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changing handedness as I age  RSS feed

 
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I remember in school a teacher decided that I was right handed and so I have remained most of my life.  

Over the last few years, I have noticed myself using my left hand for delicate daily tasks like I never did before.  

It crept up on me.  It started with little things like pouring a drink with my left hand or the way I use gardening tools.  Then last year I was darning something that would usually take about two hours, but I was done in one.  Curious why it took so little time, I suddenly realised that I had handled the needle and thread almost exclusively with my left hand - something I had never done before.  My left hand has no experience with this kind of work, so why was it better at it than my right?

Last week, I was eating Japanese food with chopsticks while writing.  Which is weird because these are both right-handed tasks.  When I stopped to look, I was using the chopsticks lefthanded with the proficiency of someone who had used chopsticks all their life.

It's kind of scary because these tasks should take months of practice to learn the muscle memory.  

Does anyone else find they change handedness as they age?  
 
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I changed handedness about 10 years ago. Or more specifically, I became ambidextrous. It was a deliberate choice, because I noticed that my dominant hand would get tired, but my other hand was still fresh and eager to work. So these days, I switch handedness frequently during the workday. It basically doubles the amount of work that I am able to do before getting tired.
 
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When I started building my house and creating my homestead, I started using both hands for the various tasks......for the same reason Joseoh mentioned. My dominant hand would get tired, so I would switch to using the other hand. Now my hands function pretty much equally as well. Good thing because when the donkey buggered one of my hands, I just kept on working with the other until the injured hand healed.
 
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I've tried to be ambidexterous all my life. I'm most assuredly right handed. I'm a bit better at writing with my left hand, but it looks like a child of 7s handwriting. I can't stir as well with my left--I can't make a vortex, for example.

I still try to use both hands as equally as I can. I want to make sure I'm at least reletively proficient, in case I ever break my right (I've broken my left twice.) It's also much better for your body to switch sides so you don't get over-developed muscles on one side of your back, for example, with under developed ones on the other side, with the imbalance creating back pain.

My husband, on the other hand, is very much ambidextrous, I think this is largely because he was made to be right handed in school, like so many were back then. His handwriting is atrocious, probably largely because he's writing with his non-dominate hand. I'm pretty sure he was actually supposed to be left-handed, but was forced to be right. My son is left-handed, too. We try really hard to let our kids use whatever hands they want for things.
 
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I've always been ambidextrous, but I too was told I was right handed and had a pen always put into my right hand and told to use that one.  I also can't tell left from right.

My son is officially ambidextrous too.  He was tested as part of routine tests by my midwife, who held out some teeny little sweeties in her hand and checked which hand he used to grab them.  

He used his left hand and she excitedly said 'Ooh, he's left handed!'  

I said 'No he's not.  test him again!', which she duly did.  This time he used his right hand.  She was gobsmacked and said that in all her thirty years of performing the tests she'd never seen an ambidextrous kid before.  

'No,' I said, 'and all the time you insist on only testing once you'll never see it again...'
 
Nicole Alderman
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So true! It's not like an ambidexterous kid is going to reach with both hands. My son uses his left more, but uses his right, too. We have both left and right handed scissors, so he can switch to his heart's content. We tend to put crayons/pencils in his left hand when we think about it, but we never correct him and tell him to use one hand or another.

I think ambidextrous people are so cool. My brother and my mom are ambidextrous, and I've always been more than a bit jealous!
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I've tried to be ambidexterous all my life. I'm most assuredly right handed.



Lol, me too.  I tried brushing my teeth left-handed once.  The result was a nice, bloody tear in that place between your cheek and your gums, and a mouthful of still-dirty teeth.  I can't seem to do even the simplest things left-handed.  It's funny you mentioned stirring.  I can't do that left-handed either.  I can print, and that's about it.
 
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Nicole

> learn...

In my experience (I'm standard righty) the left hand learns _very_ fast. I messed up my right wrist _good_ a couple times and the left picked up the slack w/in hours for most usual tasks. Almost perfect w/in a day.


Rufus
 
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i also was lefty, made to be righty in school, and can do most things with both hands, which comes in handy when I get into trouble (broke my left thumb and index fingers last week...). Some things are very much handed though--- chopping in the kitchen with a knife, I can only do with my left hand, I seriously would be afraid to pick up the chef's knife with my right. Chopping in the garden with a machete or a rice sickle, either hand is fine. Go figure.
 
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