Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The 15 Year Itch

My apologies regarding my most recent and largely confusing post, what I was trying to say was this: everyone who has "good advice" for me highly recommends the institution of couple-hood and marriage, asserting that it would resolve all my stress in life.  I then tried to use one of my colleagues as an illustration of the astounding lack of quality single men in my age group, and having encountered this particular man today at our semi-annual Israel Chiropractic conference, I feel quite certain in my assessment of his absolute lack of manners, ethics and self-confidence, and his fragile ego.

One of my teachers in Chiropractic school told us that this profession has a 15-year life span before some version of burn out; not necessarily indicating the need to switch jobs, but rather the importance of the concept of change, of shaking things up so that the job does not become boring, or an emotional burden.  I have realized this in both my personal life and in my Chiropractic career, having made aliyah and opened my Israeli clinic 15 years ago this month.

The speaker at today's meeting was a woman named Dr. Sharon Gorman, founder of the international League of Chiropractic Women and a highly successful Chiropractor and business coach.  She rallied the Israeli Chiropractic community to unite and motivate each other, but more importantly, she raised certain questions in my head which will help me regain my enthusiasm for the work and implement a new program of priorities.

Her zeal - "I am happier now as a Chiropractor than the day I graduated...I would go back to school again in my 50's if it meant that I could continue to serve." - made me realize that I have indeed lost that part of me that wants to give unconditionally to my patients, because most of my energy in the past four years has been redirected into fertility treatments, pregnancy and raising my child.  I am Raphaela's mother first and foremost, then a Chiropractor and then, who am I?  I don't know that I could answer that question independent of my relationships and obligations to others.

Sharon Gorman talked about the joy of serving others without expecting anything in return, an admirable goal and one that demands work on my part.  And while I have not devised a point-by-point specific plan for revitalizing my practice and my personal life, I now feel more motivated than ever to do so.

The meeting peaked with the surprising announcement that a Chiropractic college will open here in Israel (in the godforsaken city of Naharia) this coming October.  Maybe I could teach there, or mentor some students in a small group setting, as part of my new career path.

Oddly enough, surrounded by my friends and colleagues, the moments today at which I felt most at peace and most happy were spent playing with the young smiley baby of the recording secretary. I had forgotten how small babies are, and how curious they are, how open and loving.


Amy Charles said...

Patience, patience. Doc, you're in the hardest part, and the only way you could make things harder on yourself would be to have a destructive man in your & RR lives. You're maintaining your practice now. Do that, care for yourself in small ways that don't require serious commitment, don't overextend in search of rejuvenation.

In three, four years, the scene will all be different. In eight, you won't recognize it. For now, maintain. The time will pass on its own.

Doc said...

@Amy, that unfortunately is the problem, I am coasting rather than moving forward. And as far as the law of physics and momementum, if I coast for too long I will come to a full stop, and I don't want that at all.

Amy Charles said...

Doc, you're worrying too much. You won't keep coasting. You're maxed right now. As RR gets older and stops needing you all the time, you'll find more energy and strength to do things that are about you and your non-RR work. For now, to expect this of yourself -- everyone goes through it, but that doesn't make it reasonable.

tesyaa said...

Single or married, a mother with a young child or children can't get a whole lot accomplished, especially if she's working. I'm with Amy.

Commenter Abbi said...

Agree with Amy and Tesyaa. Young children really means holding pattern for career. Unless you want to get a full time nanny and throw yourself in full time into your career.