A House Flood, Kicking Stress, Starting Over: Part One

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A photo of Dr Jill Wade and her 2 daughters making a list after their house flood

editor’s note: From something as troublesome as house flood, Dr. Jill Wade gets the chance to evaluate what really matters in life and the opportunity to start over.

I never dreamed a house flood would be exactly what I needed in life!

As a woman in dentistry entrepreneur, I of course was keeping up my appearance with my favorite aesthetician, getting a little laser treatment and skin pin action on my face when the dreaded text came through: “CALL ME! Your house has water everywhere!”

“What!? Really? I’m on my way.” As I walked up to the house and saw the river of water pouring out my front door, I thought, This is not going to be good!

As we quickly sprang into action – kicking off shoes, lifting up furniture, turning off main water supply – all I could do was LAUGH. How could there be so much water? How could there be so much damage? What am I going to do? I’m suppose to leave for Cuba in three days. And, yikes! What about black mold? (If you live in Texas you understand this last statement).

Nothing is stranger than walking through your house as your hardwood floors are rising and floating off the floor and water is squishing out in waves from each step as you assess room-by-room damage. You begin to assess all the time, effort, and money you have spent on decorating, choosing the perfect wall color, saving up for that particular piece of furniture. There are so many memories that go along with each room.

So how in the midst of such shock are there no tears, no emotion, no anger? Nothing, really. I literally was able to simply be in the moment. Nobody was hurt, nobody died, nobody just got horrible medical news that would change my entire life in an instant.

The week before my flood, one of my most favorite patients in the whole wide world, B. Battaglia, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He needed major surgery and treatment immediately! He is the most charismatic 21 year old I have ever met. With the world in front of him as new OU cheerleader, his life and his family’s life changed in an instant when he came back from a conditioning run in the heat which kicked off such excruciating pain that he was hospitalized immediately. Watching his parents and siblings and support system take this challenge on with dignity and positive spiritual hope has been exemplary. How was my tiny little flood important in the big scheme of things?

dr jill wade house flood with flooring torn out

I realized that sometimes things just happen. They are inconveniences in life, like one of the team members dropping the $6,000 nomad x-ray machine that now must be replaced. How you choose to process these inconveniences in your head and in your heart is literally going to affect you, and ultimately your health. If every time something happens that you were not expecting, you turn it into drama and trauma, then your body is constantly in a fight or flight mode. Overtime, this will wear you down, pull down your immune system, and cause adrenal fatigue. Then you actually do get sick and you do have an experience that changes your life in an instant.

I preach this, I know the science, and I am trying to walk the walk.

I never dreamed my house flooding would be exactly what I needed in my life right now! I have had the opportunity to completely re-evaluate everything! How am I living? Where am I living? Is it all bringing me joy? Is it time to make some changes?

As the woman in charge of my practice, my patients, my team, my family, my children – sometimes I forget to ask myself, “What do I want? What do I need? Am I still enjoying life?”

I have reminded myself of several things through this experience:

  1. Sometimes major change is good (even a house flood!).
  2. We don’t need as many things as we think we do.
  3. Ask yourself what is really important – and then make yourself answer it.
  4. Too much stuff clutters our mind and our world.
  5. Purging is a way to allow new things to enter into your life.

Although I don’t wish an actual house flood on you, I do wish for you some experience that makes you stop and reflect on what your needs are right now. What do you want? What would help you find more joy in life? Perhaps it is time for you to make a course correction, whatever that might be. Until then, be thankful for what you do have and change the rest.

I will keep you posted on the progress.

Flooding with gratitude!

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