Stop avoiding tasks you know you have to do – meet flossy the monster

I recently went to the dentist for my dental hygiene appointment. Every time the nice lady there checks on the situation by poking into my tooth flesh to inspect how I did in the last six months. She has been doing this job for the last 20 years, so she knows probably within a few seconds that I neglected to floss my teeth regularly. I always play clueless by telling her I did floss from time to time but I probably could floss more. Her answer was that I should floss on a daily basis otherwise my tooth flesh will not get better. If I continue on this path this will have all sorts of consequences in the future. I have heard this same story for the last decade or so yet I can’t motivate myself to stick to a regular flossing routine.

Meet flossy – what seems to be the problem here?

So why is that? Why do I avoid something as easy as flossing my teeth on a daily basis? Why can’t I invest 2 minutes in the evening that will benefit me and my health tremendously? On the other hand, watching Netflix for an hour is no problem.

Besides the looming teeth problems and hygiene issues in my mouth, there are subconscious worries that I carry around. It feels like I am being followed by a monster that is sticking to me. Particularly before the next dentist check-up I feel its presence. The monster is growing and I keep feeding it by neglecting to deal with the situation. Instead, I play the “I don’t know game”, trying to lie to myself by downplaying the whole situation. The dentist is always exaggerating, it all went well in the last couple of years so why should it change now.

Flossy keeps growing – your brain vs reality

While playing this game and the longer I prolong to take action, flossy keeps growing. At the same time flossy starts cooperating with other growing monsters (not eating too much sugar, working out regularly, cleaning all the windows in our house etc…) in my subconsciousness. I used to tell flossy I will deal with you soon but that was years ago. The situation gets more burdensome, especially when going to the next dentist appointment.

After my last visit to the dentist, I took an xray to check on my wisdom teeth, which might have to be taken out especially if flossy keeps having a good time. I know of several horror stories from people who took out their wisdom teeth so I have no intention of doing so. After my last visit to the dentist lady, I received a bill of around CHF 500.00 (xray, consultation, cleaning), flossy was having a blast.

Approaching flossy – Imagination vs reality

I decided there and then that this has been going on far too long. It was time to approach flossy the scarry monster. Instead of wasting money and avoiding something I know I have to do, I should just get some dental floss and actually use it.

Keeping all that in mind, I bought a couple of dental floss packages and put them where they are easy reachable. I even put some in the shower, why not floss there instead of just daydream.

This was about a month ago now and I have been flossing on a daily basis since then (with one exception). When looking at flossy now, the big and evil monster that has been following me non stop suddenly seems friendly and not scarry at all.

Taking a little bit of time to think about a task you struggle with makes all the difference. Trying a different approach to tackle your problem, lowering the chances to not do the specific task and keeping in mind, what the consequences are, if you neglect doing it, is half the battle won. The tipping point for me was the ridiculous bill that I received.

Farewell flossy – It feels good to get things done

Being able to finally bid flossy farewell is a wonderful feeling. At the same time my teeth never looked as clean as they do now. This motivated me to tackle a few other monsters and deciding to avoid certain things during lent. There is nothing wrong if you don’t deal with a problem immediately. But letting it stew for so long that a small worry grows into a monster is not an option you should consider. 

 Personally, I think it is hilarious how our own brain tricks us with one excuse after the other to avoid a daily 2-minute flossing session. “Today you can let it be, you deserve to take a break” or “you flossed last weekend so don’t worry about tonight, the dentist doesn’t know what she is talking about”.

It is simply not worth neglecting your health and hygiene when all it takes to solve it is the right mindset and an easy-to-follow plan to execute it. After flossing for a month, I now look forward to my next flossing session. To be honest I just took a break and went flossing. I see the next blog entry in a couple of weeks in my mind “How I was able to overcome a flossing addiction :P”. Flossy is not bothering me anymore and I am looking forward to my next dentist appointment. This time I will feel no shame and there will be no need to play clueless, the result will speak for itself.

Do you have any tasks that you just can’t get around? Let me know in the comments or by pm me.

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