Worthwhile to me

I do a good job brushing my teeth.

The dentist said so when I went for my company health check. I still feel very good about my tooth brushing. I worked on brushing EVEN BETTER just 5 minues ago.

She said, “You do a good job brushing your teeth … and, you have a little calculus here.” So she whipped out a toothbrush and a set of fake teeth, and showed me how to “vibrate, not scrub” my lower incisors on the inside. And then she said, “You do a good job brushing your teeth.”

Sigh… so nice… I love you, dentist! Such wonderfully constructive suggestions for the brushing of teeth and the elimination of tartar!

I have to remember, the next time I’m about to massively fuck things up with someone I care about with my careless speech, that I should take a cue from the dentist and say, “You do a good job (insert behavior I like here) and there is (state existence of problem here quickly) so (state/show solution), and (repeat) you do a good job (insert behavior I like here).”

That is far better than saying, “I have been telling you for I don’t know how long that your method of toothbrushing sucks and your face is full of dental caries! You look like a pirate! Har matey! Why don’t you brush like I told you?”

I can remember to brush my teeth.

I will also remember to be mindful of the people I care about.

These kinds of things I have to figure out every day. I didn’t learn these things growing up. I learned how to order, nag, ignore, and guilt other people. I can do that well, without even thinking. That’s the problem — my automaton behavior.
So this is my long and lonely journey; this is a hard look in the mirror.
Figure it out every day. One step at a time, each day, I become more the person I want to be.


2 responses to “Worthwhile to me

  1. Hi Jane:
    As an experienced classroom teacher of 10 years, one of the most important things we were conditioned to remember was that when doling out criticisms to parents about their child, it is crucial to begin with the highlights, positives and some praises first. It helps them know that their children are loved, appreciated and cared for even if there are some things that need improvement. I also grew up in a household where orders were barked (as you witnessed when I was with my children), nagged and ignored. It was a very difficult jump for me to find the praises since I grew up hearing very little myself. I too, am struggling to find a happy medium with my loved ones who are with me 24/7. Often, the only thing that keeps us happy to see each other is the forced distance once in a while. Sigh.

  2. first, i’m happy your blogging self has returned from the hiatus–love reading good writing about interesting topics. second, your words hit home for me, too. i could use a dental lesson like the one you got.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I no longer have time to update this blog regularly, but I appreciate your comments, even though I cannot respond to all of them. All comments (except spam) have been allowed to go through unmoderated since June 16, 2014. Any comments you see prior to that date have been read and approved by me. Thanks again, and wishing you peace and blessings.

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