Blazer, Kohl's | Dress (worn as top), Forever 21 | Skirt, Wet Seal | Shoes, Target kids | Beanie, Nordstrom BP
How to spend 20 minutes brushing your teeth: a guide for the mildly obsessive and compulsive
Iodized sea salt
A microwave (or other means of making warm water)
Step one: Brush the whole mouth with just water. Mind you, no toothpaste. Just a good ol' toothbrush (soft bristles preferable) and H2O straight from the tap. For optimal results, use a separate no-toothpaste brush.
Step two: Brush the bottom teeth with a large pea-sized dollop of all-natural toothpaste and your toothpaste-specific brush. Make sure to take care of the insides and backs and pay close attention to any permanent retainers. 1
Step three: Brush the top teeth following the same steps after rinsing the brush and adding fresh toothpaste.
Step four: After cleaning the brush again, do a final sweep of both the top and bottom teeth with a third dollop of toothpaste.
Step five: Floss. For maximum efficiency, pull floss across the left and right sides of the mouth at the same time once past the front teeth. Finish up with any tricky permanent retainer flossing--floss threaders may or may not be necessary, depending on the space between the retainer and teeth
Step six: Throw a few pinches or shakes of iodized sea salt in a mug. Fill 'er halfway up with water.
Step seven: Throw the mug and contents in the microwave for 24 seconds (or just use really warm water). Remove mug from microwave. Lightly shake the mug back and forth to facilitate quick dissolving of the salt. 2
Step eight: Use the warm salt water solution as mouthwash. Swish 'er around, spit, and repeat until mug is empty. Rinse the mug out one complete.
Step nine: If applicable, clean any non-permanent retainers with brush and toothpaste, and place in mouth.
1. Rinse and spit whenever necessary. Also, brush with the upmost care and thoroughness--spend at least two minutes on each brushing cycle.
2. If you're in a shared restroom (college or a camp), several people may have entered and exited the restroom at this point. The same people may have even entered and exited multiple times. You may get a couple funny side glances and inquiries. Pretend as if what you're doing is perfectly normal; eventually, others will find your toothbrushing habits both amusing and endearing.
Congratulations, you have now completed my nightly routine.
* * *
I'm a meticulous person--whether it's brushing my teeth, composing emails, grocery shopping, blogging.
I feel compelled to write something grand and philosophical in each post, but I'm slowly beginning to realize it's okay when I haven't untangled my reflections well enough to express them quite yet. It's okay to have a short snippet accompanying a photoset for a blog post, or a long rambling that isn't the grandest or most philosophical, as long as it's genuine and relevant. It's okay to spend a little less time obsessing over the wording in emails or best value and quality in groceries. It's okay to--well, the toothbrushing is non-negotiable.
But really. It's both healthy and okay to maximize efficiency and efficacy.
It's a process, and I'm learning and trying my best.
* * *
While on the topic of efficiency and efficacy, I wanted to let you all know that I've switched to Disqus for comments. I truly appreciated all your insightful and encouraging words on my last post, and a few of you brought up some points that really prompted me to think; I've responded accordingly back on the post. Before, I used to reply to any questions or constructive criticism back on the commenter's blog, but I've realized that it's much more effective for the entire dialogue to be in one place. This way, any other readers can view the discussion and perhaps find responses to similar points they may have. Even better, you'll receive a notification if I reply, unlike the blogger system.
This weekend also marks the last I'll spend in my hometown before the start of second semester, which means I'll have less time to blog. I'll be unable to visit your sites as frequently, but I do plan to try my best, and I do plan to keep comments enabled this time--I want the dialogue to continue. In my opinion, comments should be less quid pro quo, and more about leaving insight, staying in touch, or remarking on content you found truly resonant or thought-provoking. I would rather leave one genuine, thorough note that requires time and thought than ten empty pleasantries. True to my mildly obsessive-compulsive personality, of course.
If I'm going to do something, I'm going strive to do it well, and make it as meaningful--and efficient and effective--as possible.
As a liberal arts student/endurance athlete/violinist/fashion enthusiast, I find beauty in many spheres. Consequently, I have no idea where life will lead me. Here is where I document my journey to creating myself--soul-baring reflections, embarrassing photos, and all. Feel free to join me for the ride.