It’s All In My Head
I have a love/hate relationship with my electric toothbrush, shamed into getting one by my plaque-vigilant dental hygienist.
There I am tilted so far back in the exam chair it feels like my bladder is in my stomach and filling up like a gas tank. A form of torture, I think, to get me to submit. Tsk, tsk, do you drink coffee, she says, not really a question, more like a mother who knows what you’ve been up too and is getting you to confess. Yes. Tsk, tsk, and red wine? Yes. She exaggerates her scraping. You have the kind of teeth that collect plaque. Great. My teeth are big. There’s a lot of space to cover. You need an electric toothbrush, she says. Darn, and my solution was to switch to white wine. Okay, I agree under duress, hanging upside down in the chair and needing to pee.
I don’t want to be reprimanded by my new mother figure and set out to get my motorized brushing device. The electric toothbrush I buy is possessed, I’m convinced of it. It has a mind of its own deciding just how long the clean cycle will last. I make my My Guy time it just knowing it’s off. Several times. Each time it was two minutes give or take a second or two. This cannot be.
Time. Sometimes the brushing time goes by so quickly, I think it surely cut me short a stroke or two. Other times, mostly when I feel impatient or hurried, it feels like forever. I think I must have certainly pushed the on button twice. No, proven by the clock, that brush is pretty close to exact each and every time. Clearly, it’s all in my head. Psychological time.
In my past job, when I left a bit late for work, I used to say to myself, no worries, I will just bend time to get there. And I would arrive on time. All the lights would be green that day, or traffic would be light. My co-worker commented on how I seemed to get there the same time every day. It was true. It didn’t matter what time I left I would arrive at exactly two minutes before the designated start time.
“I have all the time I need in all the time that I have to get where I need to go,” is the mantra I say to myself, and what I suggest clients who are stressed about having enough time repeat also. Then relax and trust it will be so, I suggest. Works every time.
Maybe my love/hate relationship is with time itself, not that blasted toothbrush with the whirring noise as it street-sweeps my teeth. Does the time I perceive in my mind actually create real time? Is time just a feeling? Is the Universe listening to my intention and helping me bend time? Then of course there’s the space/time continuum where all time, past, present, future collapses into one. Too much heady stuff to discuss that here. I know my body sends out the same physiological signals whether I am just thinking about something or it’s actually really happening, like, for example, if I’m watching a fire or just imagining one. That’s how much power our minds have. You probably experience this when you watch a scary or suspenseful show or movie and feel your body react.
In psychological time perception is everything. I played with this a little bit on the elliptical machine the other day. I imagined myself running a race with a light easy gait and crossing the finish line barely breaking a sweat. My perception was that the time on the machine went by quickly. The next time I focused on the actual time itself watching each second tick away. That time seemed interminable. My legs were tired, and I was out-of-breath. It’s the same with walking my dog. How I perceive the walk is how easy or long it seems to me. And sex. Use your imagination there.
Turns out my electric toothbrush is not the culprit to my impatience and frustration after all. It’s all in my head, psychological time.
Hmmm… if I can make time pass pleasantly and quickly, am I able to reverse time?
If perception is everything, well then, I just turned 40.