Lessons learned from a sprained wrist

It’s now been two weeks since I slipped on our notorious Minnesota ice and badly sprained my right wrist.  Much like the camellia in this photo, I am starting to emerge from this injury although I’m still seeking some protection as I do so.  I realize though, that I’ve certainly learned some lessons from my injury:  (1.)  Appreciate all the things you take for granted.  Until now I haven’t realized all the things, big and small, that I do with my hands.   (2.)  Trying to do things with a non-dominant hand is not as easy as one would think.  OK….I tried to get my brain to talk to my left hand and tell it how to move and what to do, but of course the message wasn’t getting through completely.  I have humbled myself many times as I fumbled trying to do simple tasks.  (3.)  Mindfulness is really important, and not second-nature.  I have learned to pay more attention to what I am doing at a specific time.  If I’m outside walking, I try to concentrate on my walking — one foot in front of the other.  How easy it is to be distracted with thoughts of how cold it is, where I’m going, what I’m going to be doing there, what the roads are going to be like, what I’m having for lunch, etc, etc, etc.  Live in the present!!  (4.)  When walking on ice or slippery surfaces, always carry things in your dominant hand.  I read this tip the day after I injured my right wrist.  If you have something in your dominant hand and you fall, you will most likely use your non-dominant hand to break your fall.  OK, you just might injure it badly, but you will not be nearly as incapacitated as you would be with injuring your dominant hand.  (5.)  Everything takes longer when you have an injury, and patience is something to strive for.  I haven’t been able to tie my boots, put a glove on my right hand, or turn the key in the car ignition without some assistance from either my left hand or from the willing two hands of a friend.  My frustration would get the best of me at times.  And photographing with a tripod and a dominant-hand injury forces me to slow down — look, observe, envision the shot, and only then do I spend the five minutes to mount the appropriate lens, place the polarizing filter, set the camera on the tripod, adjust the tripod legs, attach the cable release, focus, and then make the image.  And just maybe, that’s not a bad thing.