I’ve lost my mind. I’m writing about toothpaste. 
I can’t remember ever ever talking about toothpaste with anyone but my myself, but there it was, an actual conversation about the different flavors. Who knows how it came up, but after a while I heard,  “Why don’t you write about toothpaste.” I brushed the suggestion off as too trivial for my blog, but the irony of writing about this miniscule part of the day when my next book tackles grief was just too intriguing to pass up. Yes, it’s a life tweak, but how important can your toothpaste be in the large scheme of things? Let’s see… 
Dental health is another little slice of the good-health picture, and without the great flavor of toothpaste, maybe we would resist more. We all know that it’s the brushing action that really counts, but dentists want us to keep at it for two whole minutes, a long time unless your mouth is happy. Spearmint keeps me going longer! Parenting is easier, too, when there’s the lure of a great flavor to get young children on the right path early. 
Until this conversation, (Thank you, Marti.) I didn’t realize how attached adults are to certain flavors. I had a dentist once who insisted on nothing else but Listerine toothpaste and, ooh, did that burn. There are your Crest, Colgate and Tom loyalists, mint lovers all, but my own favorite is Kids Crest. Yumyum bubblegum. Have you noticed that kids always get the good stuff? My husband insists on two kinds: Listerine before bed because that dentist was a sadist and insisted, and cinnamon in the morning, to “wake up my mouth.” Try googling the subject and see surprising and bizarre flavors: bacon, pickle, scotch, coffee. See how important this is? 
The juxtaposition of my two subjects at hand — toothpaste and grief — is a perfect reminder to lighten up. The smallest of changes can take a bite out of an accelerating stress level as you begin the season of the year when anxiety is at its peak.