What would you do if you suddenly could not use your dominant hand for a while? What would call to you? What would suddenly HAVE to be done?
This morning, at 7:30 a.m., I found myself in my backyard, tending bushes and flowers I am just getting to know in this first spring in our new home. Fallen petals, gangly stems, pesky weeds — all calling out and saying, “Take care of me today or stare at me for several more weeks.” I’d been avoiding the task for many days, and yet now, hours before I’m to have carpal tunnel syndrome, I could not bear to have the job remain undone.
This is the blessing of a deadline: knowing all your wiggle room has evaporated.
I have, in fact, been busy in preparation. Cooking, cleaning, organizing: the tasks that keep daily life afloat suddenly seem threatened. So I try to do everything ahead of time. My flurry of activity is a combination of worry and hope: worry that I won’t be able to take care of myself and my home, and hope that my recovery period will provide respite. In reality, my greatest restrictions will be for a few days only. But my daily routine will be interrupted for several weeks. We don’t think about all the twisty, repetitive tasks we do with our hands until we are told not to do them.
Of course writing this blog post falls in the same category as the gardening: what I didn’t want to do earlier becomes attractive just as it’s about to be denied. It is not that I have something urgent to say; rather, I need reflection and inner connection as I get ready for my surgery — this is the space that needs to be prepped, the space I want to inhabit as I turn away from ordinary routine. My house is put in order so I can rest my wrist; my inner space is put in order so I can rest my spirit.
Questions for Reflection: What routines of daily life are important to your sense of stability? How would your body or mind benefit from a period of rest and reflection? How can you create a space for reflection and connection today?
Writing Prompts: “If I were to take a break from normal life, I’d definitely need to ______” (then keep writing); “I realize that I could really use some respite so I could ______” (then keep writing); “When I take time for reflection and connection, I find that I ______” (then keep writing).