2020 Reflections

It’s hard to believe we’ve finally reached the end of this year. For most of us, we aren’t too sad to see this year go, and we look forward to the fresh start and new beginning another year brings. I refuse to let 2020 go without proper contemplation of all that it has provided for my business, my family, and my perspective. So without further adieu, I present to you my 2020 reflections.

January: I should have known exactly how this year would be when 2 of my children landed in the ER by mid- January. Luckily, both boys healed quickly and were back to their crazy selves in no time, but no mama likes to see her babies in pain. I thank God for His healing and protection of my children. January also brought one of the most memorable times in my profession. My own dad let me do a smile makeover on him! Though this could have been my worst decision to date, it ended up going very well, and it was fun giving back to him after all of the years he’s spent investing in me.

February: I spent a lot of time and brain power in February learning and pushing myself to grow  in the area of implants. I tackled a new software allowing in house fabrication of surgical implant guides. Interpretation- I am now able to more effectively plan and execute advanced implant surgeries. In addition, I also transitioned to a new clear aligner company that allows more complex treatment plans with phenomenal results. I’ve been so pleased with the outcomes we are seeing with Sure Smile, and my case selection is no longer limited to only minor tooth movements.

March: This is the month Covid finally “hit.” We were forced to shut down and be available for emergency dental care only. This time was fraught with so many unknowns, and no one could give any real idea of when it would end. (Still waiting for that answer, btw.) I spent a lot of time at home with the kids, and now I look back and see how good that was for all of us. There was a lot of time spent outside, playing with sidewalk chalk, cooking, and even some camping. I also revamped the virtual features on our website and was able to handle some consults from home.

April: We were out of the office the entire month of April. We waited weekly to hear if the Health Department would allow us to go back to work. We saw only a few emergency patients, and I tried to hold back the panic! At home, we started new projects- operation bunk beds- and tried to stay busy as the newness of quarantine was wearing off quickly. We held onto the hope of normalcy but had no idea when that would come.

May: Our doors finally reopened in May but with some new rules and regulations. All of our patients were very understanding, and we had a lot of making up to do for being out for 7 weeks. Treatment was still limited, PPE was not only cumbersome but also hard to come by, and we closed the waiting room, trying our best to respect social distancing guidelines. This was NOT how I liked to practice, but I was grateful to be back in the office.

June: In June, I stayed busy preparing for our newest addition. The room was painted, new furniture in place, new blankets, sound machine- everything was just right! After weeks of preparation, it was finally time to welcome Green Wellness Spa, my new baby. 🙂 With the addition of the spa and our esthetician, Jenny, I got a new spring in my step. It was a nice distraction from the general upheaval that the last few months had brought. Not to mention, who doesn’t love a spa day? I’m so proud of how our little spa continues to grow and cannot wait to see what the next year brings.

July: Of course, I can’t leave out my ACTUAL new baby- Miss Gracie Green, born July 30th. She has been, by far, the highlight of this entire year. She has swept us off our feet and continues to spoil us with her sweet smiles and precious giggle. Being our last baby, I’m soaking it up as much as I can, knowing how fast time truly flies by. The rest of 2020 can go on, but don’t take my baby!

August: This is one of those pivotal moments of my career that I will always cherish. My best friend, Dr. Emily Wilhite, joined the practice in August, and has changed it for the better. She has brought such a sense of calm professionalism and genuine care with every patient encounter she has had. I have so much to learn from Emily, and I feel so lucky to work with her daily. It’s truly a dream come true, and I have a renewed sense of excitement about the future of my career knowing that I am building it with Emily. If you haven’t met her yet, please take the time to say hello at your next visit.  She’s the best!

September: I took maternity leave knowing the practice was in good hands (see August), and this time, I eased my way back into it. What a relief to not have to jump back in full throttle 4 weeks postpartum! Our hygienist Reagan had her sweet bundle of joy in September, and there were a lot of changes taking place- babies, new doctor, hormones, etc. Not gonna lie- this month was a bit of a blur!

October: In October, a few team members and I dedicated our Saturdays to virtual training about sleep apnea. As many of you know, we introduced airway management (i.e. sleep apnea treatment) into the practice last year. We try to remain at the cusp of the latest technology and innovations in this field, and the 16 hours of dedicated training in October ensured this. I’m so proud of the lives we’ve been able to change (and hopefully prolong) through this area of the practice. Great work, ladies!

November: I was genuinely shocked in November to be nominated as one of the top 5 Best Dentists in Rankin County! I’m not one to promote myself, or to even care much about these types of contests, but it was such an honor to feel that I’ve made a difference in people’s lives. So thank you to anyone who nominated me or voted for me. I truly appreciate it!

December: As we wrapped up the year, I binged on continuing education. Now that so much is offered virtually, I spent hours making sure I’m up to speed on all the newest technology, updates to our current technology, and planning for future additions to the practice. I LOVE learning new things and this was the best way for me to end the year, with a clear plan of action for GFFD for 2021!

As I bid farewell to 2020, I cannot be mad or sad or disappointed. It had some definite low points; I think we can all agree tothat. But this year brought blessings to my life that I will forever cherish- not only my sweet Gracie girl, but also my very best friend and now business partner, Dr. Emily Wilhite. I challenge you to reflect on your year; cling to the good; dismiss the bad; and most importantly, look forward to a new beginning with purpose and positivity.