FEELING good about yourself is, in my opinion, a necessary ingredient to help us through the testing times that face us at work, or even in the sometimes complicated social networks of our personal lives.
At my time of life it’s probably more important to have an inner confidence to help cope, though it is nice to feel good about how you physically present yourself to others.
This, of course, might require me to delude myself about how to others perceive me, even if the feedback of “you don’t look as though you are in your seventies” is not always sincere, more designed to butter me up. And guess what I nearly always fall prey to such flattery.
Last week, however, I had an experience at my dentists which boosted my morale for a number of days, giving me more to smile about than I had enjoyed earlier in the week.
Not the kind of place you would associate with being cheered up, though in my case having shared a flat with three dental students in Edinburgh in the 1960’s the company of the extractors was always a pleasure - well nearly always.
A number of weeks ago I had a poor experience with a young dentist who not only patronised me with her school teacherly attitude to my dental hygiene, and generally leaving me not feeling good about my teeth, or even appearance. Not the best of ways to leave the surgery, and making me particularly reluctant to go back for the follow up appointment.
So with some reluctance I went back to have as I thought my morale further dented, but found to my relief that my torturer of earlier in the summer had moved on, and was no longer with the Aberdeen based practice.
The treatment could not have been more different from my previous visit, as not only was the attitude good and attentive, but just as crucially designed to make me feel a bit special, not always easy in my case.
I left the surgery with lifted spirts, feeling very positive about myself. Not that you notice the difference - hwoever, I am deeply thankful for the manner in which I had been received by my young dentist who is just back from having a baby. She was probably relieved to be on duty, though not relishing having a grumpy old man from Ellon in the chair.
Her young assistant was equally charming and attentive, leaving me to head for Dundee my next step on the road with a bon homie I managed to keep until at least Monday of this week.
I’ll repeat myself, as I usually do and underline the need to feel good about yourselves, even in if is in the unlikely surrounds of a dentist’s surgery, but with a little help from friends.