It has been nine months since I sold my dental practice. I have done fill in work at offices here and there, but mostly I have just rested, enjoyed time with my family, and gone outside. Not a very thrilling report, but it has been terrific!
Rest is underrated. I believe that if I could package rest and sell it in a bottle it would fly off of the shelves. Consider for a moment the many benefits of rest – stress reduction, opportunity for our physical bodies to heal and repair, time to appreciate the details around us, mental decompression and rejuvenation, more physical energy and greater mental acuity, and the list goes on. Each of knows that these benefits are real. It would not require much effort to look into the scientific literature and find ample documentation. And yet, we generally disregard rest as something other people need. I know that I am notorious for not resting, especially when I really need to.
In addition to a very appreciated rest, not having full time employment has given me time to be with my family more than I ever have been (they’re probably all tired of me, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it). Our oldest left for university studies at the end of last summer, so it was very nice to spend time with her at the close of the school year and over the summer months. A highlight together was traveling to Houston where her robotics team, C4, competed in a world robotics championship! She also graduated high school, which made us all very happy :^)
Because I wasn’t working full time, I was able to stay in Utah during our annual summer family trip there for the full two weeks that my family typically stays there. This gave us some extra time to pull away from all of our family and do a small side trip as a core family group. We went to Bryce Canyon and it was amazing! Our first night there was the night of a full moon and we hiked out onto a promontory to watch the moon rise over the canyon, illuminating all of the spires – truly beautiful. The next morning I woke early and went for a long run around the entire canyon. Then we spent the day hiking, relaxing, and eating pizza in the nearby metropolis of Tropic.
August was full of pear picking and then a trip to the East Coast to visit historical sites. The pear harvest was great because I was able to work more and longer days as I did not have career responsibilities splitting my time. In total, around 2.2 million pounds of pears were harvested this year with tens of thousands of pounds of pears being donated locally to food banks and other charitable organizations.
Our family snuck off in the middle of the harvest for one last family outing before our oldest left for school. Gettysburg, Arlington Cemetery, and Washington D.C. are some of the better known sites we visited. In addition, we made stops in Kirtland, OH and Palmyra, NY to visit sites significant in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a wonderful experience to visit each of these places as a family and talk about the important events that took place at each one and how those events have shaped our country and our faith.
Since last May my wife, Joanna, has been very patient as I have reveled in being outside. Mount Shasta, Mount McLoughlin, numerous peaks in Utah, Mount Whitney, a double crossing of the Grand Canyon, and local ski touring in recent weeks. Movement in the mountains is something I have missed over the last two decades and it has been a blessing to reconnect with my love of mountains.
Throughout all of this I have wondered what my next steps would be. It wasn’t my idea to sell my office in the first place, so I was really waiting and depending on receiving some sort of additional inspiration. Late in December, that sought for direction came in a very strong feeling to pursue a Masters in Business Administration. To that end, my current efforts are directed towards taking the GMAT and applying to the Executive MBA program at Brigham Young University.
As going back to school does not necessarily answer the question of what I will do for gainful employment, I was thrilled when Dr. Burneson approached me (also in December) and asked what I thought about coming back to Today’s Dentistry. I am really looking forward to being back in the office with people (patients and co-workers) that I love!
For those who ask me, I still do not have an answer regarding why I felt prompted to sell my dental practice. Perhaps I simply needed to rest, be with my family, and get outside ;^)