Yesterday I ran into someone I know slightly who had no knowledge of my recent setbacks. One of those bubbly, frantic people who don’t really listen but have several platitudes ready at hand–whether they apply to your situation or not.
The most visible of my injuries is, of course, the giant bandaged right hand. The person Made two comments about my injury that absolutely floored me.
“Oh, you’ll just learn to do everything with your left hand!” she said cheerfully.
“And don’t worry about not ever being able to do your art anymore, you’re so creative, I just know you’ll find something else to do!”
I was so astounded I couldn’t even reply.
I seethed quietly the rest of the day. Oh, just change the dominance of my hands? Yeah, that’s easy–nothing to it. Besides the fact that I simply want the use of two hands, not just one… Oh, just set aside my entire body of work and move on to “something else”? Give up everything that’s brought me tons of joy and fulfillment, prestige and income, and try to figure out a “new craft form” I can do one-handed? Yeah, that’s a snap.
But this morning, I thought, “People (including moi) say silly things all the time. Why did those remarks piss me off so much??”
It took some digging. But I finally I saw the humor–and the lesson–in the whole thing.
I was annoyed because this person was assuming I’m never going to recover from this. They assumed my situation is permanent. (And how even more callous their remarks were if the assumption were true.)
Then I realized that I have been afraid my situation is permanent.
How can I be mad at that person when they were simply giving voice to my own deep-down fears, fears I hadn’t really acknowledged?
For the first time, I think I really, truly realized–this situation isn’t permanent.
I WILL recover.
I’m already healing. I saw the hand surgeon recently and he said the bone is knitting together nicely. The neck surgeon said my recovery is right on track.
I thank you all for the words of encouragement you’ve sent my way. I am so grateful! The one that got me on today’s train of thought was the reminder that it will not take me another five years to get back into a healthy lifestyle and activity level again–“muscle memory” and all that.
I told you I needed daily “aha!” moments, and this is the one for today.