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Taking Risks: Getting Comfortable in an Uncomfortable Spot

It’s hard to believe it has been one year since I retired from medicine.

It was a big leap to make that decision and a scary one at that. However, if I have learned nothing else over this past year, the one thing that has proven itself over and over is the value in pushing myself into uncomfortable and unknown scenarios.

Fear of failure has held me back from opportunities in the past. I think most people can agree with this statement. We may make excuses for why we didn’t apply for a certain job, try a new fitness class, or learn how to invest. In addition, it’s easier to stay where we are in the comforting cocoon of understanding the “rules”. We know what to expect and what is expected of us. It makes us anxious to go into an unfamiliar setting.

My goals for 2018 will include pushing into more unknown but exciting endeavors. I may certainly fail, but I’ve learned to be ok with that.

Some positives from the past year:

1.  Writing

It was terrifying to put my first article on a public forum, but I attended a writing conference that pushed me to try it. Since I wrote that first piece, I have since started a blog (accumulated over 260 Regular Followers- thank you readers!), accepted a position as a Doximity Fellow (I am a contributor for this “Linked In” for physicians website), wrote a couple of guest posts for other websites, was interviewed for 2 different podcasts,


(Link up today for “Doctor Money Matters” Podcast! This physician led podcast is more finance related, so if interested- please check it out- and follow his podcast!)   This is something new for me- pushing into an unknown again, hoping I don’t sound too foolish…

…. Lastly, I had had several interviews with reporters leading to quotes in articles published on Yahoo News, SELF, and STAT regarding topics important to me in health care. It still seems crazy to think that one year ago I had never written anything! Apparently “good things happen to people who write” as a wise person once told me.  If you ever thought about writing or have something to say, Go for it.

2.   Coaching a youth sports team.

Sure it may just be 4 year old girls soccer, but its harder than it looks to keep 4-year-olds entertained for an hour! Plus, I haven’t played soccer in over 20 years. This was a fun endeavor that both my daughter and I enjoyed immensely.

3.   Investing.

I jumped in head first, all while soaking up as much information as I could. It proved to be a lucky year to get involved. I would encourage other readers to learn about the stock market and get the courage to learn about something new, like personal finance. It can be quite empowering and beneficial to your ability to retire early if you so choose.

Some failures:

You may remember from my post back in May, soon after retiring You Retired From Medicine- Now What? ,where I where I discussed wanting to learn how to cook. I really did try but haven’t quite figured this one out. Perhaps its just a lack of passion but when it comes down to it, I really don’t like cooking. I have been unable to manage to make more than 1-2 homemade meals a week. We still tend to eat out way more often than we should, or my husband will sometimes cook. Until I can get 5 people on the same page about whether to eat steak/salmon and broccoli, as opposed to dinosaur chicken nuggets, I just don’t think it will happen.  So, macaroni and cheese/pizza/nuggets it is for now!

Plans for the future:  hold me accountable!

1. Continue my quest/love for travel. Scheduled for 2018 so far:
I’m a big believer in the value of experiences instead of things…

Orlando, FL (Disney World with the kids)
New York, NY (“Frozen” on Broadway with my oldest),
San Francisco (conference)
New Orleans (celebrating a friend’s 40th)
Boston (conference),
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Kiawah, SC
Outer banks, NC

2. Continue learning more about finances/investing.
On my book shelf:

3. Grow the blog
I will have a regular posting schedule in the future- expect more content!

4. Continue to speak my mind regarding Health Care in our country and topics of importance to both physicians and patients.

I’ve learned that the more risks you take, the easier it becomes. So, this year I will be pushing the limits even more. I am not sure what my life will look like 1 year from now, but if the dramatic change from last year is any indication of the unpredictable twits and turns life can take, I know one thing for sure- I have no idea where I will be.

I would love to hear what risks you are thinking of taking in 2018.  Any ideas?

2 thoughts on “Taking Risks: Getting Comfortable in an Uncomfortable Spot”

  1. You got to retirement thirty years ahead of me in age but it’s on the horizon in a few months and good to know it works out well. It’s a little different as a 60-something, with a retired scientist wife and friends of comparable age, many involuntarily retired on relatively short notice, though with full pensions as the area’s megacompany decided to get out of the research business. What to do? One of the advantages of hanging around longer is less of a need to make money. My own blog has been dormant for a while but could be renewed or even transformed. Creativity in my newly upgraded Kosher kitchen inspires me and keeps me reasonably experienced at first aid. Comments and insights about medicine remain welcome. Electronic conversations among doctors seem to have gotten a little more difficult despite some social media options dedicated to it. Clinical discussions go well. Like much of cyberspace, the non-clinical postings have had thoughtful analysis fall prey to much sloganeering and pitching the political hardball. Still have a month to announce the retirement date, then some time thereafter to allocate the time.

    1. Furrydoc, somehow I missed your comment earlier but thank you for posting. By now I imagine you have announced your retirement date, so early congrats! I hope you have found some meaningful things to fill your time and let us know if you rekindled your blog…

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