I remember staring at my hands when I was a kid and noting how my hands always looked like those of an adult. Several life experiences have inevitably led me to grow even stronger hands, colored with a rich history, over the years.
Playing the piano for years surprisingly creates fingers that are skilled at acting separately from one another, adding dexterity to strength. It also trained me to be more ambidextrous than I perhaps would have been had I not been a pianist. It also helped me with a very particular massage technique I’ve developed over the years.
I am someone who does not like getting massages myself, but I love giving them. And I’ve always been with people that are gluttons for massages, so there were several years I was giving a massage literally on a quotidien basis. Massaging people has strengthened my joints and also my palms and forearms.
As someone who is extremely physically active, I’m perpetually squeezing, grasping, pushing, sawing, holding, climbing, pulling with my hands and over time all of the activities above have transformed my hands into rugged tools.
Even when I was doing flying trapeze regularly, my hands grew calloused and I loved it.
As a hobby, I fix and tinker with Mac computers and electronics, which requires a high level of accuracy and dealing with minuscule screw and parts. This taught my hands to be patient and steady. It showed me that even when there is an object no larger than an ant, I can have full control over it, like a surgeon.
Finally, as an artist, I’ve been using my hands more over the past few years since I began creating art that is more physically labor intensive. My pieces now involve multiple layers of multiple mediums, each of which involves the necessity of strong hands. There are some days I work for hours nonstop grasping objects tightly in each hand, and sometimes I have to take breaks to stretch them.
My hands are my favorite parts of my body because everything I do (writing, artwork, tech work, physical activity) involves working with them. I also love other people’s hands because I think they reflect a huge part of a being’s daily activities and also their more profound life choices.
As I was sifting through my small accessory box, I found a several silver rings from long ago, probably from my university days. Because my hands have changed and are now rugged and have more brawn to them, the rings don’t even fit around my pinkies. They are still in my possession because of forgetfulness. So today on day 356 of my 365 Release, in honor of my greatest tools, my hands, I am letting go of these rings. May my hands grow ever stronger.
For those who have been asking how they can continue to be a part of my journey even after this project, you can subscribe to my monthly email newsletter here, where I share life lessons, contemplations of awesomeness and updates on projects such as this 365 Release and much more.
[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]