Header image: visual approximation of my feelings in January 2018.

When our daily routines are interrupted, we begin to notice all the things we take for granted. Physical ailments, in particular, remind us that we are not impervious and have limitations. This past month, I’ve been dealing with (a very manageable and mostly pain-free) tooth problem. As soon as the problem surfaced and before I could make it into the dentist for a diagnosis and plan, I took preventative measures in my diet to avoid foods that are crunchy, chewy, sticky or fun in any way. I also only ate on the other side of my mouth. While I’ve slowly regained enough confidence to eat more normally, the first few weeks were taken with tender bites of softer food and filled with non-trivial amounts of yogurt and soup.

In case anyone is looking for a non-cheap way to kick off your weight loss goals, I suggest chipping a filling that will require a root canal and then a crown for one of your teeth. It’s working for me!

This past month, I have been forced to rethink my eating habits and how food and drink would affect my mouth. I had to consciously think about eating around that tooth to avoid discomfort. It interrupted my daily flow. Until I’m healed, I guess it’s healthier foods for this guy. (Though thankfully I did test whiskey and that have no adverse effects. Quite the contrary, in fact.)

Life will always be throwing interruptions into what we plan and do. We find them unpleasant because they cause us physical pain or unplanned financial hits or emotional stress about relationships or the future. They break our plans of how we think things were or should be. They force us to reassess, to recalibrate, to reprioritize, to even hit the reset button.

Pain in its many forms and for all its discomfort reminds us we’re alive; it also is there to tell us something is wrong and needs to be taken care of. The important thing is to take notice and do something about it.