Monday, October 15, 2012

the universe is funny sometimes.

So it's been some time since I've written on this blog.

This summer I took on a couple of different things, not quite knowing what this fall semester will hold.

Teaching 2 courses feels like a full-time job. Partly because I am aware that I am detail-oriented (and ok, perfectionist... ugh I hate saying that), so I tend to spend excessive amounts of time over little details.

I do miss writing here though, so I thought I'd share some random things that have been going on lately...

I was so excited to be teaching yoga again, and to be selling cookies - both of which I thought long and hard about (as my cautious self does) before jumping in. And just when I told myself, "YES", and got it started, an injury creeps up on me.

I talked to a childhood friend of mine, an occupational therapist who specializes in hand therapy, based in California. She "diagnosed" me via FaceTime. Don't you love technology? She suspected tendonitis. And another friend of mine, an MD in Kentucky, suspected the same. I'm doctor-less right now, so I had to find more creative ways of getting a "consultation".

So yes, just when I started teaching yoga (and doing more down dogs, chatturangas, etc) AND just when I started selling cookies (read: manual labor), I now feel really limited by my wrist issues. After thinking long and hard about whether to do it, then finally I did  it... why now, of all times, do I have to have this injury?

The universe is funny sometimes. 

Not that my so-called issues are earth-shattering, by any means. Far from it. Earth-shattering, no. Frustrating, yes.

So I finally got this monster of a mouse:

Logitech Trackball M570

Technically I don't think it's a mouse - you actually don't move the whole unit, just that nifty blue trackball with your thumb to navigate on your screen.

Funny thing is, this injury s-l-o-w-l-y started creeping up on me probably in... July? And I held off on buying this because I loved the "motion economy" (to quote my dad) of using my Macbook's trackpad. I loved the quick, efficient movements from keyboard to trackpad and trackpad to keyboard while working. Because I'm actually not the most patient person when it comes to my work - and I felt that using a mouse would slow me down. I realized many times before that I do not really like slowing down very much when I'm working. Especially when the sheer volume of work just sometimes seems... insurmountable, relative to the number of hours in a day.

But I realize my occupational hazards of working at a computer pretty much all day, and then practicing/teaching yoga, and then baking. I don't ever give my hands a break. No wonder they are protesting.

Lessons learned, for sure. 

And as I'm learning more about ergonomically designed workspaces, my workspace - both at home and on campus - are set up horribly. But that's another story.

What is it about this urgency to see results, and why is it hard to let it go? Funny how I've been talking about "incremental, yet meaningful change" (I think I got that from a Leeann Carey workshop) while teaching yoga. Perhaps I've been saying it a lot in class, because it's a reminder I need for myself as well.

So as I'm learning to use my new "trackball", I'm learning to give myself time for the movements to be stored in my muscle memory, and trying to be more patient in seeing results. Even if I don't have quite the same precision of movement yet with the trackball as I did with my built-in laptop trackpad. I'm getting there. I still get frustrated occasionally, but I think the trackball and I are slowly becoming friends.

I'm learning to sit still and be patient as I soak my hand and wrist in a big pot of warm water mixed with epsom salts, much to the amusement of my husband as he watches me try to sit still, knowing that in my mind, my thoughts are racing about needing to get X, Y, and Z done.

image source

I'm learning to own up to what I just can't do. Three times I've had to contact a few friends who ordered cookies, to say that I couldn't fulfill their cookie orders that week when I was in pain. And all of those times I learned how understanding other people are when you come forward with honesty (thank you, Misty, Anne Dean, and Lissa). I was so worried about what they would think, when really, all of them said in their own kind ways - it's all good, send the cookies whenever you can.

I'm learning to be more aware, more intentional with my movements - beyond my yoga mat - so that I don't further injure myself.

I'm learning to give my hands a break when I'm tired and just put everything on hold for a while, instead of rushing from one thing to the next to fulfill this need to be "productive".

Because it's certainly difficult to be productive while pushing through pain. Especially when even simple everyday things like pushing down on a soap pump with my hand or carrying some dishes can make me wince, like it did last night.

And I'm learning the hard way about being patient with myself.

Incremental, yet meaningful change.

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