…. Sgt. Pepper taught his band to play.”
And since that story has already been told (far more than twenty years ago and told so much more brilliantly than I could ever) I have another tale to tell.
It was August 1, 1995, exactly two decades ago to the day, that I embarked on a life-altering professional mid-life course correction that took me from an 11-year partnership in a dental practice in Forest Hills, Queens, to a fresh start in a new (and my current) dental home at 30 East 40th Street. It was what I would describe as a professional do-over (reminiscent of playing sports with your friends when an errant call or controversial play led to a call for a do-over and the point was replayed and the game continued with little fanfare.
Well my do-over was a bit more complicated. I couldn’t just replay the point. I was 38 years old, had two small children (one that was just diagnosed with a learning disability requiring costly private school intervention). Add that to the fact that I had a mortgage payment and it seemed to be crazy to make such a dramatic change fraught with uncertainty and financial risk. And not to mention some marital strain associated with taking a leap of faith with no safety net or guarantee of a soft landing. In truth, my wife Ann was incredibly supportive, yet, at the same time, scared.
But I was desperate to make a change (unhappiness is a heavy burden to carry around your neck day-in and day-out). I was determined to realign my personal and professional priorities for the sake of my own well being of as well as that of my family.
And I was scared.
practice I left was at one time my dental Shangri-La. I joined the group during my clinical infancy (1984, to be precise) and it was an to be mentored in state of the art techniques by some very talented dentists, who seemed the perfect fit for this highly motivated mentee (that be me!). And for a long while, all was beautiful. It was wonderful experience and many lifelong friendships were born during my time there. But alas, things changed over the years that made my remaining a partner untenable. I had to make a move in face of certain upheaval.
After months of intense introspection, deliberation and groundwork, change, I did! In retrospect, it was truly a seminal moment in my life. Clarity of purpose, persistence, perseverance, hard work and good fortune transformed my do-over into a dream come true.
So here I am on this Saturday morning, August 1, 2015 (a mere eye-blink away from the same day 20 years ago), with my laptop and a cup of Joe, on Fire Island It’s a beautiful summer day and I’ve taken a consciously cognizant moment to pause, reflect and smell the roses. How lucky am I?
Happy 20th Anniversary, Me.
Thank you all: my family, my office family, and my wonderful patients new and “old” for coming to the virtual anniversary celebration/party that I’m having in my mind. You have made the past twenty years a wonderful journey in my life.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME…
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Michael Sinkin is a dentist in New York City. He loves being a dentist and is known for taking wonderful care of his patients and for a wicked sense of humor. The practice caters to New Yorkers and visitors to the city alike. To schedule an appointment, please click here.