I’ve been thinking a lot about Oprah. You know, her whole thing is that you should “live your best life.” But I’m wondering — how do you know if this is your best life? Sure, it might seem pretty great, but could it be better?
For example: Some good friends recently bought a car wash. That was their dream — to take their life savings, buy a business, be their own boss. But is that their best life? I get it, people need to get their cars washed, but couldn’t they have opened a cupcake bakery? Or one of those cute shops that sells only organic cotton children’s clothing? A car wash is just so… practical.
Maybe some people can figure out their personal best lives without help, but I think most people need some professional help. For example, Hank has been working a case about a guy who was incredibly talented — a genius, really — who squandered his abilities on… well, I’m not supposed to talk about Hank’s work, but let’s just say, the genius was involved in the worst kind of criminal enterprise. Other than prostitution. Or child pornography. Or smuggling sex slaves… Look, the point is, he wasted his talent on something that ruins lives and destroys families. Was that REALLY his best life? I seriously, seriously doubt it.
The funny thing is, as hard as the last few months have been, I’m pretty sure Hank is living his best life — as soon as he started working on this case, he suddenly got about 200% less cranky. Now he’s like a golden retriever with a tennis ball. He spends hours chasing it around, chewing on it, pretending it’s some kind of felty green rodent, and just when you think he’s done, you find him in the kitchen, gnawing away on it again.
All of which makes me wonder: What about you, Marie? Are you living your best life?
Don’t get me wrong — I love my work. A lot people think working as a radiology technician is all sitting in a booth all day, making people lie perfectly still for 20 or 30 minutes at a time. But that’s just the tip of the radiology iceberg.
First of all, do you think it’s EASY to get people to lie perfectly still? No way, José. (I have a little system I use — I got the idea while watching an episode of “The Dog Whisperer.” It’s sort of a combination of positive reinforcement and intimidation — but it works really well.) And then there’s the whole technical aspect of making sure you’ve covered the relevant anatomical area and getting clean scans — it takes years of training to produce a good scan the first time, every time. An MRI scanner is not a toy, let me tell you.
But then I think — what if things had worked out differently? What if I had, in the words of that annoying magnet on my sister’s fridge, taken “the road less traveled”? Maybe I would have a cupcake bakery of my own! (God knows, Albuquerque could use a good one.)
Of course, the obvious answer is just staring me in the face — if I could be anything other than a radiology technician, I would be a life coach. Can you imagine? Okay, the part where I would listen to people talk about how unhappy they are wouldn’t be so great — but then I could tell them how to fix all their problems. I could help people live their best lives every day — and actual, exciting best lives, not some depressing, pointless dream of selling your ugly handmade earrings on Etsy, like a certain fellow radiology technician I could mention.
I admit, it’s tempting. A chance to help people see how they’ve screwed up, and tell them what they should do with their lives? Sign me up!
But really, why couldn’t I do that in my spare time, and keep working at Kleinman Radiology? Actually, now that I think about it, I’m practically a freelance life coach already — I’m constantly telling people how to solve their problems.
Wow… see what I did there? I just life-coached myself! And it turns out I am living my best life. Which only makes sense — I mean, what good would I be as a life coach if I wasn’t?