Well this is a doozy.

In the middle of my day yesterday, another tenant in my building popped his head in and told me that our building was about to be turned into condos!

I tend not to panic before it’s time to panic so it had only barely registered when the building went up for sale. This guy did a little snooping though and that’s what he came up with. In about a year, we are going to have to find another place to do our thing.

I had a really packed afternoon with several high intensity encounters. Lots of emotion and angst. So it didn’t really hit me until I got back home.

I looked at office spaces for rent and my heart sank. Hideous and expensive is how I would describe them. My office is special for many reasons. It has windows that look out to a grove of redwood trees. I’d paid a fortune for bamboo floors when I cobbled together the build-out and remodel – just barely – several years ago. There is an open play area in the middle, the exam rooms and layout function well. The dogs have room to run around. And everyone says it feels like home. Lots of light, pretty colors. I absolutely love it.

I have a long lease, and presumably they are going to have to do something about that. But with my kids all in college, I’m already spread thin to the limit.

So, I started to think about just taking a job. Part of that sounds really good for a change. A paycheck! Then I remembered the joy of caring for all my families and second generation families. Nope. I don’t ever want to leave this practice.

I looked at concierge models. I already practice that way anyway.

I am going to have to get real with my patients and charge them a yearly fee if I’m going to be able to afford another move and survive this. I have an “ask” every year of 50-100 dollars per family, but many forget to pay it or just don’t.

It’s weird to be in a business of caring, and believe me, I care deeply. But there has to be a price tag attached, because I also must make ends meet financially. Already, there is a lot I can not do because of my practice. I rarely get a proper vacation because it’s just too expensive.

I have had to take great care not to burnout – to be able to keep going without a break.

In the summer I hear about my patients’ vacations and antics. I don’t feel sorry for myself because I have a great life! But the Maldeeves do sound awesome. And I really want to see the Northern Lights someday.

It’s harder when I need to visit one of my kids or when I truly fall ill. Last year when I got vertigo and missed a week of work – well there went any hope of a vacation. The best I can do is squeeze in four days away built around a long weekend.

But again, I love my practice. No one has a better job than me.

Why life has decided to blast me with all this change….kids leaving….ex-husband now on Maui….being firmly single and living that way with purpose – these are big enough adjustments and now I have to move my practice?

I want to take some time and explore my options. Like if I could find a live-work little farm?? Can someone please find one of those for me and hold my hand while I sell my house and make it happen? Years ago I wanted to buy Sienna Ranch in Lafayette and do just that, but I couldn’t afford it. Maybe there’s another option like that somewhere close by.

Years ago I was actually fired from my job. I was young and lippy and wanted to do things my own way. It was a catastrophe. I was newly divorced without any tangible resources besides my own bad self. But boy did I sure land on my feet!

I wrote a small business plan, found a friend to built my office and all my patients followed me over. Too bad, so sad,  that my previous employers wouldn’t let me buy the practice. Too bad for them because my peeps all showed up in a mass exodus, and the other practicefolded within two months.

I know that I have to look at this as an opportunity, and for it to be an opportunity it must be a vehicle for change. Maybe I can find a partner so that finally I can take a little time off. Maybe I can get my patients to invest in a meaningful yearly fee so I won’t have to scramble quite so much. Maybe there really IS a live-work solution. I dunno.

But I’m going to have to find it because holding on to the past never works.

So, this great thing happened to me yesterday! I was given an opportunity to grow and change and make something new.

Now, where’s my damn lemonade?

Dr. Maria

P.S. Tomorrow will be one week on The South Beach Diet Meal Delivery…..Weigh-In!! So don’t miss the reveal!fish