teethBack on June 4th, I posted about my dentist’s advice that I have my four top front teeth capped.  In case you missed it, the essence of the story is that my childhood dentist … an Army buddy of my Dad’s … improperly filled some cavities in my front teeth, and although my current dentist has done his best to repair the damage, my sixty-something year old teeth are getting brittle. Once I got over the shock of the $4000 price tag for my new choppers, I decided to wait until after our anniversary and my granddaughter Savy’s birthday.  An unexpected trip to Arizona last week added one more week of delay.  Unfortunately, Saturday night, one of the teeth snapped right off on a piece of sourdough bread.  Coming as it did at the end of a dark week, I momentarily disappeared into an emotional black hole but recovered quickly enough to have an evening worthy of Monday Smiles.   Yes, I’m Resilient.

So, after five days of limiting my diet to foods I don’t have to bite, I’m sitting in my dentist’s waiting room, yes, waiting to begin the repair process. I’m nervous. After all, it’s not every year I have my four top front teeth ground to stubs then fitted with temporary caps while permanent ones are made, which takes two and a half weeks, during which I’ll continue to eat foods I don’t have to bite.  Of course, that’s the nice thing about most dental crises … given the right amount of money and time, we usually know how they’ll turn out. And in this case, I’ll have four upper choppers that the good dentist assures me will outlast me.  Maybe my teeth will end up in a natural history museum.

It’s easy to be Resilient when a positive outcome is assured, even if there’s some pain and discomfort along the way.  More often when life’s storms roll in, the outcome is uncertain and being Resilient takes work.  I’ve never found the notion that Everything Will Work Out for the Best to be of much help, primarily because it doesn’t fit my experience.  In the last twenty years, however, I have gotten better at visualizing positive outcomes and not spending as much time imagining awful ones.  And I try to be mindful, keeping my mind focused on what’s happening today and what I can do with that small slice of time.  I try to keep busy.  There is an old saying that shared joy is doubled and shared sadness is halved.  I don’t if the proportions are right but I have an amazing social network with which to share both.   Someone told me the other day that God knows what’s best.   I think I believe that but it seems obvious to me that God doesn’t always force his opinion on our little species.  Why would the world be such a mess if He did?  Still, faith helps because it allows me to accept what’s going on and try to do my best with it.   And help others, if I can, do the same.  My Ego would like a grander purpose.   But if I listen to my Ego, I won’t be Resilient.

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