Today is my 36th birthday. Happy birthday to me! I love birthdays because they give me an opportunity to take stock of the current state of affairs and reflect on the past year.

All in all, year 35 was good to me and I honestly have no complaints. Some highlights from my year:

  • The practice has grown – we’ve added three new providers!
  • My family has grown – we added a baby girl to the mix!
  • I’ve grown – both personally and professionally

Yep, I’m halfway through my 30s, looking around and thinking to myself, “This isn’t half bad!”

Sometimes when people hit this stage of life, they look around and think: “Is this it?!” Midlife crisis can set in as you realize you are who you’re going to be. People consider career changes, buy sports cars and motorcycles, or dye their hair. While it’s tempting to give into that kind of thought and wish that we had a different life than the one that we do, I try to think about how I’ve been very fortunate in my circumstances. Instead of being selfish or insecure, I want to remember that life is pretty good.

I don’t want to run from the life that I’ve built. Instead, I want to lean into it more fully. I want to spend more time outdoors in my bare feet and bike to work more often. While I’m at work, I want to talk to the staff more and get to know each of them personally.

When we took over the practice nearly three years ago, I had a vision to make the practice a fun, productive, and positive workplace. I love what I do and the people I work with, and I want that feeling to be infectious.

I want to bring the vision of positivity to the halls and operatories of the office and spread it to each and every person I interact with every day. I want to walk quickly, but slow down and make real conversation with people in the halls. I want to smile and laugh with my patients more, because that’s the reason I became a dentist. I want to be a better father, who sticks around to be a good influence to my children and family. I want to be there for my community, neighbors, and city.

This isn’t a #humblebrag post. We don’t have everything figured out just right at work (or in my personal life either). Far from it. We have plenty of stress, some of it from external pressures that just come with owning a dental practice in 21st Century America, and some of it internal because we hold ourselves to incredibly high standards. There is always more stress than I wish there was, but that’s ok. I didn’t write this to complain, and I didn’t write this to brag either. Nope. I’m writing this to tell you, my staff, patients, friends, and family, thank you for helping make my life what it is. This year, I’m going to continue to try and #dobetter.

This is my recommitment to live the good life and lean into life; to talk less and listen more; to try and make your day better than it was before we interacted, and to help you find what makes you happy.

This is my commitment to keep calm and make beautiful smiles – in my life and yours. Cheers!

childrens dentistry of Charlottesville team of dentists

All the best (and happy birthday to me!).

Keep smilin’

John Will