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"Unconventional is ok. Save Yourself!”

Patients often ask me, “Why don’t you keep conventional office hours and post them on your site?”

My unconventional office hour availability is outside-the-box thinking and I’m okay with that. This is not a new way to work, though. It is, unfortunately, a way that is frowned upon in our fast paced, “resting is for the weak or lazy folks” society. Lucky for me, I have never been a “fitting in” type of girl! Finding work/life balance is way more important to me than conforming to the status quo.

So how’d I get started?

I took a leap of faith and started my own practice in 2008. Not realizing exactly how much time and effort it would take, I jumped head first into this opportunity, determined to succeed...or at least not fail. By 2010, I was stressed and on the verge of burnout. My family was unhappy because I was working so much. At the same time, my mental and physical bodies were slowly breaking down.

So how did I get better?

Step 1: Took Inventory - figured out what was working and what was not.

Well, as the standard pre-flight announcement states, “You must put on YOUR oxygen mask FIRST before attempting to assist others.” I had gotten to a point where I was scrambling to help everyone else around me, but my mask was off. I knew I had to stop existing like this. I needed to set a goal of work/life balance. And the balance had to allow me to be 1) present when in the moments at the office and 2) present when in the moments at home. I had to increase my overall quality of life. I had to put my mask on first. I had to save myself.

Step 2: Learned about myself, my goals/desires in order to develop a better work/life balance.

Here’s what I learned about me:

1. I LOVE THE OUTDOORS! I am a sun lover. It energizes me! Clear, crisp air opens my mind to recognize all that is greater than me. While I enjoy working with my clients in the office, my heart is always tugging for time outdoors. Nature (minus the big Texas bugs) is continuously calling my name and I am always eager and ready to answer.

2. I LOVE BEING PRESENT FOR/WITH MY FAMILY. Seeing my children’s faces light up when they look in the crowd and see me cheering for them at their school musical event or at their basketball games brings me joy. The laughter around a warm, home-cooked meal, the discussions that happen during clean up, and the bedtime exchange of “what we’re thankful for” are priceless. My presence matters a lot to my family and I couldn’t chance missing anymore of those moments.

3. I WAS A HYPOCRITE. I spend most days helping my clients re-learn how to live their best lives now. We talk about using food as medicine, the necessity of quality sleep, maintaining low stress levels to prevent future illness, and finding a way to do more things that make you light up with excitement. However, I was not following any of my own advice! I was pointing the finger of correction at the wrong in my clients’ lives - not realizing another person needed the finger of correction pointed at!

Step 3: I had to do what worked for me!

My colleagues ask, “How will you keep your patients?” and “What about all the business costs?” Well, in 2019, I was able to create an environment that allows me to continue providing compassionate care to my clients (happy clients = returning clients and referrals; business expenses are paid), while still giving me the freedom and time to be present with my family and enjoy the outdoors (happy family paired with occasional outdoor adventures = happy Acupuncturist).

So you see, being unconventional is ok! I saved myself! And now I can be a better Acupuncturist, wife, mother, daughter, and friend.

Check out my office sign, with my unconventional hours, below!

So you see, being unconventional is ok! I saved myself! And now I can be a better Acupuncturist, wife, mother, daughter, and friend.

Check out my office sign, with my unconventional hours, below [wink]!

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