"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!"
Anyone remember that song? My mom sang it to me when I was a little kid missing my two front teeth.
Today I'm 60, and I have that memory mixed with so much pain and tragedy of my childhood. It reminds me that my mom really loved me, and did her best, in spite of tremendous adversity. She had the luggage of generations of adversity, and it's passed down.
Even when things are not our fault, we can accept responsibility for our circumstances and roll up our sleeves to solve the problem.
Today I'm 60 and I still have my two front teeth and I'm thankful, but I'm missing one of the other teeth. I've been going through the long ordeal of getting a tooth implant, it takes almost two years. Right now, I'm on the last leg of that small ordeal. The metal post has healed into my gum and it's ready for the dentist to fit a crown on it.
Am I happy? Yes!
My happiness comes from the value of solving the problem and dealing with things and laughing along the journey.
A year and a half ago I was simply happy to go about my life without such pain and the whole right side of my head hurting, once they finally pulled the cracked tooth.
Then I went through the phases of insecurity about not having the tooth when I smiled.
Randy and I went through the insecurity of the cost and solving that problem.
Solving one problem always brings you more problems to solve.
Everywhere you go, there will be problems to solve.
Once you accept that, it brings a sense of happiness because you can start choosing.
Are you comparing your life to others? You will never find happiness there.
I was in pain due to a cracked tooth, and I was happy for the pain to go away.
For a week, as I was healing, I didn't care that I didn't have a tooth. I was happy just to sleep.
A few weeks later, I was insecure about the tooth. Then, I resolved it in my mind and laughed and decided it wasn't as important to dwell on as other things I choose to focus my attention on.
I have solved many other problems during that time. The time flew by, and I wasn't miserable thinking about the missing tooth.
It doesn't mean I feel positive about everything all the time. I don't deny the existance of the problems in my life that still need to be solved.
It's a continuum, this solving of life's problems, where one thing fixed leads to the new problems. Just like I fixed the fact that I was obese over 10 years ago. Now I'm still solving the problem of getting my exercise in and eating my carefully calculated calories and protein. The fact of the matter is that if I don't solve those little problems daily, I don't get to be the one like yesterday at the vehicle repair shop where an older guy said "But you are young!" My mechanic laughed because he's known Randy and I many years, he smirked and said "She's 60 and she takes very good care of herself!" He seemed to have a sense of pride in saying so, and it sure felt great to me.
But yes, I know I didn't get to be in that situation without solving problems every day. Yes. Rolling up my sleeves and dealing with the mundane nitty gritty that comes with solving problems daily.
I'm happy I get my tooth soon. It doesn't matter to me that others have it better or worse regarding their teeth. All that matters is solving my problems and having compassion for others who have their own problems to solve. Sometimes we can even choose to help each other out!
The memory of the song reminds me I have some problems to solve regarding both my mother and my daughter that I've been putting off.
So, on I go, finding a bit of happiness and sticking to the continuum of problem solving.
"One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful." -Freud