I got a letter in the mail the other day from my GP informing all her patients that she will be closing her practice at the end of November. My first reaction was a gasp due to shock, followed by sadness then frustration. I LOVE my doctor. She takes extremely good care of me. Getting re-acquainted with another physician and spoon feeding them my complete and somewhat complex medical history AGAIN is not at the top of my list of things I dearly enjoy or have time to do. Hmmph. But then it hit me.
This doctor is a mom to three children. Two are twins. Last year she lost her dad. She is married. And she ROCKS as an M.D. One thing that's NOT on her resume is Superwoman. Pardon me for not cutting her a little more slack. In her letter she states that she has chosen to spend more time with her family and I say good for her! As modern women, we are taught that we can have it all. I'm inclined to believe that is a bald-faced lie. I jokingly refer to myself as "every woman" and belt out Chaka Khan's iconic chorus with the rest of my Generation X sistas, but deep down inside, I don't believe wearing a plethora of hats is something we can do for an extended period of time without someONE or someTHING getting the short end of the stick.
I'm NOT saying all women should stay home and not work. I'm NOT saying you can't balance children and a career. What I AM saying is that it is my opinion that smart people know their limitations and realize that you can't be everything for everybody. How many men do we see driving their kids to school, putting in their eight hours at the office, taking the kids to Scouts, throwing in a load of laundry when they walk in the door, fixing some grub for the family, checking in on their aging parents, helping the kids with homework, overseeing bath time, balancing the checkbook, paying all the bills, keeping up with their personal grooming head to toe, and still finding time to connect with their spouse before collapsing from exhaustion just to get up and do it all over again the next day? Exactly. You're picking up what I'm putting down. Women are extraordinary, no doubt.
But we shouldn't feel like we have to adhere to that pace to be successful. What if we all just pulled back and focused our efforts on the things in life that mattered most to us? And that list is different for all of us, friends. Where am I spreading myself too thin? What or who can use a little more of me? Interesting questions. I'll be pondering these while finding another physician. See, she never stops helping me be the best possible me. Thanks, Dr. Clifton. You will be missed...