Posted by: ritagone | June 16, 2010

Being Left-Handed: An Advantage

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to get out of bed.

Like last week, when I flew (by myself) from Burbank, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada and then on to Spokane, Washington, on my way to Post Falls, Idaho.  I got on the plane at Burbank and reached up to put my carry-on suitcase into the overhead…and proceeded to crunch my right hand against the seam where the door hinges to close on the overhead compartment.  Ouch!  It hurt.  But hey, I’m a tough old bird, so I sat down, shook it off, and proceeded to read my book.  The next flight – from Las Vegas to Spokane – was fine, until all of a sudden I felt a strange kind of stretching, tingling sensation and looked down to see a goose egg the size of…well, a goose egg, on my right hand, just over the knuckle which had impacted on the overhead compartment door.

All of a sudden I got a little worried.  Can a swelling like that rupture because of the air pressure in the airplane cabin?  Was the flight making the situation worse for my injury?  I was glad that I’m left-handed, because by the time the plane landed, I knew my right hand wasn’t going to be much good.  And sure enough, it wasn’t.  For the rest of my time in Idaho (and Washington), my right hand hung at my side.  It was useless.  And by the second day, although the swelling had gone down on the actual injury site (due to constant icing with a package of frozen peas), the color of my entire hand had changed to a luscious shade of blue and purple.  The discoloration spread so that – even today, almost a week later – the backs of my fingers down to the first knuckles are a deep shade of purplish-pink.  From my wrist to my fingers, my hand is recovering slowly from what was obviously a major trauma to the tissues and muscle.

And, to put a good spin on what could have been even more of a disaster, it pays right now to be left-handed.  All my life I’ve been out of synch because I’m left-handed, the only one in my family, in fact, to be so.  I’ve had to adjust to a right–handed world, and I’ve had to translate normal actions that right-handed people don’t even think about into left-handed actions that require some thought and practice.  (Am I making you weep with sympathy yet?)  After this injury, being left-handed was a blessing; I could continue to do almost everything I was doing before I hurt myself.

The lesson learned here?  Sometimes something seemingly unfortunate can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.  We all know this intuitively, don’t we?  But often we need a real-life example of it to confirm in our minds the truth of it.

It’s akin to “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  A cliché, to be sure, but well worth applying whenever possible to what happens in your life.  Looking on the bright side of life is something most of us find difficult to do…but there is a positive spin to it that can’t be ignored.

On another issue, I’m still hawking the staff conference in Germany in August.  There are still rooms available, and the plans are taking shape to make this one of the most memorable, interesting, challenging gatherings we’ve ever had.  So if there’s any way you can join us, please come along.

Have a great rest of the week!

Regards,  Rita

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