I’ve told you previously that I live with the Anti-Procrastinator. Yes, this is J.’s superhero persona. If you want your car serviced or hair cut or furnace filter changed on schedule, leave it to J. She’ll do it all before you get the reminder notice.
I, of course, am wholly lacking in this noble trait. I am a terrible procrastinator, and I mean “terrible” in all senses of the word. I put things off, a lot. But I’m also bad at procrastinating because I then spend my time stewing about the fact that I haven’t done what I should have.
Let’s use yesterday’s dentist appointment as a case in point. I go every six months for a cleaning because my teeth require it. Seems reasonable to me. So when I got my reminder email in late May, I left it untouched in my inbox for some time. Eventually J.’s reminder arrived, which included a second reminder for me. Yes, after calling the dentist’s office to schedule her cleaning, J. was expected to remind me that I had not yet called. So remind me she did.
Why hadn’t I called? I spent the month of June fretting about how I was overdue for a cleaning and I’d probably never get in because kids would want to come when school was out and the dentist would go on vacation and…you get the idea. But, truth is, I hadn’t called because I hadn’t been flossing.
I’ve told you before about my love-hate relationship with flossing. No, I’d call it a hate relationship; there is nothing I love about flossing. I just hadn’t been doing it, unless, of course, I’d eaten corn on the cob. Who doesn’t floss after eating corn on the cob? I figured I’d start flossing, and then I’d book the appointment. And the weeks passed, and I still had the little container of floss I’d received after the last cleaning sitting on my counter making me feel guilty every night when I did not pay it the attention it deserved.
So the day before we left on vacation, I called the dentist’s office to schedule a cleaning and, as fate would have it, there was an opening right after I got back. I wouldn’t even have to endure the exhausting hygienist I got last time, who provided an unwanted monologue for the hour or so it took her to clean my teeth. I had no excuse. And yes, I packed that little floss container in my travel bag, where it remained untouched.
Yesterday, I arrived for my cleaning at the appointed time, and I expected a harsh talking to. In fact, I invited it. “Please tell me how bad I am for not flossing,” I pleaded. The hygienist did not take the bait. “But I eat Jelly Bellies and I don’t brush as long as I should sometimes. You must chastise me!” Despite my pleading for admonishment, the hygienist told me my teeth looked fine, and that I must be doing a brilliant job of brushing. Thank you, Oral B!
The hygienist reviewed my health history and medications with me next. And she said she could understand why maybe I hadn’t made flossing a priority this past while. I didn’t even have to pull the leukemia card; she pulled it for me. Her kindness almost made me want to floss. But I “forgot” last night. Oh well. There’s always tonight, and we’re having corn for dinner.