Facing Change

Journal Entry, July 2016

As is obvious from the title of my blog, I am a huge proponent of change.  In the past 2 weeks my family has been challenged by a major change – Moving for 1 Year to New Zealand.  You would expect based on my posts that I can just roll with it and embrace this change.  Well, not so much. It has been a bit rough.  It’s one thing to change from white bread with corn syrup to whole wheat bread and no corn syrup, or from soda to water, but a whole other ball game to change countries.

Journaling our progress through these trials and tribulations, will expose our humanity, our mistakes, and our frustrations. Though change is hard, beautiful possibilities arise from the most unexpected events.  Family bonds can be strengthened even in the face of chaos that may come with major change.  May our journey be an inspiration for needed changes in your life.


First, what happened?

Over the past several years, my husband has been struggling with physician burnout.  He is a successful and wonderful surgeon.  But being great is not a synonym for being happy.  He has tried many avenues to treat this very prevalent condition in the medical field, but to little avail.  On our recent visit to Australia, he came up with a new remedy.   Leave the job on good terms, downsize our life, uproot and recharge while working and exploring New Zealand.  New Zealand?  That’s random!!  Well, Lord of the Rings didn’t think so.

More details….

New Zealand accepts our medical licenses with little fuss and few pages of paper work.  It’s a country whose work force counts on temporary visitors.  They are equipped for job changes, quick work visas, furnished rentals with glorious views, 1 year buy back programs for cars, bikes, and other large pieces.  The schooling is year round and in the top 15 in the world.  Their education system embraces change and international students.  They also have more sheep then humans (trivia tip – you’re welcome!)

AND they have a great safety video

Second, how does one deal with a sudden major life shift?

When faced with major life altering situation, I need to go through an acceptance process.  My process is the same pathway for dealing with grief.   When I was 23, I lost my father to a brain tumor known as Glioblastoma, so I have experienced the deepest grief.  This parallel is not meant to make light of grief and the process, but to illustrate how difficult a life altering change can be for me.

  • DENIAL – refuse to accept the facts, change is ignored ( I am really good at this)
  • ANGER – upset with self and others (not a pretty scene)
  • BARGAINING – making deals with myself or my spouse (my negotiating skills are a bit lackluster)
  • DEPRESSION – fear of uncertainty that sometimes paralyzes me and wipes me out, or sometimes the fear excites me into a disorganized chaotic mess (Tasmanian devil comes to mind)
  • ACCEPTANCE – stop struggling to resist the change, make a plan of attack, pursue goals to make the change happen!!!

All these events, quitting the old and preparing for the new, have occurred in the past 2 weeks.  We will be leaving by Oct 1, 2016.  I had to move along these five stages at a quick clip to get to the point of getting ready. It has been a bit messy, and I don’t think my brain followed the steps in quite the right order, but I got to ACCEPTANCE.

Acceptance includes:

  • Telling my partners and my patients about my one year leave of absence.  This has been by far the toughest thing.  Crushing really.  I adore my job, my partners, my staff and my patients.  Thankfully everyone so far has been beyond supportive.   Setting up a plan with all the necessary transitions for my patients and staff.
  • My 3 kids – 10th, 8th, 4th graders need to start school in October in NZ. Therefore, I got in touch with our school counselors, got a better understanding of credit hours required by the US, and learned the mandatory classes the kids must have before returning to the US. Frightening and stressful!! Then I found schools in Wellington.  After speaking with the Deans of various NZ schools I relized that the transition into their school system will be easy and no big deal.

Third, how does one stay inspired through this tumultuous time?

A quote sent to me by my mom upon hearing this news

“Most opportunities never announce themselves with trumpets and confetti. They’re easily missed, mistaken, or squandered. They can be scary. And they never come with a 110% money-back guarantee. They’re often nothing more than chances to improve on something other people are already doing. Opportunities are whispers, not foghorns. If we can’t hear their soft rhythms—if we are too busy rushing about, waiting for thunderclaps of revelation, inspiration, and certainty—or if we can spot them but can’t nurture them into real advantages, then we might as well be blind to them.”

From: “Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century”

Be Inspired, Ana-Maria Temple, MD

19 thoughts on “Facing Change

  1. Dr Temple, Thank you so much for this post. You have been on my mind this week after receiving a voicemail that I needed to reschedule our girls October appointments. I was devastated to learn you will be leaving. My girls and I love you dearly!

    You know, You really are such an inspiration! I admire what you and your family are about to experience. Many of us only dream of being able to something like that. So many life lessons from all aspects will be learned.

    I can’t wait to read more of how your journey is going.

    Thank you for sharing and I’ll pray for you and your family as you go through this journey.

    My best to you!!

    Sent from my iPhone Lisa Randazzo


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have worked with Dr. John Temple in the OR since his arrival at Presbyterian Matthews years and years ago. I then followed him when he opened “his” surgery center and took the lead position in his OR because he was the best and his surgery center was the best. No one took the news of him leaving harder than I did at the surgery center, and I went through the stages of denial. Slowly, I’ve come to acceptance. And I have to say jealousy. I envy the journey you are about to take. Enjoy this time in a wonderful, far away, exotic place. Travel. Bond. Show your kids the world. Please continue your blog, please post pictures. Your family is loved by many and we wish you well. I wish John the peace he seeks and that he will recharge himself. There is no other surgeon like him.

    I will look forward to seeing bits on Facebook of your life’s journey, and should he decide to ever return to his surgery center I will be there. Carefully watching every dime spent!! Best of luck to the Temple’s and may your grand adventure begin!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully written. So insightful. Congrats on getting to the ‘acceptance’ phase, you’re amazing! Your post forced me to think about your leaving….. gulp…..I am still in the denial stage….hoping to hold off the other stages until after you have gone, because I only do one type of crying and that’s the really ugly type.
    I can’t even begin to describe how much you’re going to be missed. But I know you’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime in NZ. And when you come back we are going to pick up right where we left off. Wait, is it Oct 2017 yet?! Love you x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohhh “Dr Apple”, this was such a great read! I think I have been in denial and finally moving toward acceptance myself! 😉 We adore you and have been so blessed to have you in our life! I trust you more than anyone and so lucky to call you my children’s Doctor! Although I’m really sad and bummed selfishly; I’m so excited for the new adventure that awaits your family! I was your children’s age when we moved to Asia for 3 years and it was an amazing expierence to learn different cultures at such a young age! I see you 2 more times before you leave; be ready for a big squeeze and some tears!


  5. You are a joy, inspiration, motivator, leader, educator, cheerleader and a catalyst for healthy habits and lifestyle changes. So glad you have been woven into my life’s tapestry. Right now I see just some threads and know how much I will miss you! Later I will see the big beautiful masterpiece of art. So happy you will be able to reach out to many people on the other side of the world! Hugs and safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ana,
    Thank you for sharing the rationale and sequence of events regarding your family’s new adventure. It seemed as if I was reading a novel; except I know the characters!!! They are my relatives. How bold and brave of you and Johnny to step out of the box and explore life in another country.

    I loved spending time with your children at the family reunion. Donna shared your plans with us and seemingly is very accepting and supportive . All of us only wish for your safety and happiness.

    NZ’s high value of education was my very first response after hearing your news. As an educator, I had the opportunity to hear so many children’s authors and teachers at national conferences. They made a major impression on my career.

    Will be eager to follow your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Have the time of your life! We will miss Allie on the South Meck dive team but this is such a wonderful experience for the whole family!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post Dr. Temple. I hope you’ll continue to blog so we can read about your journey. I’ll miss you dearly but we will see you next year!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have worked with Dr John Temple for many years as his clinical asst. He is an awesome man & surgeon. Our patients love him & we love him. My heart is broken but I am truly happy for you. You deserve the best and I hope you find the love in your heart you have been looking for. It has been a great ride and I will miss you always. Love, health & happiness to you Ana Marie & the kids. ❤️😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dr. Temple. I honestly don’t know what to say. You oddly became a type of mother figure for me. Every time I think about you leaving, I want to cry. But I know it’s time for change, for the both of us. I’ve never had a doctor I liked or came to love. It meant the world to me when you came to my graduation! I just don’t know how to say goodbye. It’s going to be tough for me, but it will be a good opportunity for me to grow into a more independent women who can face change, learn and grow from it. Overall, I’m really excited that you and your family get to experience something so spectacular! I like what you said about acceptance; that’s something I needed to hear. I’ll be seeing you one last time before you and I both go. You will be going to NZ and I will be searching for a new woman doctor. We both will be going through big changes. You inspire me to make the best of it. When we face change, we really are only concerned with what we will lose, but I’m going to try to focus on what I can gain. Thank you so much for helping me through the tough times I’ve had. Know that you are very loved and supported! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jennifer, your story is one of perseverance and dedication in the face of many obstacles. You’re a true inspiration to so many. I hope to publish your story one day so others can learn from what happens when YOU take ownership of YOU. Thank you for choosing me to be at your side during this journey. I am so proud of you!


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