Last Sunday, I did something different. I injured my right ankle. (Not purposely, mind you.)

That night, it was sore, but I still managed to dance at my cousin's wedding. Probably not a good idea. While I was basically fine the next day, keeping walking to a minimum at my office and gingerly stepping my way home six blocks away, the following night was again different. My foot hurt, to put it kindly.

Suddenly, I had to do everything differently.

It was hard enough to find a new comfortable sleeping position, one that didn't aggravate my tender, throbbing ankle. But getting across my living room, that den of familiarity, at 4:00 a.m. to answer nature's call was a whole new experience. Chairs so casually strewn across the floor became critical allies, their seemingly random positions (as well as those of the couch and bookcases) suddenly of looming importance. Like some sort of outdoor survival puzzle, my painfully pressure-sensitive ankle turned the most casual movement into a carefully approached challenge, with every step of the way calculated.

Morning time and its constituent daddy duty had me rather ridiculously hopping around the house on my good left foot, using doorframes, towel racks, and once again chairs, table and couch for added support. I somehow managed to not only dress, but to give daughter #1 a bath and fetch her clothes from her closet, entailing several one-footed treks throughout the apartment.

Needless to say, with the extra time consumed by my temporary challenge, we missed the bus. So, different morning in full force, I watched my daughter eat breakfast while sitting on the couch where my ankle found short-term respite, when I normally would be in shul for morning prayers. I saw her off to school with newfound time normally spent eating breakfast. I accompanied her down the steps (one step at a time for me) and stood around on one foot while waiting for the car I had called to pick us up and transport us to her school (time ordinarily spent walking alone to the office).

Different it was, but not without its rewards. Besides the quality time with family, I learned something valuable that morning as I puttered around on one foot tending to my daughter. G‑d throws challenges our way every day. Sometimes we see them as challenges. Sometimes we don't find them very challenging. And sometimes we don't even realize they're challenges. But all challenges, I suppose, are not much more than cosmic injured ankles. G‑d apparently wants us to do things differently from time to time — to take another look at the ordinary things we otherwise overlook every day, and to see afresh their value.

Thank You, G‑d, for the tap on the shoulder. I look forward to the next challenge. Whatever it is, I know there'll be all sorts of suddenly handy chairs around.