooden cooking spoons in my life hide in a kitchen drawer.
The other aspect gleaned from those days is this notion of always looking to better oneself; or to find ways to self improve without having to be pushed. From my days as a paramedic right on up to this past week, that fire and desire to get better at Vision Therapy burns, warding off complacency, and seeking to crash through the next glass ceiling. It’s how this blog was born, it’s how I decided to start writing a book about my experiences in the therapy room, and it’s why I get invited to visit VT rooms and developmental optometry offices around the country to teach other therapists about my ideas and experiences. My nature is to always push forward, to find a way to do it better and to make myself better. It is in this light that the winds of change are upon us.
After working for close to 6 years with Dr. Mary Beck in Austin, I’ve decided to move on. My reasons are both personal and professional, but the parting was friendly and amicable, and Dr. Beck was very supportive of the decision. My time in her office was great. I made a lot of friends, met a lot of amazing patients, and the memories I’ll be taking with me are truly amazing.
Moving forward, and with the full support of my children, I will be joining Dr. Heather McBryar’s office in Chattanooga, TN beginning next week. I’m excited to be heading towards a practice with lots of good people and lots of wonderful growth potential – a practice to call home! Since my kids will be remaining in Austin during the school year, I’ll be commuting back and forth a few times per month to be a dad. The move is a HUGE step forward, and Dr. McBryar has welcomed me with open arms.
Although my days of fearing the wooden cooking spoon are nothing more than a family punchline, the lessons of that period of life are strong…
Always do your best. Lift up the less fortunate. Respect everyone. Be your own person. Avoid complacency. Keep pushing forward.
I’m looking forward to rolling into Chattanooga later this week ready to make a difference!