Measure Twice… Do Once
My favorite piece of advice that I received from one of my teachers was back in the days of my orthodontic residency. “Measure twice, do once.” I hear that phrase as I bend up a wire, or as I consider the placement for a bracket on a tooth in my practice every day.
Looking back, I was always the kind of person that put a great deal of thought into all of my decisions. I always “measured twice.” In the days leading up to the birth of my oldest daughter Juliette, I remember deciding that we needed our first digital camera. I weighed each option carefully, optical zoom, size, display, and how many megapixels each model offered. When Juliette came I wanted to be ready. This was important. Measure twice, do once.
When my wife and I go to a restaurant, I like to know what she will order before I make my careful decision as to what my entree will be. My wife Amy, has a knack for always identifying the best food on a menu. Her input is vital to a successful dining experience. One would think that I would just order what she gets, but I tend to “go rogue,” as we call it, and order an entrée that is destined to be inferior. I consider the ingredients, my mood, the reputation of the restaurant, and the input of the wait staff. I then quickly make my decision. I measure twice, and do once…And then share Amy’s Entrée.
I do believe that not every decision needs to be agonized over. Amy and I were engaged to be married after knowing each other only six months. I just knew. She has the most kind and caring soul of anyone that I have ever met. I just knew.
The same is true of orthodontics as a profession for me. As an orthodontist, I enjoy the challenge of solving the puzzle of how to perfect the smile of every patient. However, what I enjoy most is spending time with the families at Coolsmiles. I meet new families every day. During the course of the day I spend time with grandparents, construction workers, nurses, five year old children, bankers, and teachers; all of whom have an interesting story to tell.
One more thing that I know is that at the end of the day, I drive a little faster than I should as I make my way home on the LIE. Sometimes I imagine that a state trooper will pull me over, and I will just hand over a picture of Juliette who is 4, Naomi 2, and Summer 7 months. The police officer will smile at me and say, “go home, big guy” and before I know it I arrive home in time for my favorite part of the day. The girls yell “daddy” and I am surrounded by my family. I feel like a rock star.
The next day, I am off to work, presented with the challenge of satisfying the orthodontic needs of the patients and families of Coolsmiles Orthodontics. On any given week we have lunch meetings to determine what the next contest we will offer our patients. What prizes will we give as rewards? When will I find time for my yearly toy drive for the Make-A-Wish Foundation? Are we going to have the Family picnic again this summer? What about the NY Mets tickets giveaway? To each question I give my careful consideration. Measure twice, do once.