I might be a little late to the game with my New Year’s resolutions, but that’s not unusual for me. Happens all the time actually. The last entry in my “daily” personal journal is dated September 12. At least it was from 2020. I’m pretty sure it was, anyway.

But not a whole lot has happened since then, so I don’t feel too bad about it. I wake up, put on my scrubs, pull on my mask, solve the world’s eye problems and start all over again the next day. No biggie.

It’s a new year, though. We have a new government. We have new vaccines. I recently had my first dose of what I hope was the COVID-19 vaccine. I haven’t experienced any side effects, other than the fact that I am now a foot taller and have been signed by the Dallas Mavs. Don’t worry; I’ll still be practicing optometry on the side. In fact, it’s time for my optometric New Year’s resolutions. So, in no particular order, this year I pledge to:

  1. Quit griping about the state board of optometry. These people work tirelessly to keep you and me gainfully employed. It’s not easy. They have to deal with politicians and, even worse, silly optometrists who think the board should solve all the problems in the universe of eye care and spend all year emailing board members dumb questions. Maybe that’s just me. But, barring another pandemic, I trust the board will take good care of us. If there’s another pandemic, however, all bets are off.
  2. Focus all my energy on what’s really important to optometry in the year 2021, i.e., taking more time off to not do optometry. I advise you to do the same.
  3. Figure out all the words that rhyme with optometry. Aberrometry? Deuteronomy? Never mind, that’s hard. I’ll just stick with haikus, where making no sense makes sense and rhymes are nonexistent.
  4. Take a moment each day to individually thank each of my wonderful staff members who works tirelessly around the clock. After I’m done with that, I’ll fire the rest of them and sleep like a baby.
  5. Listen, with pure intent, to the ideas presented by all of our many, many wise colleagues who stand to educate me on optometry’s potential. I’ll consider what they have to say and, as always, decide to ignore their advice.
  6. Take my wife on the trips of a lifetime: Paris (in Texas), Dublin (in Texas), Stockholm (in Texas), Italy (in Texas) and anywhere that sounds like Europe but is in Texas. She’s already been to London (in West Virginia).
  7. Try to understand why a young, highly educated doctor of optometry would want to work until nine o’clock every night and every Saturday instead of having the unfettered joys and miserable sleepless nights that come with owning a practice.
  8. Make sure all the patients who never, ever support my practice receive only the finest in eye care by referring them to ophthalmologists who tell state legislators that optometrists are horrible but send Christmas boxes of chocolates anyway to show appreciation for the referrals we mindlessly continue to send along.
  9. Work day and night for peace. Sorry, I mean pizza.
  10. Spread the word that all people need a yearly eye examination, excluding those who just waste my time, aka my kids.
  11. Spend my time passing my 41 years of accumulated optometric wisdom on to the next generation of fine young doctors. I know they are really busy, but this should only take one 10-minute Zoom meeting.
  12. Give up trying to solve the no-show problem. I’ve been obsessing about no-shows my whole career. All I have been able to deduce is that no-shows are people who don’t show up for appointments. Please refer to #8 again for further guidance.
  13. Continue to vote in every election. Turns out I can even do that in other states and when I’m dead, so why not?
  14. Face each and every day with Joy. You know, Joy. The lady who does our insurance billing.
  15. Assume everyone I meet is worthy of love and respect. I take that back, most of them are. Actually, only a few. On second thought, maybe I should stick with “everyone.”

It’s 2021. Time to adjust the Snellen chart to give patients a lift. At last, 2020 is finally over.

Dr. Vickers received his optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1979 and was clinical director at Vision Associates in St. Albans, WV, for 36 years. He is now in private practice in Dallas, where he continues to practice full-scope optometry. He has no financial interests to disclose.