Thursday, August 5, 2010

my tooth brush.

So, I am soooo present!  Right?  I sooo love that about myself.  I can really listen to people and fully be in a conversation.  I can really be present with them.  But, how present am I when I am with myself?

I went to the dentist this week for an exam.  I don't have dental insurance so I like to take advantage of those little ads that come in my mailbox with new patient specials.  I haven't had a check-up or cleaning in about a year and a half.  Nothing is bothering me, but I had a ton of cavaties as a child (I must have eaten purely sugar and never brushed my teeth) and I tend to get receeding gum lines.  So, I just wanted to get myself looked at.

During my exam, my dentist pointed out to me that the upper right quadrant of my mouth had gum lines that were starting to get into the worry-zone but the rest of my mouth was fine.  It wasn't just a slight change in that quadrant it was quite drastic.  Like, I forget about that section when doing dental hygiene or something.

When I left the company I was working for in 2007 to go independent my mother bought me one of those fancy Sonicare toothbrushes, as she knew I was not likely to keep up with 6 month checkups when paying full price for them. The Sonicare brush beeps and pauses every 30 seconds to tell me to switch to the next quadrant of my mouth....apparently, I haven't been paying attention.  I know this is the truth. 

Have I ever just brushed my teeth while brushing my teeth?  Years ago, I incorporated squats into my tooth brushing routine.  That is one form of multi-tasking, but I also tend to wander around my space doing other things.  Even when standing in place, I tend to wander around mentally.   I often find myself re-starting the toothbrush because I have ignored the beeps and pauses completely and I can not remember what sections I have brushed.

So, when the dentist pointed out that quadrant, I was not too surprised.  What else do I not do while I am doing it?  Eatting!  How often do I actually pay attention to what I am putting in my mouth?  I pay attention when I am making it and taste-testing it and maybe for the first bite when I sit down to eat and then I am off in wander-world.  Wandering the interweb, wandering my I want to do list, wandering in conversation, you get me...

I know that being present takes work.  I know that by me writing this blog I have not cured myself, but I am planting reminders to myself.  I am making a conscious choice to be more present to my daily activities!  What a concept?!!?!?  To think about brushing my teeth, while brushing my teeth!!!!?!?!??!?!

Life is funny!!!!  I will be my toothbrush!


  1. "Have I ever just brushed my teeth while brushing my teeth?"

    Tricia...I love you :p Best line ever, I laughed.

    Remember to pay attention to your food when you're eating! It wants to feel noticed too :p

  2. I have been on a similar quest for the past few months - indeed, it's been a lot of work.

    What sort of 'reminders' have you been placing?

  3. I read this post a few days ago, and now I return to report on its lingering effects: teethbrushing will never be the same for me and I think it's safe to say that my teeth will be forever cleaner. Living deliberately in the now, doing just whatever I am doing, makes the most remedial tasks incredibly life-affirming for me. This is of course only when I can accomplish such focus, I too am capable of distant mind travel. Life always in progress...

    You inspire Tricia, Thanks for the post!

  4. Wandering the that.

    Being my toothbrush...may take some practice!

    Don't know...have to try it : )