Tuesday, August 30, 2016

10 Difficult One-Handed Tasks

Life has a way of throwing you a curve ball now and then. It's been a week since I fractured my collarbone in a freak bicycle accident. I had just gotten back onto my bike when my foot slipped off the pedal and got caught in the spokes. I went over the handlebars and my shoulder hit the edge of this metal trash can.

The 'treatment' for a broken collarbone is to immobilize the arm in a sling and hope it heals well. Since then, I've been figuring out what I can and can't do and learning new ways to do things using only one hand. In the process, I've compiled this top 10 list of difficult one-handed tasks.

Working. Whether you're an aspiring sax player or just an ordinary postal worker, your doctor will probably insist that you take some time off. My doctor said 6-12 weeks of no working.

Writing or typing. Writing with pen and paper is a challenge when the arm in a sling is also your dominant arm. It's also hard to average my normal 90+ words per minute when typing with two or three fingers on my left hand.

Lifting. Anything. The second thing the doctor told me is no lifting. So far, a cup of coffee or bottle of water is the extent of my lifting.

Walking. Forget about even trying running, jumping, hiking or biking. Some days, it's painful just to walk. With one arm in a sling, taking baby steps prevents a fall and unnecessary jarring.

Personal hygiene. Washing your hand, brushing your teeth, showering and brushing your hair are all more difficult and time consuming with one hand. Forget about trying to apply make-up or cut nails.

Dressing. It's a challenge to put on or take off clothes with only one hand. Forget about looking cute. Elastic waist shorts and oversized shirts are my friends.

Driving. The third thing the doctor said no to was driving. Since the shoulder harness in the front passenger seat falls directly over the site of my injury, I'm a backseat driver for now. Sorry, Kenny.

Cooking. Since I can't lift anything and can only use one hand, cooking is pretty much out of my realm of possible activities. Oh well.

Tying shoelaces. Unless you wear shoes all day and evening at home, get someone with two hands to tie your shoes tight enough to stay on and loose enough to slip on and off. Slippers or flip-flops are also good choices.

Taking care of others. It's time to let others take care of you for a while, which is a difficult task for us independent types. Hopefully the dolls will understand.

So by now you may be wondering what's on the list of what I can do. That list is a little different.

Praying. It's at the top of my list and easy to do. I start each day with a prayer of thanksgiving before praying for others whose needs are much greater than mine.

Napping. Sleeping is highly overrated, but it's also difficult to get into a comfortable position. Little cat naps are much easier to manage than 'a good night's sleep' -- whatever that is.

Reading. Once I figured out how to balance a book on a pillow in my lap, I started tackling all of the books on my 'to-read' list. First book completed was "A Walk in the Woods," a true story of one man's attempt to thru-hike the 2.100-mile Appalachian Trail. I had already started reading this part adventure and part comedy book before the accident happened. The book engaged the hiker in me and kept me laughing. Next on the list is Mitch Albom's "have a little faith," a non-fiction book about one man's journey of faith after being asked by the rabbi of his childhood to deliver the man's eulogy.

Short neighborhood walks. I can't drive to the walking trails, but I can walk around the block. I can't wear my heavy camera, but I can take pictures with my cell phone. The same cell phone helps me stay connected with family and friends when I'm at home. Phone calls, text messages and social media can all be done one-handed.

Asking for and accepting help. This isn't always easy to do, especially when you're very independent. But I'm blessed with a wonderful husband who's been so helpful to me and I'm very grateful for his help, as well as help, healing wishes visits, cards and prayers from our children, grandkids and friends.

Dreaming. Maybe I can't do everything I want now, but I can hope, plan and dream about all of the things I'll do when I'm healed.

Being grateful and content. I only have one life to live, so I'm reminding myself every day to take it as it comes, to be grateful for everything and to be content with the journey of healing.

Hanging in there. Well, maybe not exactly like this, but you get the idea.

Reminding myself that this too shall pass. My Mom said this all the time and it's true. Nothing, whether good or bad, lasts forever. Each day is a gift and I thank God for the journey.

Until the next time, I'll take what I can get when I can get it and do the best I can to face each day with a smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and a song in my heart.

Blogging Grandma Sandy, signing off for now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Greet the Day with Thanksgiving and Praise

This is the day the Lord has made
Each new day is a clean slate
A chance to begin again
Greet the day with thanksgiving and praise

Don't worry
It gets you nowhere
Make a choice
To choose faith instead

Awaken and welcome the new day
Whether the sun is shining
Or the rain is falling
Greet the day with gratitude

Life is good
All the time
Every day
In every way

Instead of complaining
Choose gratitude
Instead of worry
Choose joy and happiness

When troubles come your way
Don't dwell on them
Mom always said
This too shall pass

From the rising of the sun in the East
To its setting in the West
Beauty is everywhere
Just look around you

Be grateful to God
For the sun's rays
For the moon's light
For beautiful sights

As you pass through the day
THINK before you speak
Speak what is true and helpful
Inspiring and necessary and kind

Learn about love
By watching children
They love deeply
And forgive easily

Making a living is important
But don't forget
To take the time
To make a life

Each person is unique
Created with special gifts
Be who God meant you to be
Set the world on fire

Take time each day
To be still
And take delight
In the simple pleasures of life

Let your love shine through
In all you say and do
It sounds so easy
It's all up to you

For life is beautiful
Despite the challenges
No matter the worries
You have but one life to live

Give thanks to God each day
For the blessings He gives
More than we deserve
Given freely with love

Share the love
Find joy in the simple things
Love makes the world go around
Pay it forward and pass it on

At the end of the day
Give thanks for the blessings
Faith, family, friends
Let go of your failures

Each day is a gift
It's here and then it's gone
You'll never have it again
Embrace the day and enjoy

Friday, August 5, 2016

Mom Showed Me the Way

They say that only a Mom really knows
How quickly life moves, how fast time goes.
From babies to toddlers to school girls and boys
Rattles and stuffed animals to being too big for toys.

Those older and wiser try to tell the young Mom
To live life while they're young, they'll soon be at prom.
Soon driving and laughing, or texting all day
Growing and changing and moving away.

A Mom's heart breaks with each ache her child feels
Though she tries to soften the blows making deals.
With God or with man or whoever she can
To help her son grow up to be a man.

To moms everywhere on any given day
Your job is to see your children on their way.
To manhood and to womanhood too
Until you soon have no more job to do.

Moms take the blame for whatever goes wrong
And pass out the praise when the boy's big and strong.
'That's my boy' or 'That girl is mine'
Pride in your voice, eyes that do shine.

As I look toward my children, now all grown
I know that I'd give up all that I own.
To go back in time, if just for a day
To a time when a tiny baby in my arms did lay.

The future still so far far away
For now just only time to play.
And knowing then what now you know
How quickly that little baby would grow.

A good Mom works herself out of a job
The kids grow up and time does rob
The days away and memories too
Leaving Mom sometimes sad and blue.

But don't despair, Moms here and there
Before you know, life will soon be fair.
When that baby of yours has a baby too
For you to hold and rock and sing to.

That's what the older ones all know
Life's endless circle as little ones grow.
You've done your job, you did your best
And now you've earned your little rest.

Thanks to all the Moms, especially mine
You raised all eight, should have been nine.
You saw us all through thick and thin
You did it all while wearing a grin.

Because you knew our time would come
We'd have to let go of our own little ones.
Wave good-bye and choke back our tears
Let them go their own way despite all the fears.

Thanks dear Mom for showing me the way
And for teaching me how to sing and to play.
Showing me what a good Mom should do
When I grew up, I became just like you.

-- Original version was published on Yahoo Voices as a Mother's Day tribute to my Mom for Mother's Day 2012. This tribute has been revised for publication on my blog.