Those of you who have, for some incomprehensible reason, read along with me for a few years may remember that back in 2014, I had surgery on my left index finger. The surgery was to remove a bone spur on the top of my finger and a grouchy ganglion cyst on the underside of my top knuckle. Those two less than attractive finger pals became inseparable in a hurry ... within six months of their debut, the spur and the cyst had wound themselves together so tightly that they were well on their way to cutting off the blood flow to my finger. Since my finger was already numb on the underside where the cyst was, I decided it would be best to listen to the doctor and have the surgery. The surgery that in my mind would result with me having a couple of stitches and a small bandage for a couple of weeks turned into me having nine stitches on the outside of my finger and a dozen or so on the inside, being bandage up to my wrist, being in a sling for two weeks and various splints for almost three months, and physical therapy that hurt like the devil.
During my appointment preceding the surgery, the surgeon explained what he'd be doing in the procedure, making a special point to tell me about possible not-so-great outcomes. Things like I could lose flexibility of my finger or it might stay numb forever or that I may not ever be able to make a fist again or ... heaven forbid ... that there was a darn good chance I wouldn't be able to cross my fingers on my left hand. Though the good doctor would most likely say it was his surgical prowess that ensured my complete and full recovery, I like to think it was a combination of his skill and my dedication to proving him wrong that did the trick. It took several months of physical therapy ... which sucked to the end of the earth and back again, by the way ... but I eventually regained full use of my finger and hand, except for one thing. Crossing my fingers is easy, it's the uncrossing of them that continues to be an ongoing, rather frustrating issue for me. Sounds weird, I know, but nonetheless, it's true. Once I cross my index finger with my middle finger on my left hand, I have to uncross them with my right hand. No matter how hard I try, I just can't get those two left-hand fingers to uncross on their own.
The beginning of a new year often brings with it a renewed desire to set goals for things we would like to achieve over the next 12 months or to develop plans to rid ourselves of things that have weighed us down during the previous year. I'll admit I don't have a great track record when it comes to following through on either of those new year exercises. I start out all gung ho, but then once I fail to achieve a goal I've set for myself or I find myself continuing to struggle with something I promised myself I wouldn't, my new year's resolve tends to slowly fade away. Some of you may say I'm just lazy or that I quit when the going gets tough or that I'm not trying hard enough, but I would beg to differ. My problem isn't that I give up when it comes to reaching goals or developing plans to rid myself of certain feelings or emotions ... my problem is that I don't. Crossing my fingers is easy, friends ... it's the uncrossing part that's hard.
While it may make no sense whatsoever to anyone but me, I've decided that's my one and only resolution for the new year ... to uncross my fingers. You see, I'm a die-hard finger-crosser when it comes to the people in my life. And that's especially true when it comes to people whom I believe are my friends ... man, oh, man, do I ever have a hard time uncrossing my fingers when it comes to those folks. No matter how deeply they've hurt me or how badly they've betrayed my trust, my heart won't let me stop hoping that somewhere down deep they still care about me. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to give up on the idea that someday they'll miss me the way I miss them. Last year was the toughest of my life in this area. It left me terrified to trust anyone and struggling to believe I'm worth much of anything. It's made me lose my will to write, and it's made me question the goodness of my heart. It's made me live in isolation and severely dampened my desire to help others. It's so easy to cross my fingers and keep hoping those people will change their minds, friends, but I think maybe it's time for me to do some uncrossing.
I've spent a lot of time believing I didn't deserve the friendship or respect or admiration or appreciation or concern or love of certain people, but perhaps this will be the year I come to understand that it's those folks who don't deserve me. Perhaps this will be the year I learn to believe that their decision to toss me away truly is their loss rather than mine. Perhaps this will be the year I strive to focus on the people in my life who love, care for and appreciate me instead of giving power to those who don't.
Perhaps this will be the year I'll be able to uncross my fingers once and for all ... perhaps this will be the year I'll be able to believe in myself again, friends ... perhaps this will be the year indeed.