At a dentist appointment eight years ago I was told my wisdom teeth would need to be removed, and soon, to prevent further damage to my teeth. I did not go back to the dentist until this year because I lacked the money to pay for the surgery. This week my wisdom teeth were removed. Not one, not two, not three, but all four of them. I don’t mind going to the dentist, actually enjoy it sometimes, but whichever way you look at it surgery is a big life event.

Up until the morning of the surgery I had no strong feelings about it one way or the other. I looked at it as pragmatic self care; actively managing something that needed to be managed. My initial consultation had been pleasant and the dental surgeon explained why all four teeth needed to be removed very succinctly. Only on the morning of the surgery did I start to think about the fact of what was actually happening. I started to experience anxiety about whether it would be painful and how long recovery might be.

As well at I could I engaged the mentality that I am only able to control the controllables. I trusted the surgical team to make me as comfortable as possible before the surgery, and to look after me during it. I trusted my sister to pick me up afterwards and drive me home. I trusted that soup, soft rolls, porridge, and bananas would do for food while my gums healed.

This whole process has made me think how unfortunate it is that money can be something that holds us back from doing things what keeps us healthy. It is not the only thing. Thinking it is does not make for productive thought patterns. Often our own lack of perseverance can hold us back just as much. In both cases, wisdom is necessary to make the best decisions for our well-being and productivity. I could have budgeted differently when I found out having my wisdom teeth removed was a good idea. The past few days I have felt like I’ve had the energy to write, but have actively chosen to spend more of my time playing video games and watching TV, activities that can be more restful for me. This is ok. But I could have chosen to spend more time writing.

Hindsight is 20/20. If it isn’t there is usually something wrong.

This week has been eye opening in terms of the choices I make. We have the power to be productive. We have the power to create wonderful things. We have the power to put one foot in front of the other, even when taking copious amounts of painkillers and coming to terms with having four less teeth. I guess what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is we can make tomorrow as successful as we want it to be. Orient our perspective intelligently. Organise our environment to encourage productive choices. Ask for help when we need it. Actively take a sabbath. Doing these things will give usthe best possible chance to achieve what we set out to and not fall into old habits.

I’m not going to have my wisdom teeth out every week. For this I am thankful. I just hope the majority of my wisdom wasn’t removed with them!

Keep on keeping on being awesome friends. Peace.

Cover photo by Jean van der Meulen from Pexels.


8 thoughts on “Wisdom

  1. thewheelchairteen says:

    Hi, Hamish. I’m happy that the surgery went well! And I’m happy that you were now able to afford it. You’re right that some people can’t afford to keep themselves healthy, but also quite a lot of people are scared of doing so. I know quite a few people who avoid the hospital for vital things such as cancer checks because of fear. I might have to get my own wisdom teeth removed soon and I’m terrified – but hopefully I’ll have enough perseverance and determination to go through with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      Kia kaha to you, if you do need your wisdom teeth removed. As many people with wisdom far beyond my years say: the fear our mind thinks up is often far greater than the actual consequences, good or bad, of anything at might do.


  2. Troy Headrick says:

    Pain almost always teaches. Hardship almost always provides benefits. The important thing to remember, when in the midst of pain and hardship, is that it will eventually pass. Remembering this helps us pass through the difficult part. When things hurt, it’s easy to get caught up in that difficult moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      So very true. Our perspective narrows when in pain. Fog closes in so we can’t see very far. Accepting and feeling or emotions helps to prices them and, as you say, move ride out the pain. Pain is temporary, and if we let it be, a great teacher. Thank you for another great reminder that where we’re going is not where we are right now.


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