My general philosophy is that "on the whole life is good, enjoy it, and roll with the punches as best you can in those periods of trial that come to all of us." But we're all human, and we sometimes need to moan and wail for a wee bit before we get on with it. Since Canadians have Thanksgiving coming up on Monday (we'll have our family DO on Sunday) and I'll have to adjust my attitude by then, permit me to wallow in a bit of self-pity for the nonce.
You do recall that I have begun violin lessons? I've had three, am practising diligently, and enjoying myself immensely. Sometimes, I go at it for quite a long time (more than hour and sometimes more than once a day, and that's not bad for an ancient beginner). At that, I often have to drag myself away, and when I have reluctantly finished with it, I sometimes feel a great sense of joy. Yes, I know I've only had only three lessons and that any listeners would be at great pains to share my joy, but that's the way that I feel about it: up until the past week or so, that is.
Now, where I once had joy, I now have cause for angst and concern and dejection.
I have had some arthritis in my hands for years now. It hasn't been in my fingers but in my palms, below my thumbs. But I suppose that in point of fact it actually has been there lurking in my fingers because the index finger on my fiddle-fingering hand is now acting up beyond all reason. I can hardly bend it in the morning for example, but it is has been a constant problem for the past week or so. It's plain now that the arthritis has been there all along but subdued and unnoticed until all of my exuberant fiddling has greatly inflamed whatever was already present in the joints.
Frankly, I'm in a dither. Does this mean that I have to give it up? That's my fear, and I'm not happy about it. I mean to say that I'm not training to be an Olympic gymnast; all I want to do is move my fingers a bit. Surely that's not too very much to ask of The Universe? In the past, I have given up other activities with rather good grace, I think. For example: there was a time in my life when I played tennis almost every day during the summer. Then there came a day when wrists and elbows and backs and heels all got together and advised me, rather strongly, to call it a day. I did and pretty darn gracefully too, even if I do say so myself. But I'm not exhibiting grace right now. I will be very sad if this is pleasure is taken away from me ... as I fear it may be.
I haven't given up yet. I will curtail practice sessions for a few days and try to practice differently after that: shorter sessions for one thing. I'll see if I can have teacher concentrate on slower songs rather than the exuberant jigs that we've also been experimenting with. Maybe it will work, and if it doesn't, maybe I'll be ready to handle it gracefully. Maybe! But for now I'm upset and dejected. It's my pity party and I'll grump if I want to.