Yesterday, I had braces put on. I’ve needed braces since I was a kid, so they are about 22 years late! Last night and this morning, my mouth has felt so sore, and I expected that. I also expected this feeling of panic that’s lodged in my chest: that now they are on, I can’t get them off, and before they come off, I will have to also have to have facial surgery to remedy my particular orthodontic ailment.
Here I am the night before my braces were installed:
As an adult, I realize the need to submit to a little (lot of?) discomfort, enduring what I must in order to achieve the most desirable result. When this course of treatment was first described to my parents (with twelve-year-old-me sitting in the room), I was not willing to go along with it. As a matter of fact, after that day, I developed a horrible phobia of the dentist and wouldn’t agree to so much as have my teeth cleaned for years afterward!
Over a long period of time, I eventually overcame the phobia and began taking care of the dental work that had been postponed so long. This one thing remained, and tried as I might to bargain my way out of it, my dentist assured me that she’d done all she can do to alleviate my remaining complaints, unless this is done.
So, do you want to see the after?
Is there something you have been putting off that you know needs to be done? I think we all have a few of those things lingering around. Tax paperwork that needs to be filed. Appointments to be made. Closets to clean out and things to be maintained and repaired.
You know what I’ve learned? Waiting to do things later doesn’t make them easier to do. Sometimes, it makes it much harder! Braces placed on young teeth, in a malleable and still-growing mouth, are (so I’m told) less painful.
I’m not thrilled about how my mouth feels right now, but I’m glad that two years from now I will look like a brand new person. Perhaps I won’t be shy about having my picture made anymore? I hope to have more confidence in the leadership calling that the Lord has given me. Maybe I will finally learn to be more mindful about what I eat and lose the last 15 pounds that have plagued me for years!
I keep telling myself that a 36-year-old woman with braces looks less silly than a 46-year-old with braces or (ultimately, had I decided to continue postponing the work), a 56-year-old woman missing half her teeth. How’s that for motivating?! Whatever works, I say.
Whatever you’ve been putting off, why don’t you take steps to complete it today? I have a feeling future you will be grateful.