Two broken wrists and more than two years later, I am almost done with my book. It’s been an interesting, exciting, frustrating and fulfilling journey; spiritually, artistically, and emotionally. When I broke my dominant wrist shortly after I began this journey, I learned about patience. And now, with my latest injury, I’ve learned about priorities.
Though I planned to spend most of my time on the book, lots of things seemed to take precedence. Sitting with a troubled friend, attending events that I felt obliged to be at, going to board meetings for non-profit organizations, tutoring in the jail… important things all. When I broke my non-dominant wrist I couldn’t drive, couldn’t lift, couldn’t schlepp. I found myself, in the midst of some frustration, in the place I needed to be. In spite of my lame left arm, I could paint the figures that people my book. I could fine tune the text. I could, without guilt or resentment, do what I wanted to do.
My son, from whom I learn a great deal, recently told me he is asking himself this question: “Is this a priority in my life?” It helps him make decisions about how he spends his time, money, and talent. For a very long time I have put other people’s priorities ahead of my own. In doing so, I sometimes became resentful, frustrated, and depleted. An injury is a good excuse to say no.
In the days, months and years ahead, I hope to be able give my own priorities as much attention as all the other things in my life. Who knew a broken bone would have so much to teach me about myself?