A new habit

Usually new habits are hard to adopt. But I’ve changed a lifelong habit in one day.

It happened because I’ve had shoulder pain from strains, off and on, for years. But lately it’s been bad, bad, bad.

An MRI revealed a tear, and yesterday I learned from an orthopedic specialist that I have a frozen shoulder.

My range of motion is constrained by tight ligaments, and the pain limits movement too.

So I’ve whined while putting on my clothes, and had to ask Tom to put on my left shirt sleeve and jacket sleeve for me, because I could not move my arm back far enough.

And then yesterday, I stopped as I was picking up my jacket and said, “Geeeeeeeeez.”

I’m right-handed. The frozen shoulder is the left one. Out of life-long habit, I had been putting on the right sleeve of my shirts and jackets first. This forces me to stretch the left arm back to put it in the sleeve.

All I had to do was put on the left sleeve first.

It’s one of those things that seems terribly obvious after the fact. But habit so engrained is mentally off the table.

I have a couple of other things I do with my left hand. I deal cards left-handed because the person who taught me was a lefty.  I open jars and bottles with my left hand, for no apparent reason.

I switched the jar-opening to my right today, and suddenly found it much easier to open them. My right arm and hand are stronger – duh!

This is why in art classes the instructors will have you draw a bit with your non-dominant hand. It breaks you out of lifelong habits of thinking and acting.

Maybe now my art will improve.

At least I don’t need help putting on my jacket anymore.

Today’s penny is a 2014, for the year I injured the left shoulder splitting wood.

2014 Jan 12