Some tortures are physical And some are mental But the one that is both Is dental Ogden Nash
Yesterday I went to the dentist. Time for the 6 month check up and cleaning. There was a time when the Ogden Nash quote was true for me. A dental appointment was something that sometimes made physically ill. When it was a couple of days before an appointment I would begin to worry and imagine how awful it was going to be even if was just cleaning and check up. Sometimes I would cancel the appointment because I made myself sick thinking about it. My stomach would rumble and my head would ache and I had trouble sleeping.
I think my problems started early on. My parents didn’t take us to the dentist unless they could see a cavity and it hurt so bad that even the numbing cream they would smear on our gums didn’t work. And of course, we never went for preventive treatment so, there was always a filling or extraction needed. Add to the fact there was much pain I don’t think the dentist we went to liked kids. He would complain and was anything but understanding or in any way gentle. But maybe I just remember him that way because it was such a painful experience for me.
Even as an adult I had a hard time thinking about going to the the dentist. When I decided I needed a new dentist I went shopping for one. I went for a check up and interviewed three dentists. I picked one and he has been my dentist for 27 years! Do I need to say more?
Well, I will say more. I was one of his first patients. He is kind and thoughtful and does great work. He has done some extensive work on my teeth. Some of it was making what other dentists did look better and some was needed because of poor dental care in the past. Of course, there have been things that popped up over the years…root canals, crowns, fillings. Today he found a cavity. First I have had in a few years! It’s in a tooth that had a root canal and crown done a long time ago and now has a cavity along the gum line. Bummer.
I don’t worry before an appointment anymore. I know all will be fine. I am ever so thankful I have a wonderful dentist, Tom. Oh, and I have told him he cannot retire until I’m dead!
One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers. Gwendolyn Brooks
My happy cats.
Teddy and Jack have no interest in the newspaper. Actually, they really don’t like the newspaper. I don’t pay attention to them when I am reading the paper and doing the daily puzzles. That doesn’t exactly make them happy. And they are very good at getting my attention. Jack meows loudly and taps my legs without stop. Teddy pushes at the paper until he is in my lap and laying on the paper.
It doesn’t take long for me to stop the newspaper nonsense and pay attention to them giving them scratches and chin rubs and sweet talking them. When they are satisfied that I understand what’s important they happily go off for morning naps.
I think what makes them happy isn’t that they don’t have newspapers but that they can use the newspaper to make me remember what’s really important in the world and why Patricia’s Place is a happy place no matter what the news reports have to say. And truthfully, if it wasn’t for the puzzles, the news ain’t all that great and most days could really get me down if not for my catkids.
Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. Swedish Proverb
Sometimes I worry but not often and not for long. It’s just not my nature. That wasn’t always true. There was a time that I worried all the time. Sometimes I would get sick with worry. What a waste of time and energy!
I have a friend who is a missionary in west Africa. Many years ago she and her co-workers were held captive in their village by rebel insurgents. To say I was worried is an understatement. There was no communication with the missionaries or the rebels. Just silence for two weeks.
I was at work when I got the news. I was so upset and worried that I couldn’t think. It was as if there was a big black cloud hovering over me. I couldn’t just leave work so I decided that the first five minutes of every hour I would let myself worry uncontrolled. Then I would pray for my friend and the others being held. After that I went back to the tasks at hand.
The missionaries were released and allowed to use their vehicles to get to the river and cross over into an area that was safe where others from the mission family were waiting. Thankfully, no one was hurt although they were not allowed to take anything with them, just the vehicles and the clothes they were wearing.
It was amazing how that little exercise helped me. It calmed me down and gave me hope. Over the years I used the exercise quite often and each time I found peace. Now I don’t allow worry to take hold of me and there are no big black clouds or shadows that hover. If it seems worry is going to be stronger than my resolve I remember that I am in control of what and how I think about any situation. It is not that there is nothing worrisome in life it just doesn’t cast a big shadow.
My friend (and the others were all fine) and she is still a missionary in Africa.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Winston Churchill
Yesterday was not great. It was a sort of nothing day. Everything was just blah. Nothing made happy. Netflix was not interesting. The book I was reading was sad. I didn’t go for a walk. I didn’t talk to anyone. I took a long nap. Woke up with a headache. Not my usual positive self. My attitude was ugly.
Today all is back to normal. The sunshine is bright. The clouds are white and wispy. Walking was a delight. Looking forward to starting a new book. Netflix has a new season of a series I like. Making brownies to share. No need for a nap. Back to my normal self. My attitude is as usual. Happy!
Have no idea what brought on the ugly blahs yesterday. Just very glad they are gone! I don’t know how always negative people survive. I would not want to live in a constant negative state. Very thankful that I don’t!
Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of. A Proverb
Ain’t that the truth! And I would add that good habits are often hard to get into and easy to get out of.
In September of 2019 I started the habit of going for a walk every day. Three miles was my goal and I usually accomplished it. Sometimes surpassing it by a mile. It was a bit of a push to get in the habit but I persevered and within a month I actually looked forward to the walk enjoying the scenery and the fresh air and sunshine and even the rain. Well, I didn’t walk if it was raining hard but if it was just drizzling I did.
Then summer 2020 showed up in all its glory. In South Carolina that glory is filled with sun and upper 90 degree temps…sometimes into the low 100’s. Add to those temperatures the 95% or higher humidity and it is difficult to walk several blocks let alone three miles. Even at 7:00 in the morning…or evening. So, in June I started walking a few days a week. Then in July a short, very short walk, a couple of times a week. In August I gave up and stayed home with the air conditioner on proving that good habits are easy to give up.
Then in mid-September I told myself I would get back to my daily walk of three miles. I sometimes did the three miles but most often it was more like two. October, November, and December were hit or miss. More days missed than hit.
Now we are in 2021 and I told myself it was time to get serious about walking again. Well, in the month of January I did a not so great 17 days of three mile walks. I tell myself that it rained a lot, but really no more than usual for January and rarely for the whole day. Yes, good habits once broken are hard to fix. Now it’s February. It’s a short month. If I walk just 17 days it will look better statistically than January.
Developing good habits and sticking to them is a pain in the butt!