Teething Again

dentist officeThe current hurdle in this year of exploration: I’m just out of oral surgery: implants to replace one tooth my aging body let go of and a second lost to dental malfunction. Now for a couple of days of strong drugs and a few more of smoothies and vegetable puree and trying to obey surgeon’s orders to forget about my swim suit and sneakers. If I want these things to heal, I’ve got to–gasp! horror!–rest.

Rest will take some discipline. Sit still? In the middle of the day! (Gasp again!) Thanks to what the medical profession admits is “a little discomfort,” right now I’m watching an upbeat, sweet, and at times hilarious older film I’ve seen several times already. But this breaks every one of my rigid rules: “Never turn on the television during daylight hours.” “Never sit still when you can stand.” And that most fundamental commandment: “Forget how you feel; get back to work!”

To me, giving in and ignoring old training is behavior as unfamiliar and challenging as the economics course I struggled through during my real freshman year. A course I took because I thought I “should.”

Can I learn to let go of “shoulds” during this time of mouth healing? And afterwards?

Any “shoulds” you’re trying to let go of? Any joys you’re trying to replace your own inner-voice-commandments with?


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