Saturday, 19 April 2014

Grinding to a halt

For the past ten years I've been making things by knitting, crocheting and sewing almost non-stop.  It's been wonderful;  there's a thrill at the start of every project, which becomes an engaging challenge or a peaceful escape and ends in delight at the finished object.  I've made hundreds of things, fantasised about countless projects that never got started and cursed things like work and sleep for filling up time when I could be making things.

This has all changed in the past three months because of one small thing.  It started out as a tiny bit of stiffness in the middle finger of my right hand.  After three days it became unbearably stiff and ached constantly.  The doctor said it was probably tendonitis and I needed to rest that finger.  When I'm knitting, crocheting or sewing I don't use my middle finger so it curls under and out of the way.  Looks like years of being a cramped up and out of the action has taken it's toll.

I had no choice but to rest it and for three weeks I was bored and figity as I went cold turkey.  I read much more and remembered just how much I enjoy it and after a couple of weeks I had a story idea of my own so I started writing.  Even using an ergonomic pen hurt after not very long though as I have a weird grip so most of the pressure is on - you guessed it - my middle finger.  I realised that typing took most of the pressure off, with my finger being stretched out instead of cramped and sharing any pressure with all my other fingers, so I took the plunge and bought myself a cheap, light, fast Chromebook with a comfortable keyboard.  It might not sound like a massive leap but it meant buying something relatively expensive for myself, which is against the thrifty obsession nature I've grown over the past few lean years, and committing to writing regularly.  It turns out to have been a powerful gesture and I'm in the habit of writing every day, which I love.  I will always love making things but I was burning up a lot of time that I could have spent trying to live my dream of writing.  I can't help thinking that my middle finger's protestations were a way of the universe or my unconcious getting me moving in the right direction, seizing up so that I'd have no choice but to expand in a new direction.

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