Webster defines the word surprise as:
[From Surprise, n.: cf. F. surprendre, p. p. surpris.]
1. To come or fall suddenly and unexpectedly; to take unawares; to seize or capture by unexpected attack.
2. To strike with wonder, astonishment, or confusion, by something sudden, unexpected, or remarkable; to confound; as, his conduct surprised me.
3. To lead (one) to do suddenly and without forethought; to bring (one) into some unexpected state; — with into; as, to be surprised into an indiscretion; to be surprised into generosity.
- 4.To hold possession of; to hold. [Obs.]
- 5.Syn: See Astonish.
In the past, I did not believe that I liked surprises. I like knowing, preparing, expecting, anticipating. More recently I realized that surprises are not always dreadful. In fact, they can be delightful and, like a puzzle, challenging. I like a good challenge. My idea of not liking surprises changed recently, with recently being within this decade. Isn’t it funny how our perspective changes with age??? A few years ago I thought that I was having a lovely lunch at Hoku’s with a dear friend. I arrived and stated that I was meeting my friend, but that she always arrives just in time. I was told that she was waiting for me. Huh?!!! I am nearsighted and without my prescription sunglasses see nothing at distance. The person that coined the phrase ‘tunnel vision’ definitely had me in mind. I was speechless and dumbfounded! Sitting with my friend were a half dozen other good friends. Surprise! What a memorable 40th Birthday.
Building this practice has also been full of surprises. I prepared as much as I could. It took me a year of research and planning to solidify our business plan. Mark and I share decades of medical experience between us. I am an opinionated person. I know what I want and what I need. But I find that despite all of this preparation, there are surprises at every turn. Not impediments that prevent us from moving forward but rather challenges that make me think strategically; require my flexibility; and help me grow.
Our challenges have been documented in previous blog entries. Our first surprise… hurdle… challenge was when our loyal bank elected not to finance our endeavor to the tune required to do it right. I had to learn how computers, emrs, epms, diagnostic instruments communicate. I selected beautiful aged flooring only to have to select anew. I learned that in addition to medical insurance plans, HMOs, PPOs and such, there are also these ‘health center’ that doctor’s should belong to IF they want referrals. I learned that there is always room for negotiation, especially with a knowledgeable attorney on your side. I learned the value of experts. I learned all about Hawaii’s permitting process. I learned that it is wise to hire (and pay extra) for a 3rd party expeditor. I learned that just because it is approved on paper does NOT mean that the inspector will concur. I learned that transformers are required, are huge, and are too heavy to be ceiling-mounted in some cases.
Aside from these minor challenges, surprises have also come in the form of delights. Our first delightful surprise was that our expert banker at American Savings Bank was able to secure a small business loan for more than I expected to need. We will be spending every penny of it too! Our second huge delightful surprise came in the form of a second HVAC A/C unit for our space at a bargain of a price. Waikele Center’s property manager is a delight. She is so approachable and accommodating. Pharmaceutical reps have been a surprise to me. Many are so willing to help us. Mark has worked with one rep who knows both optometrists and ophthalmologists throughout Hawaii. She has introduced Mark to members of both communities who practice in or near Waikele. She and another rep are even willing to help us with Open Houses and hosting continuing education lectures for optometrist. Friends and family must be included in this list. We have family, such as my parents, who are willing to take a month off of work at a time to help us get the practice started. We have family willing to come all of the way from California and Nebraska to Hawaii to install our hardware (and get the emr, epm and diagnostics to play nicely) and to work for us. We have friends that constantly send supportive messages by phone, email and Facebook. We have other babelicious friends who are all ears and opinions. We cannot begin to express our gratitude. But I know now that yes, I LIKE SURPRISES!!! SURPRISE!