I broke my wrist. Then had surgery on it. A happy, funny man that I don't even know suggested the best back story. Walking in my neighborhood last weekend, holding my heavily dressed hand/wrist/arm up in the "thumb sucking position" (required until the swelling is gone), this man was getting out of his car, looked at me and said, "WWE?" I said, "Yes! I've been looking for a better story; this is it!" So, now that you know I broke my wrist in a WWE exhibition bout, I'll move on...
When I found myself one handed, I immediately did an inventory of how this would impact my life for the next several weeks. Then, almost instinctively, I reacted to that on an emotional/life perspective level. The inventory went like this: argh...I'm off the (climbing) wall, off my bike, out of yoga, out of spin class for a while. Ok, ok, ok...I can walk. Elliptical. Run? Stationary bike? Given that activity is how I protect my psychological balance...uh, sanity...I needed to get that settled in my mind pretty quickly.
The second inventory was how this would impact making/creating. What are my current works-in-process and works-in-design? Two pairs of earrings done except for final polish. Dang! Can't grip the tools I polish with for a while. Always several designs ready for being realized, but...firing up my torch? Not a good idea. Cutting/sawing metal? Performing any two handed operations? No. This pretty much shuts down most work executed at the jeweler's bench. At least until my fingers are more available for gripping and holding. I can definitely transfer designs to metal for etching though and I can still sketch new designs. OK, what else? Sewing? Once I get all the finger use back, I think so. Manipulate lye to make some soap batches? Um, that would just be stupid. Build something cool with my favorite power tools? That would be a great way to do further, perhaps irreparable harm! "Chill out", I said to myself.
Then, a happy idea. Rope necklaces. I made several a few years ago when I was working more with beads than metalsmithing. Long strands make for such versatility! I made a few more for my friend Kelli to show/sell in her new boho chic themed boutique on wheels...SWAT Boutique--Style With A Twist. (You should really go see her if you're in or around Nashville...find her on Facebook.)
These two were made largely one handed, so more slowly, but in some way more satisfying. Offers that lesson to me where I may never have mastery. Slow down. Ponder the design. Enjoy the process.
I finished taking inventories. My full time job: yes, I can type one handed for a while and yes, I can wear yoga pants (to avoid buttons, zippers, and all things fitted and not stretchy) to the office every day for a while. I wonder how long I can get away with yoga pants...? Day to day living: twisting motions are a problem, so jar lids and ponytails are nealry impossible, and let's be honest, my life isn't damaged by the temporary loss of either. I broke the non-dominant wrist, so driving, feeding myself, and writing are virtually unscathed.
While I wouldn't have purposely orchestrated this to learn the lesson, I do think there's value in observing myself react to it. There were decision points that flashed in my mind...am I going to whine about this or find opportunity? Am I going to use it as an excuse to lay low and wallow a bit or am I going to see it for what it is...a broken wrist, no more, no less...and carry on? Having a few completed decades of life behind me, I'm relieved to say that there has been some wisdom and maturity gained. The moral of the story is that a broken wrist is nothing. I have been gifted with a crazy good life. Everywhere I look in my life, I see richness...family and friends and talents of people who I do know and people who I don't, goodness and generosity and grace. I deserve none of it and am grateful for all of it.
Hi, I'm Donna. Long time artisan/creative. Full time work in nonprofit world. Mother of two adult sons. Currently, also mother of two cats.
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