minimum time ‘till crash

My evening ritual is as bare-bones as I can make it.
Some of this is because, at my core, I am a morning person.

The shape of my evenings?
There’s the two-level go-to-bed alarm — even at my weary end of the day I have a tendency to hyperfocus — that sends me off to the back of the house.
Then stripping off the day’s clothes,
a brief moment on the scale (data is better in large quantities),
nightclothes,
supplements (because I am a bourgeoise in my 50s),
and whump. I am tired, after all; completely out of steam.

Not infrequently I forget a couple of these steps due to my lack of steam — most commonly the supplements — at which point I grumble out of bed, complete it, and sigh back in……to read until my smoothed-out mind falls asleep.
Target time? Between 9pm and 10. I prefer 9.

Morning-time?
The bulk of my routines of self-care happen in the morning. Always have: one must get dressed in people-clothes to tackle the day, after all. Plus there’re my eye correction needs — contacts are a daily responsibility, and/or my glasses need to be stripped of oily smudges. (I’ve come a ways from my seven-year-old life with perennially opaque specs… not far, but a ways.)

So the other habits I’ve folded in over the years are all in the mornings. My mind is gathering all the threads to be woven into the day, so slipping one more into the tapestry has been doable. My hard-won tooth care? Morning. Only morning: see hard-won, see completely out of steam. My devotional routine likewise.

Why am I musing about this right now? After all, my general hope for routines is that I don’t have to pay (much) attention to them-!


I am thus musing because I am about to live my orthodontic consequences. Dr. Pagano, you were fully correct (though I never doubted you) — by not-wearing my lower retainer routinely at ages 14-16… my lower teeth were more stubborn than my upper teeth… I spoiled your beautiful artistry, artistry that’s still apparent in my upper arch. (My current dentist: Your upper teeth look great! Thanks, I got them like this forty years ago.)My lower jaw’s-worth of teeth is not an arch, however. The top of an arch, if you briefly look into, say, Roman architecture and the engineering of arches, needs to be a carefully stacked set of well-fitting components which, with the inclusion of the keystone, both push and restrain each other for centuries of stability. The top of my lower arch is more a pile of blocks than anything else. Without the mutually-reinforcing stressors of proper arch-work, the teeth, like arch-stones, drift around, fall sideways, and generally stop doing the work they were designed to do. Dr. Pagano set up such an arch, and by age 18 I’d let the keystone slip. Sorry, Mom… Dad… Dr. Pagano.

It’s taken a while to get momentum around to repairing my mistake, and now I’m finally putting my keystone back. Using contemporary tray-based aligners rather than the glued-on brackets I cheerfully ignored in my early teens.

Looking ahead to these trays — the process’ll probably start next week — I know that (1) during the sequence of full treatment I’ll need to spend the time to clean my teeth <gasp> TWO times a day and (2) in the interest of sustaining this time and effort (and financial investment, My Sweetie has noted), I will be wearing trays overnight every night from the end of treatment onward. (“Are you really going to wear these until you die??” asks My Sweetie. It’s a reasonable doubt.)

So because I can grumble over this early and often, I’m narrowing my eyes at the prospect of Brushing My Teeth Every Dang Night. Forever.
I suck at habit-forming. Hygiene, while deeply important, is boring as heck.
And every moment at the end of the day when I’m still standing is a moment I’m Not Sleeping, and I am way more attached to sleeping than just about any other self-care.

Be interesting to see how this plays out.

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