Why are you so joyful?

I keep getting asked that question these days! I am pretty hopeful and joyful in spite of the fact that my fellow Americans elected a bigoted idiot as President of the United States. While that fact is distressing, it does not affect my day-to-day work. I am a surgeon who is passionate about connecting and giving my patients the best care possible; no change there.

I am in the middle of my second year of theological studies. I connect and give those I serve the best possible; no change there! I am a professor of surgery and emergency medicine who strives to share the best knowledge that I can with my students and trainees; no change there. In short, the things that bring me joy have not changed.

I can run! I can run long distances and I can push my limits at will. This is my greatest blessing at my age. I am strong, healthy and awake. This will not change and is the best gift that I have received. I work hard to stay in good physical condition and I will continue to challenge my physical limits. Since winter has set in with snow and cold, the cold will become my friend for the time being. This is my wish and my prayer on this day.

What has changed is that I have lost friends who were of value to me. People come and go in my life rapidly now. I am mutable and I adjust. My life is solitary, full of adventure and quite interesting. If my former friends do not share these qualities, then I have to wish them well and let them go. I have life on my terms without apology.

I don’t seek understanding or acceptance. I strive to respect all and respect their wishes. Yes, I am pretty joyful these days and grateful for all that I am given. If others have difficulty accepting the pure joy of the things that I celebrate in my life, then I respect their wishes. To the one person that I hope will overcome his fear of connection with me, I wish that he would reach out but I won’t and can’t reach out anymore.

I have a cardiologist friend in Washington, DC who says that he gives his patients what they need in terms of time with the understanding that they might have a bit of a wait for his attention. This is a great practice and one that I strive to emulate in practice and in life. I simply give my friends and patients what they need. I don’t see this practice changing and I am joyful, thankful but accept people as I find them, without agenda.

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