Michael Ling DDS - January 2020

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JAN 2020

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Dentistry Isn’t My Only Passion

I’ve always been passionate about my career. I believe I was meant to be a dentist, and every day that I get to help patients with their smiles is another

lesson. I can’t let the passion I have for physical fitness and exercise slip away again. Since then, I make sure I find time each week to run, walk, or lift weights by myself. I do this just for me. Losing 30 pounds wasn’t the first time I committed myself to a lofty goal. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to learn guitar. I already knew how to play the piano and glockenspiel, so the capacity for an instrument was there. But I needed to really dedicate myself to learning this new technique. Now, I don’t think I could have been a professional musician, but I did enjoy the work it took to become proficient on the guitar. If anything, it was all in good fun.

day living my dream.

But sometimes, I can’t help but wonder what life would have been like if I made a different choice. I had always thought that I might become a teacher someday, but a day of volunteering in my child’s first-grade

“We don’t have to be pigeonholed into one role in life.”

classroom told me otherwise! Teachers are saints, and they have more patience than myself. Then I thought I might become a police officer. I have always respected those who work in law enforcement, and I was particularly proud of the women who serve. While I’ve always been grateful to have gone into dentistry, like everyone else, I’m a person with many passions. I like to think that in some alternate life, I may have been able to make a career out of one of these passions.

Sometimes I think I could have been a professional stand-up comedian. I enjoy making people laugh, and I am naturally friendly and talkative. I enjoy the witty banter that comedians have. It reminds me of the hilarious conversations I have with many of my friends! Of course, as the mom of five children, I have plenty of material to pull from, too. I always say that one of these nights, I’m going to have finally worked up the courage to get up there during amateur night at a comedy club and just do it! (Maybe I’ll start with an improv class or two first.)

As humans, we’re complex. We don’t have to be pigeonholed into one role in life. Take my husband, Dr. Michael Ling, as an example. He’s a wonderful cook who is dedicated to physical fitness in addition to being a compassionate and knowledgeable dentist. It’s fulfilling to find and pursue other passions, and I can’t wait to see what goal I tackle next. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be inviting you to an amateur night appearance!

For example, I have always wanted to try competitive fitness events. I highly respect the athletes that can dig into the extreme depths of themselves and do some pretty amazing stunts. I used to be very fit through my 20s, but as I started having children and working full time, committing time to myself became more difficult. I had to let myself take a backseat to my children, work, and, frankly, sleep. But after my fourth child, that changed. I decided I was going to commit time to myself, and I lost 30 pounds! I was incredibly proud of myself, but I also learned an important

—Dr. Meg Ling

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