Let The Adventure Begin!

Today was my last day of work. I am now officially retired!

When thinking about today, one of the things I had planned to do was to have my own playlist of songs to listen to at work. I figured that it was my last day – so, if there were complaints about my music choices, it really wouldn’t matter since I would not be returning to work at the office again. Well, unfortunately, I forgot that my new phone does not have an audio port. And, our office audio system did not have a lightning plug. So, unfortunately, I was unable to play my selected songs.

On my way home, I did start listening to the songs on my list. One of those songs was “Dear Younger Me” by Mercy Me.

When hearing this song today, it prompted me to think about what advice I wish I had been given when I were younger. These thoughts fell into several categories, one being professional advice I would have appreciated hearing when I was younger. After thinking about it a while, I decided to write my thoughts down and post them on a forum for other Pediatric Dentists. Here is what I wrote:

After five years of planning for my retirement, and then a five month delay due to Covid, my last day of work is finally over. Leaving work today, I felt the joy I would have when heading into a week of vacation. It probably won’t really sink in for another week or two that this is more than a vacation. To my long term friends and colleagues in academia and in private practice, thanks for the many good times and I hope there are many more to come. To my colleagues in the middle of their careers, don’t let crabby over demanding parents get you down. Don’t fret over treatment outcomes that are dependent upon things out of our control. Don’t let hypocritical colleagues and/or partners make you feel any less of yourself. For my colleagues who are at the start of your careers, don’t let your finances dictate your happiness. The adage “money doesn’t buy happiness” is very true. Treasure the small victories in your day and leave your frustration behind. Do yourself a favor, find a hobby or two (or more) to give yourself a mental break and creative diversion from work. To all of you, make each day great, look for the good in every experience and in everyone you meet. And, most importantly, thank God for the many blessings he has given you.

I was extremely surprised to see the response my words had. Many younger colleagues commented that they appreciated my words of encouragement and advise. I’m glad someone will benefit from my thoughts!

I now look ahead to what the future will bring. This is truly the first time in my life that I do not have things planned out. Yes, I have lots of things to keep me busy. Yes, I will still keep doing my various hobbies. But, it’s kind of strange to look at my calendar not have my career dictating my schedule. I appreciate everyone who has made an impact on my life and my career. And, I do look forward to figuring out this next phase of my life.

Pam’s Retirement Playlist
Ain’t Got Far To Go – Jordan Smith
At Last – Etta James
Dear Younger Me – MercyMe
Deep Enough To Dream – Chris Rice
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Done – The Band Perry
Even If – MercyMe
God of Wonders – Third Day
Goodbye Ordinary – MercyMe
I Dreamed A Dream – Susan Boyle
I Won’t Give Up – Trisha Yearwood
If I Knew Then – Lady A
If Tomorrow Never Comes – Kent Blazy and Garth Brooks
My Way – Frank Sinatra
Never Going Back Again – Fleetwood Mac
New Lease on Life – MercyMe
Oceans(Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United
Postcards from Far Away – Coldplay
Teach Your Children Well – Jeff Healey
The Very Next Thing – Casting Crowns
Unchained Melody – Susan Boyle
When We Were Young – Adele

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