have let a lot of things slide lately, with the global pandemic and all. But it’s time to shape up. These are just a few things I should be doing—and you, too.

I should probably trim my beard, but nobody ever sees it. I haven’t seen a chin in two months. When I walked into the exam room the other day, a patient had pulled her mask down, and I saw her whole face. It was a beautiful sight. 

I should also start writing in my “daily” journal again. By daily I mean every other month. Regardless, all I write is stuff about sitting on my back porch, not finding sanitizing wipes at the store and whether it is legal in Texas to open a liquor store/gun range—both essential businesses here. 

I should get back to my morning yoga routine; the one where I squat down and reach as far as I can into the refrigerator for that can of soda I have for breakfast with my gluten-free cinnamon roll.  

I should quit telling patients my life story. They may not actually care about Dr. Bodie, in 1979, sternly instructing me to make certain patient charts are detailed and accurate, even though his charts barely had the patient’s name spelled right and smelled like nicotine since he smoked during the exams. 

I should accept the fact that I won’t attend a live CE meeting before the end of 2020. I have to get over it, get on Zoom and get my hours. The problem is I don’t get the satisfaction of watching my colleagues fall asleep next to me after the 40th slide of drusen. Oh, and I miss the free continental breakfast buffet and, I admit, I kind of miss that nerd up front who asks the lecturers those stupid questions. 

I should be grateful that people are showing up for their exams. In my offices, even no-shows are way down. Maybe they just want to prove they can go get their eyes checked and there’s nothing the government can do about it. Maybe they are so ready to get out of their basements and hang out with other humans that they are willing to hang out with optometrists. Whatever. Welcome you poor lost souls!

I should thank my lucky stars my family tolerated me during lockdown and not be hurt that they are thrilled I’m no longer hanging around the house looking for stuff to fix or, especially, wisdom to share. They are survivors. But some families actually did not tolerate each other during lockdown and there may be some shakeups in my records; I’ll have to be careful how I broach the subject of, “How come Bill hasn’t come in lately?”

I should be kind to my reps. I doubt their superiors truly give a big hoot that they are not hitting their planned sales goals because of the pandemic. At least say hello and thank them for the cookies they bring in… you know, the cookies you take home before the staff sees them.

I should think of the one or two things I did during shutdown that I really enjoyed. I loved playing my guitars for the first time since I moved to Texas five years ago. For you, it can be something as simple as binge watching Cheers or dusting off the ol’ hula hoop. 

I should be grateful I’m helping people see for a living. I’m not up on a roof with a nail gun when it is 107 degrees outside, shoveling French fries into cardboard cups or intubating a helpless soul in the ICU—but I am grateful someone is. I’m helping people with the gift of vision. For that, I am grateful.