The strange ‘left handed’ thing


A bit of back story.  I am a right hand dominant kind of person.  I primarily write, and perform fine motor tasks with my right hand.  However, I mouse left handed, shoot, bat, cast a rod and many other things with left dominant methods.  I can also write lefty but it isn’t pretty (frankly, neither is my right handed script) but readable.  Being ambidextrous is not an accident.  I work on it regularly.  Today, I spent 30 minutes in the back yard, throwing a ball left handed. Courage (my dog) happily participated in the game.  The strange story lies in WHY I work on this strange skill…

When I was young, I think it was well before I was 5 years old, I dreamed or day dreamed that I couldn’t use my right arm.  It was a vivid thought. It stuck with me. When my friends and I played our imaginative games, I frequently played the injured heroine, unable to use my right hand.  The strange thing is, it all seemed perfectly logical to me. As I got older, this thought became morbidly real.  I learned to tie my horse up and my shoes with only one hand.  I practiced writing left handed.  I touched door knobs with my left.  I don’t think that others, family or friends, ever realized that these little quirks weren’t really little.  The behavior caused no concerns for anyone other than me.  In the private Christian school I attended, I struggled for lots of reasons. My handwriting was one of many skills that did not meet the high standards of my educator’s expectations. While I didn’t get paddled nearly as often for poor penmanship as I did for the inability to complete multiplication tables in the required time allotment, my clumsy scrawling did contribute to regularly administered physical and emotional discipline. During those years, I developed my love of thick Wrangler and Levi jeans, which lessened the fiery sting of that damnable wooden paddle. It was also during this time that I became more internally convinced that I would, someday, loose the use of my right hand.   In my dreams and frequent nightmares I was left handed. This idea has no basis in any known facts, there isn’t a genetic marker of loss of right handedness or any other logical explanation.  I just “feel” that this will occur.  It became my strange “left handed” thing.

The logical part of me then worries that I will do something to contribute to a self-fulfilling prophecy! Crap, I have more strange left handed worries traversing my mind.  However, my thoughts don’t impede my quality of life. I don’t break out in a cold sweat when required to use my right hand. This doesn’t cause me to do anything other than continue to build ambidextrous skills.  In fact I doubt anyone except me even thinks about the “why” of it. When folks comment on my left hand mouse, I just smile, quip and move the conversation along. It is a forgettable moment of interaction.  Forgettable to them anyway.  To me, it is a nagging reminder that someday…

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