I bid farewell to splint and sling at the end of last week. A fond farewell. I wrote to have a week without use of my right hand would be no big deal in the scheme of things. I’d be fine without it. I lied. Or at least, I projected it would be no big deal when in fact it was.

The last month has been stupidly stressful. Stupid the best word I can come up with to describe frustration that you just can’t seem to circumvent however you try. Stress that leaves you overwhelmed, exhausted, easily distracted.

I hate when people say to “let things go,” as if in the midst of difficulty it isn’t the very thing one wishes for. As if it were so easy and a simple reminder does the trick. Silly me, I forgot to let it go.

While some people find the sofa and a stack of films the way to decompress, for me it’s found in writing, in taking photos, in calligraphy, in decorating and in the act of making stuff – all the things that require my right hand.

And so, I had to figure out a Plan B. It was an unexpected sort of mindful awareness, the sort I accepted begrudgingly because options were few. Silver linings weren’t in abundance, but they were there.

I found that with one hand not only could I make gluten, soy, egg, dairy-free pancakes, but that this amazing mix that sat unopened for ages is really good. I never make pancakes because, you know, time. But it really didn’t take much time. Not at all.

While my reading habits swap between paper and tablet, last week my iPad was never far from my lap as I read, I surfed and I scheduled. Life with screens is a fabulous thing when I am using it well. Writing was a bit less than productive, but I did mess around with Dictation on my computer. It isn’t terrible, but I don’t think technology has come as far from that scene in L.A. Story as we’d like to believe it has.

I saw a kindness in strangers I’d never known. I find people pretty kind in general, but I’ve never been without use of a limb, and this was new. With Tetris-like precision, checkers placed items in my reusable totes so I had less to carry (I’ve been a BAGGU user since 2008 – is it just me or are reusable totes often met with a look of confusion, as though a bag not made of flimsy plastic or paper is just inconceivable to hold objects?). As I was handed my bag(s) or a door was held open, I have never heard myself called “Ma’am” so many times – I’ll focus on people’s politeness rather than feeling old, OK?

The week ended. A new one begins with two hands.

I  play catch up, only it’s not as big a list as I’d thought it would be. Because last week I let a lot go. Kind of like the days before DVRs when we had to choose to stop, sit down and watch a show in the moment or miss the chance. I couldn’t be and do all I wanted, which isn’t exactly a new feeling, only this time it was met with whatever, I’ll just make pancakes.


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