About five years ago I devised a master list of criteria for self care (ie, getting eight hours of sleep, exercising at least five times a week, eating healthy food etc) and determined that, if I could master the queen of all -- good oral hygiene -- then I would quite certainly master the whole thing.

By good oral hygiene I mean brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash twice a day; chewing sugarfree gum; going to the dentist every six months; and staying away from copious amounts of candy.

True to form, I can just about directly correlate my commitment to self care with the frequency with which I floss. It might seem crazy, but your teeth are your business. Whether they're healthy or not, you're the only person who knows, who feels pain if something's wrong, and who cares or doesn't care about fixing it.

That's why, and I maintain this, going to the dentist is ten times worse than the ob-gyn (sorry I just got all female and stuff). They look in your mouth and automatically know all your darkest secrets, like your tendency to go to bed without brushing your teeth after eating chocolate chip cookies (for instance).

As you may know, for the last couple of months or so, I've been dealing with my bum knee and orienting myself to physical infirmity. At the same time, someone commandeered my floss in the medicine cabinet. Feeling out of sorts and apathetic, my oral hygiene has fallen off the map.

It's not as if the floss container is even out of sight, it's just been moved down from the top shelf with the rest of my crap to the bottom shelf. And something about that slight shift was enough to make me give up and capitulate to fate.

You know, some nights (and mornings) I think, "Nothing's going my way, why the hell should I floss?" Seriously. Anybody feel me?

Well. Things have been looking up in my world lately. Tonight I found myself reaching toward the bottom shelf, pulling out the floss, and scraping the living daylights out of my teeth.

Call me crazy (and you very well may), but I feel a renewed commitment to life and my own well being. Change is coming.

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