Glenda Owen DDS


by Glenda G. Owen, DDS

I admit it. I LOVE the holidays. Our old Victorian house in the
Heights is the perfect setting for a real tree and all the decorations that go along with it. Waking up to the smell of spruce and the sight of lights and decorations during the holidays sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. It makes me feel grateful and happy because every day feels like a celebration…of life itself.

What about you? What makes you grateful and happy? If you
are at all like me, it’s the people in our lives – our family, friends, patients and colleagues. We are lucky to be in a profession that values and depends on relationships to drive and define our success. While the technical work is wonderful, it is the people who keep us coming back to the office every day. A handpiece and an impression can help you accomplish great technical feats, but they can’t give you a hug….a patient can. A sincere “thanks, Doc” and a warm smile make everything you have done for that patient well worth it. You gave your best on behalf of another person and they appreciated it. It’s an emotional exchange, and it feeds us.

Have you ever noticed how great it feels to participate in a Texas Mission of Mercy or a Give Kids A Smile Day? Working in a big room full of other dentists, assistants and patients; working with equipment and supplies you are unfamiliar with; being assisted by people you just met. Nothing is familiar except the task you have been assigned. This is stress and organized chaos at its very best. You end the day completely exhausted and frustrated by the challenges you had and yet…you feel 10 feet tall, because you got a hug from every person who sat in your chair. You gave your best on behalf of another person and they appreciated it.

Have you ever noticed how team members respond when you take the time to look them in the eye and say thank you for their efforts for you and your patients? Or how the hygienist at your periodontist’s
office glows when you report your patient’s appreciation of her homecare coaching? We are in a caring profession. Emotions are integral to caring. Caring is reciprocal; it is what sustains us.

Think about our children and grandchildren. Nothing makes them smile more than being told “I’m so proud of you,” or “I love you,” or “You make me so happy.” And yet, do we do that often enough? Every time we think it, we should share it. That emotional connection is so important and it feeds them … and us. And what about our spouses and parents? Even if we sometimes feel entirely self-made, chances are our personal support team has contributed to our success and “had our back” when things were
challenging. Do we thank them often enough? Are we willing to tell them “I love you?”

This holiday season, think about the greatest gift you can give the people in your life – gratitude and appreciation. Take the time to express your thanks to the people you love and to be kind to the people
you encounter in our public life. Think of the number of lives that we have the power to elevate, and how many of those people might be moved to turn around and do the same for others. Think of the
exponential effect that could have, and the power that has to change our community. I encourage you to make this the best holiday season ever…perhaps the best year ever… the best life ever.

Happy Holidays!
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