The Power of Acceptance

How a basketball player, writer, and pianist dealt with losing three fingers.

Posted Nov 07, 2019

 Courtesy, Dianne Woods
Source: Courtesy, Dianne Woods

A while back, three of my fingers became pretty much unusable. I had been a basketball player my whole life and had to stop. I write a lot and so now type with just seven fingers, making many more typos. I’m a professional-level pianist and have had to scale back how I play, and still make more note mistakes.

I would have thought it would have been psychologically difficult to have to give up basketball but because it was inevitable, I somehow just accepted it and substituted taking vigorous hikes with my dog. I find myself not missing basketball at all.

Regarding typing, I just accept that in reviewing drafts, I have to fix more typos. Honestly, I don’t feel any self-pity, I just do it.

When playing the piano, I decided to pretend that I still had 10 usable fingers and then when I get to a chord or melody I can't play, I just, in the moment, play a simpler version. I didn’t take any lessons to adapt, I just did in-time adaptation. And when the fingers caused mistakes, and they do, I just accept it. I choose to play with full passion even though it leads to more mistakes than if I try to be note-perfect but more sterile. I’ll leave to you if that choice has been at all successful. (See the link below.)

In short, acceptance of the inevitable without drama or self-pity has, for me, been the key to, with minimal sadness, moving forward.

I ad-lib on this topic as well as play on the piano my mom’s favorite song, Autumn Leaves, on YouTube.