To be asked to deliver a keynote address on behalf of the Optical Women's Association was an honor I could not turn down. Why me? I asked. The answer made sense but at the time I did not realize that it was apparent to others. “Karen, your energy, passion, support of others and growth and love of the industry is so genuine and exuberant, how do you do it?” For me that was easy to answer, now the came the challenge.
A couple months went by and then one night I received the call. " Hello, Karen! I hope you are excited to share your exciting career path at the Opticians Congress. We are getting started on the marketing and we need your bio, title and description.” GULP!! As I sat on the couch staring at four little piles of my favorite chewy candy, DOTS, I blurted out "Connecting the Dots.” At that point I had no idea what DOTS had meant and would mean to me in my life.
The great Forrest Gump said "Life is like a box of chocolates" for me it is a box DOTS. The red DOTS are my favorite, why can’t there be all red DOTS? You will see as you read on why just the red DOTS are possible. I have learned to mix them with others, separate the ones I do not like, which are hands down yellow.
It doesn't really matter if you like DOTS, M&M’s, or Peeps, we all have our favorite candy. When you think about it, DOTS are a lot like our lives and careers. We all have people, situations, and responsibilities that we love as well as other that we should or have to do, we tolerate, or would run from if we could, it is life.
Here are some of my red DOTS — My family and friends, sharing and selling Style DOTS jewelry, gardening, boating, and reading. My career choice has always been an endless box of red DOTS. And now the best red DOT of all, starting own company that will be full of passion, joy, industry knowledge and history to support and promote the profession I love.
Orange DOTS are not far from the red as they support and mix well with the red DOTS. Sitting at my computer creating content, finalizing plans, and endlessly building and creating my wild ideas into reality. Green DOTS I now embrace as they represent necessary tasks to complete and prepare to reach the next red DOT. As mentioned above, yellow DOTS I avoid as they represent a sour taste in my mouth metaphorically and literally. To be honest I think they would taste like Pledge furniture polish.
My career continues to be a be.YOU.tiful box of DOTS! I have had many red and orange DOTS along the way, a fair number of green and yes, plenty of PLEDGE. All of these DOTS made it possible for me to celebrate and to say cheers to 40 years in eye care in 2020.
Take the time to open your box of DOTS, look inside and realize YOU have the ability and the power to do all you want and deserve. You DOT this!