So what do you do when events beyond your control are taking you out of your bubble and turning you into a hater? If you’re like me and don’t trust doctors who just talk for a living, you tend to seek out like-minded friends and family. And isn’t it tragic when they all can’t be diehard USC Trojan football fans?

And I hate (ugh) to be trite but when the stuff I can’t control is getting me down…“I get high from a little time with my friends.”

After the last two eventful weekends spent with friends, maybe a few Romans, and countrymen and countrywomen, I know for sure my lack of sleep doesn’t make Smilin’ Jack a hater. Apparently, three hours of shut-eye per night just makes me speak in the third person and drool way more than usual.

First week of the month, my TCDC Team extraordinaire and I descended on Nashville for an annual conference. I see my own team as immediate family and the Crown Council organization has been extended family for almost 20-years. And even though the tag brings to mind some clandestine group of molar jockeys meeting nights to take over the world using fluoride, green tea, and kale; the organization was, instead, responsible for our very first steps toward making a difference in our community. The Crown Council is about heart and community and isn’t that what family’s all about?

This past weekend was also all about family…and generosity, energy, and vision…and practically no freakin sleep. And I can’t believe it’s been two and a half years since I was finally adopted (and I’m pretty sure Mom and Dad were just temporarily pissed at me when they’d roll out the adoption card.)

For years, my team and I were just like some Invisalign nomad/leper/orphans wandering the world of clear aligner orthodontic therapy, hungry and all alone, when suddenly the Universe, the Dalai Lama, the Tooth fairy, or maybe even Coach Pete Carroll stepped in and got us a winning lottery ticket to a shoot-out, an Invisalign territorial Brother, and a powerful Invisalign Consigliore almost all at the same time. We once were lost but now were found, adopted into a tribe of Invisalign visionaries marching under the banner of the Wolf.

Consigliore Doc David Galler aka The Wolf of Invisalign had big-time connections and his tribe soon expanded far and wide. In city after city he shared wine and broke bread with molar jockeys just like me who were eager to learn and laugh- what a concept! Gradually, about one outa thirty eager students were made Presidential offers they couldn’t refuse; in my case, I think it happened when nature called and I had to leave the room.

Last week, The Wolf and his immediate Invisalign tribal family met in Las Vegas (told you he was connected) and man, it is awesome when you can do something for almost 40-years and still be excited and inspired spending way more than quality time with positive, powerful and fearless friends and family…even when you’re the oldest guy in the club (Actually, I was unable to attend due to some slight ringing in my good ear…and an early flight.)

And when Monday morning arrives tomorrow and I’m traveling down Huntington Drive toward the office, I’ll be reflecting on time spent with leaders, colleagues, and family. I’ll be grateful…and in my bubble and looking forward to my adopting more friends and family; the ones who walk through the door and honor us with their trust. After all, even UCLA Bruin apologists probably get high from a little time with their friends.