Friday, May 26, 2017

Pulling Mussels from the Broth

My right hand will never catch up to what the left hand already does ably.

I think there's a metaphor there.

I'm right handed so without giving it any real thought, I suppose I always expected that it would be my right hand that showed signs of wear and tear first. When it was my left that began giving me the occasional twinge, I was really surprised.

Then I began paying attention to what duties I'd assigned to each hand  and it quickly became clear that I expect indentured servant hours from my left hand while my right hand sits on the back of the parade car and waves at the crowds.

With my left hand, I do the heavy lifting, the grunt work, the multi-tasking and all the back-up work so that my right hand can stay relatively unencumbered. I'll come in from the car with a bag of groceries, a container of laundry detergent, a bottle of water and the mail, all in my left hand.

Meanwhile, my right hand holds my keys, and it should be noted that my key ring has only 4 keys on it. The question is, why don't I distribute more equitably?

Honestly, I have no clue, but my guess would be that my over-thinking brain decided on some level decades ago that the right hand must be favored at all costs, namely my left hand. And now that I'm trying to be more equitable about assigning chores to my hands, I am learning how pitifully inept my right hand is at a host of chores my left hand could do bandaged.

So I got to thinking about the bigger picture. Had I done the same thing with other aspects of my life? Do I excel at finding interesting things to do and going out daily at the expense of working harder at my friendships and relationships? Am I still guilty of the same thoughtless actions I was making during the Reagan years?

Hold the phone, how did I not notice sooner?

Reading through the curlicues of youthful handwriting in my college journal was decidedly enlightening and recent conversations with several long-time friends have helped bring into focus some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head.

More than a few times, someone has asked me if I felt obligated to go out so often in order to have something to blog about.

I could always say no with honesty, that I go out because, for the most part, this extrovert sometimes needs to be around people after working alone all day, and because I truly enjoy having experiences, whether the obvious - music, film, food, art, theater, readings - or the obscure - a VW Bug festival, belly dancing class, workers' parade.

One of the downsides of making plans for practically every evening is that it allows little room for the spontaneity of accepting an 11th hour invitation and often those are the best offers. Or perhaps they just feel that way because of the delicious way they drop in your lap.

This May I've rounded a corner and those realizations have been on my mind practically constantly. I'm consciously working on me because I know I could use some improvement and I'm that cockeyed optimist who believes it's time.

You naturally feel good. [Fact] Your need to complete a certain task could require some time. [I didn't expect to change overnight, so this isn't exactly news] You might be enthusiastic about the coming weekend. [Having little planned leaves me free to be enthusiastic about whatever happens] You take a proactive and positive approach with nearly everything you do now. [Because I sincerely want to re-focus]

A bookmark a friend gave to me today quotes Jennette Wells. "One benefit of Summer was that each day we have more light to read by." Now there's a beautiful sentiment.

I'd say that one benefit of Summer is that each day I have more light to slow down and figure out by. My aim is true.

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