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Seasons Change, Principles for Living Life at 100 Percent Don’t

Family of four laughing

When I initially contemplated writing about what living Life at 100 Percent means to me, I’ll admit, I was relatively skeptical. As a surgeon, wife and mother to a preschooler and infant, there is not a lot of time left for some of the soul refreshing activities that one’s mind goes to when we think about what “Life at 100 Percent” means. Honestly, most days I feel like life is coming at me at about 300 Percent and I’m doing my best to drink from a fire hydrant.

We all go through seasons in life. Some of us are in the yoga/stand up paddleboard/quilting/gourmet cooking phase; and some of us are in the loving on little people/lots of coffee/meals on the go/busy at work season. I believe that life is meant to be lived and cherished in all of these seasons. While the day to day activities of life may look different from season to season, I believe that the principles upon which we build our lives shouldn’t change. Identity, integrity, contentment and fulfillment have more to do with being true to who you are than they have to do with a daily activity. These principles for me include taking time for what’s most important and trusting that the nonessentials will sort themselves out. My essentials include caring for myself, my family and others.

One thing that gives incredible meaning to my busy life is the opportunity to interact with patients and to partner with them to make them well. There are so many different ways to do that as a surgeon, but the one that makes my heart beat a little faster and makes me excited not only to treat individual patients but also to build a system to provide truly exceptional care, is breast care. Treating patients in this vulnerable time, being able to offer multidisciplinary, state of the art care even in a rural facility, and walking alongside these patients is an honor. They help me to understand what’s most important, even when it feels like all the little things that are just too much for my day are piling up. They remind me of the importance of health care prevention measures like mammograms. This helps me to remember to take time for my own self care.

Often busy moms are the worst at caring for themselves as they spend so much time caring for all those around them—these patients show me that taking time for myself is critical. Their stories and strength inspires me to be grateful to God for my life and family, to be thankful for our community, and to truly enjoy the honor that it is to care for them. Their strength and resilience is amazing and their love for their life, even when it is being threatened, is inspirational.

They help me to understand that Life at 100 Percent begins with valuing, cherishing and protecting our health so that we can be filled to serve those around us.

Dr. Jill Ties
General Surgeon
St. Croix Regional Breast Center