“LIFE WAS SIMPLER WHEN I HAD NO TEETH”

Me with no teeth

By Melissa Flynn

I’ve decided to move on without teeth. Confused? Yeah, it’s just that I’m no good with them. As a child, I could eat whatever I wanted, open bottles and miss a floss here and there without my teeth falling out.

You are probably wondering what I am talking about. I feel like it was just last month that I bit into that gummi bear and heard a crunch—actually it was about 6 months ago. The other day, I went into the refrigerator for a drink. I thought, “Mmm, cold Cranberry Ginger ale, this is going to be good.” Little did I know, but my strength was not what it used to be.

So, there I was twisting and turning. I was, as they say, giving it the ‘ole college try. Yet, still no luck. So, I figured I could just twist it with my teeth. Crunch. Crackle. And no, it wasn’t the cereal with the commercial that goes Snap, Crackle, and Pop. I looked at the bottle top and there was a crack. Okay. No worries. The next thing I knew, it felt like there was a small pebble on my tongue. Shit. It was a piece of my tooth.

Needless to say, I now have another reason to see the dentist. I hate going to the dentist. First, there is the fact that it always hurts more after they are done. Second, I’m usually at least $500 poorer once I leave. Seeing that this tooth is in the front of my mouth, I’ve decided to let it go for a while. For the next few weeks or so, I will be eating oatmeal, soup, apple sauce, bread and maybe a stiff drink here and there. And if anyone knows a good, cheap—okay, not cheap, but inexpensive—dentist…

I wish someone had told me that dealing with life’s issues would be this hard, especially when you don’t have any dental insurance. And, as many may be, I am waiting to see how the new medical reform will help my situation.

Personally, I think my situation is hopeless. Is there a medical plan that allows you to do a full body scan for all broken bones and torn ligaments and tendons? If so, I need that. Is there a medical plan that allows me to see every type of doctor that is out there? Okay, because I will probably need that also. I might sound a bit dramatic. I really could use a vacation. So, if anyone has any free tickets to anywhere outside of the Northeastern region, I want to go. I really need to get away from me. That reminds me.

About a month ago, I came to the conclusion that we all need to reboot every once and a while. And people, I am not talking about rebooting your computers. Whether or not it is a spa day, a dinner out or a movie with a friend, we all must remember that sometimes it is good to get away from ourselves.

So, as I, once again, watched an October storm make its mark, I put together a new list of priorities.

October 2012’s New List of Priorities

  • Spend some time taking care of me
  • Write
  • Read
  • Spend more time taking care  of me
  • Reboot
  • Work on business plan
  • Put together marketing plan
  • Spend more time taking care of me
  • Reboot
  • Spend even more time taking care of me

I’m sure you can see the theme here. Many people, like me, have a habit of staying so focused on trying to accomplish something in life that we forget to do things to take care of ourselves. For example, even on the days that I can afford to eat :), I many times forget to eat. I’m always so concerned with how I’m going to pay my bills. This economy has even forced me to think about how I will survive at 65 or 70 years old.  That used to be the least of my concerns. But, being single, I realized I needed to start planning.

So, in between taking care of me—eating, sleeping more, getting a Mani/Pedi, going on a vacation with you, and going to a movie sometime—and rebooting–I also have to figure out who gets all my books when I am gone.

When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to get older—just to be able to make my own choices. If I knew that meant I was going to have to pay my own bills and take the car to get an oil change, I would have told my mom that I didn’t want to get older. I’m not sure that was an option, but a girl can dream.

So, here I am in 2012. I wake up every day, and I keep trying to make things work. No matter what life throws at me, I will keep ‘moving on’ to bigger and better things. You can ask why, if you’re curious. And I will tell you, “Because that’s what we women do.” So, as soon as I get this tooth taken care of, I will try that rebooting thing and get back to you. And, if any of you have time to try it before then, please let me know how it works out.

Mending and Ruminating

I’ve had my surgery. Ouch! Is the pain really supposed to be this bad? I thought they fixed it. Don’t mind me. Whenever I have surgery, I want the instant relief. Nothing in life works that way, but a girl can dream. It’s been over four weeks, and I know I have a long way to go. It’s just really hard not having the use of both arms.

This seems like a good time to share some things with you. I’m somewhat of an inspirational blogger on Cheshire.patch.com.  So, for the next few posts, I’ll share my favorites from The Patch.

Feel free to tell me what you think. And if you dare, share a related story.

I share this favorite first because I need to be reminded of how far I have come since that day in Marshalls. These thoughts still apply and the remembrance will help me survive my recovery process – which I loathe. Recovery is not fun.

In Reaching Distance

Posted on September 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

 

During a few conversations with acquaintances and an editor, I was told, “why not consider being a motivational speaker or a life coach.”

I immediately thought, “Me?” What could I possibly offer someone, in terms of advice that is? Then I began to listen to myself as I spoke to friends and family. That’s when it hit me. I am a hopeful, inspirational voice in my circle.

So, now (in this blog) I venture out to share this voice with all that will listen – or read.

I’m a single mother of an estranged 20-year-old son, a displaced worker and a somewhat educated unmarried freelance writer. And yet, I am vehemently optimistic about my future. I have my bad days, like we all do. But most days, my goal is not to let the negative things in my life burden me to the point of insanity.

It’s all in the approach – the outlook. Regardless of where I am in my life, I do have a goal – a well laid out plan of attack. And each day, I awake with enthusiasm. Okay, maybe enthusiasm is too strong of a word. How about a determination?

I am determined to matter. I am determined to be happy and make my stand. How I do that is all in the attentiveness of my actions. Something as simple as coming up with a plan and executing it, whether or not I ultimately reach my goal, can be a useful tool in combating bleak outlooks.

Looking back to a conversation with one of my acquaintances, my advice was pretty sound and clear. For putting it on paper’s sake, let’s call her Lisa.

Trying to find that perfect interview top or just something for every day, Lisa and I comb through Marshall’s clearance section, all the while hoping that nothing fits because we can’t afford it anyway. As we both reach the middle of the aisle, she starts telling me of all her unrewarded job efforts.

Being over 50, unemployed and seeing the constant news of layoffs, Lisa was feeling hopeless. “This is the first time in my life that I wasn’t able to find a job right away. I always wanted to be an artist growing up. My dad said I had to do something practical – like accounting. So, I listened to him. Now look where I am.”

As I looked at her in all her despair, I smiled and said, “life will get better for you.” As she looked back at me, probably thinking “is she crazy”, I continued to tell her, “You can only do what you can – no more. So find some balance in your life. Get up every day, spend some of your day looking for a job (internet, library, newspapers, phone calls, etc.) and then spend part of your day only doing things you enjoy. Let these things include: books by favorite authors, going back to school, volunteering, favorite TV shows, relaxing, fun exercises, time alone, time with friends, etc. Our economy seems hopeless, but that you can’t fix. A lot of people are in the same position. Look at this time in your life as a time of rediscovery. You can be whoever you want to be.”

I look at it this way: we all have dreams of what we would love to be doing in life. And, unless that includes being superman or wonder woman, I’m pretty sure they are obtainable. So, stay true to yourself and the dreams you once had and go for it. Maybe even put up a few post-it notes around the house: I have many talents, we are all good at something, I’m gonna take a chance on me, my life is still unfolding, I still have time, I can succeed, etc.

It’s all about vision. As someone once said, “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.”

So, no more “same old routine.” It’s time to make a list. What are you good at? What do you want to do in life? What can you work on right now?

Then every day, from now until infinity, let’s start checking things off that list.

http://cheshire.patch.com/users/melissa-flynn-3