Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Check List

I was recently at the dentist for a cleaning. The technician—who I like—asked me about flossing. I told her I didn’t. And I went on to tell her that I won’t. I’m not going to lie. I have had grand amibitions to floss, but I have learned over the years that I won’t.

She was very good about it, which is one of the reasons that I keep going to this dentist. But I was prepared if she wanted to explain to me why I had to floss. Because she is right, it would be better if I flossed. But I have been working on the following checklist to provide to people who tell me about the things I should do.

  • Do you floss?
  • Do you exercise three times a week?
  • Do you ‘pay yourself first’, that is do you put aside a certain percentage of your income for retirement?
  • Do you have an emergency fund?
  • Do you get 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day?
  • Do you know your glucose numbers? Especially if you are at risk for diabetis? Do you know the risk factors for diabetis?
  • Do you drink a glass of red wine every day for your heart?
  • For women
    • do you do a monthly breast exam?
    • Do you get enough calcium?
    • Do you take folic acid?
    • Do you eat a serving of green leafy vegetables every day?
  • For men—do you do a monthly self exam?
  • Do you eat five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables every day?
  • Do you check your credit rating yearly?
  • Are your spices stored over your stove? And do you throw them out when they are six months old?
  • If you are fifty or older, have you had a colonoscopy?
  • Do you recycle?
  • Do you do both aerobic and anerobic exercise?
  • Do you support the troops? I mean by doing more than buying one of those stupid ribbons to stick on your car?
  • Do you vote?
  • Do you research your vote? Even judges and local zoning issues?
  • Are you learning a new language or otherwise doing something to decrease your chances of Alzheimers?
  • Do you have your tires rotated every other oil change?
  • Do you get an oil change every 3,000 to 7,000 miles?
  • Do you drink eight 8oz. glasses of water every day?

There are more things I could add to the list but the point is, we're a pretty maintenance heavy culture. I will also confess, I don't do all of these things. I won't say how many I do or don't. But I miss my share.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. This list could go on and on.

Do you change the battery in your smoke detector every year?

Do you have a CO detector?

Did you get a flu shot?

Are all your immunizations up to date?

And so on...

So much of my checklist involves doing stuff to prevent Bad Things From Happening® and to give the illusion that I have some kind of control over my life.

November 30, 2005 4:05 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

It's all about guilt. And fear.

Like I don't live in a state of low-level anxiety already.

I think it's because as hunter-gatherers we evolved to be vigilent so things wouldn't, you know, eat us. And in the absence of lions and hyenas and stuff, we worry about brain cancer from cell phones.

November 30, 2005 7:22 PM  
Blogger Shawn Z. Lea said...

A few years ago, I got shamed into flossing by my dental hygienist, who was a bit grossed out by the amount of plaque on my teeth. So I flossed diligently for six months, slowly counting the days to going back to the chair and being praised for my flossing steadfastness. I sit down knowingly, waiting.

To my dismay, she asks, Why are you not flossing? In amazement, I say I am flossing, every day, just like you could you say such a thing? She tells me I'm not being hard enough on my self. I tell her that's the story of my life.

I floss sporadically now, when I feel like it. There's just no pleasing some dental hygienists. ;)

December 01, 2005 12:34 AM  
Blogger Derryl Murphy said...

You know, I don't have a CO detector, and I damn well should know better, since we had one in our rental house and it went off and the fire department came and, indeed, we had a leak. I'll try to buy one this weekend.

And yes, I do a self-exam every month. Last month it was math, and this month it'll probably be physics.


December 01, 2005 10:41 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

So little time, so much to feel guilty about!

December 02, 2005 11:55 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

There's no reason to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water a day. That's an invention of some magazine; it has no medical basis whatsoever.

December 03, 2005 3:14 AM  
Blogger Erin O'Brien said...

Does spelling diabetes correctly improve your risk factor?

December 03, 2005 8:24 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Ted, you're right, but that knowledge fails to induce guilt and/or fear.

Erin, if bad spelling is a health risk factor, I am doomed, I tell you, doomed.

December 03, 2005 8:56 AM  

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