I was feeling overwhelmed and sorry for myself today. I spent Thanksgiving 1000 miles away in a hospital taking care of my 92-year-old father, who may not return home. Intense work awaited my return on Monday, punctuated at day’s end by an atypical tongue lashing (on my part) of a lazy clerk at a local health food store I frequent.

But my attitude changed today, and interestingly, it changed because of my early morning dental appointment and their samples of a toothpaste labeled, “3D.”

“Interesting,” I said to Rainie, the receptionist, as I took the small tube from the basket. “I wonder what special properties 3D toothpaste has?” I delivered this remark somewhat sarcastically.

“Maybe it makes your teeth pop way out of your mouth like this!” And she jutted out her chin and laughed.  “What do you think of those 3D movies anyway? I saw one and didn’t think much of it.”

“I saw a couple, and if I never see another, I won’t miss it.” I was happy giving a negative reply, which seemed in keeping with her faintly damning remark. I was enjoying my pessimistic mood and looking forward to prolonging it.

The lady in the corner reading a magazine piped up. “Oh, I think it’s great, the technology they use. Such imaginative minds! I saw that Sandra Bullock 3D movie, what was it called?”

“Galaxy?” Rainie asked.

“Calling Google,” the lady said, digging out her cell phone and rapidly punching. “Gravity!”

“You were close.” I smiled at Rainie

“Anyway,” the lady continued, “I think it’s wonderful what they can do nowadays, just fascinating how inventive people can be.”

“Are you ready, Debby?” The lady’s dental hygienist appeared, smiling.

“Always!” Debbie bounced up, her seriously tubby body not slowing her down a nanosecond.

I sat there thinking how willing I’d been to dump on 3D movie technology when, instead, I could have been in awe and wonder. How many other chances at awe and wonder had I missed because of a lousy attitude?

“Priscilla?” Joy, my hygienist, called. “Sorry I’m late. My first patient was 15 minutes late! Not a good way to start my day.” She shook her head with a frown.

Joy is a dedicated dental hygienist, who cares about my teeth and mouth, gives great advice, wonderful samples, and is punctual almost to a fault. Who knows why the first patient of the day was late, but the deleterious domino effect was apparent on her face.

“You know, I look forward to coming here to see you, Joy,” I said.

“Really?” Her eyes were puzzled.

“Yes, because I know you will take care of me. You always do. I like the feeling of being in your good hands.”

“Thanks!” Her smile was joyous, and I could hear her purr over the nearby whir of an electric tooth cleaner .

Now what will I do on Wednesday when I go to that health food store again? Suggestions, anyone?

Love and Light, Cill