Change Your Timing, Change Your Attitude

My wife and I have both had it on good authority for a while now that an electric toothbrush is by far the way to go.  We are doing well, relatively speaking, but neither of us had any interest in dropping nearly two hundred bucks on a toothbrush for each of us…so we found just one base for seventy bucks that we could share, picked up a four-pack of replacement heads, and we were on our way.

Each of these replacement heads has a different little colored ring around its base; mine is yellow, and my wife’s is blue.  I woke up the next “morning” (actually afternoon because of my work schedule) to find my yellow brush head on the toothbrush, as it sat there on its little charger…and I realized that my wife had put it on there for me when she was finished before she left for work that morning.  “Oh, that was nice of her,” I thought.  When I finished brushing my own teeth, I returned the favor and replaced mine with the blue one, so hers would be ready when she needed it.

We’ve always taken the extra time to be thoughtful to each other, but it was about three days into this routine that it hit me:  The simple, small act of “giving” to my wife (having her toothbrush ready for her in the morning) and having it reciprocated put us both in a good mood, and it was literally the same act I would have to perform each day even if we hadn’t done it for each other.  Does that make sense?

Don't be THIS guy!

So, imagine waking up every day to find that you have to once again dig your own toothbrush head out of the drawer because your spouse has always beaten you to the toothbrush, and theirs is still there when you need to brush.  How annoying.  Now look at the fact that you choosing to do it for her somehow makes everything more bearable–even enjoyable–simply because the order and timing of things have been changed just a little.  Pretty small change, pretty significant gains in the long-term.  Think of it–because of this, brushing your teeth is a *little* less of a chore, your mood is improved, your relationship is stronger and happier, and you just got a promotion!  OK I’m kidding about the promotion, but those first three things might someday lead to one.  After all, no one likes working around the grumpy guy (or girl) who has bad breath.

What barely-noticeable change could you find to make your day/job/relationship easier?  Give it some thought, and share it with the forum.  There’s a $5.00 gift card to Starbucks for whoever leaves the best comment on this WP post.  I’ll decide the winner on January 30.  So get this–on MY birthday, I’ll give YOU a gift!


    • Chris Laws
    • January 21st, 2011

    Robin and I have a magna doodle that we write notes and words of encouragement to other person in our bathroom.

    • I like it, Chris–Alli and I figured out once that if you have a towel hanger that keeps towels close together, if you wrap one towel around the other, it looks like one person hugging the other from behind. We do that now, to remind each other that we have each others’ back.

    • Rebecca Christ
    • January 21st, 2011

    OK – So apparently I am way to jaded…through this entire post I was waiting for the catch – that line that said “we realized we both thought yellow was ours and had been using the same toothbrush for weeks”. I guess my small change should be to appreciate things at face value and stop looking for the catch!

    • Funny thing you say that…I DID think for a second, “What if the fact that my toothbrush is always there just means that she never brushes her teeth?”

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