Right from Left

I have a pair of socks.  One with an “L” on it, the other an “R”.   Some days I bother some days I don’t’. You see, I have to THINK which sock goes on which foot.  When I see the “L” and the “R” it’s not an automatic process there is a bit of guess work and some thinking involved.  Maybe it’s because I’m dyslexic. 

The other day I was sitting on a hotel bed about to put my new iPhone 5 headset into my ears and yes, it now matters if you put them on right to right and left to left ear, or not.  I happened to look at my socked feet and voila – the thinking part had been taken care of in the early morning when THEY were put on.  “R” to “R”, “L” to “L”…. awesome.  That I needed my reading glasses to see the miniscule “R” and “L” on the ear buds is an entirely different matter.

So why is it that some people can do the “right” and “left” thing without blinking and I have to spend effort, even if it’s only a fraction of a second thinking about it?  How is it that we can be quite proficient in some things (maybe brilliant even) and total klutzes in others?  How much of it is genetics, how much of it is environmental and how much of it is that we tend to get better at what we’re good and worse at what we are not?

We like to sharpen our strengths and burry our weaknesses. And there are certain benefits to being REALLY good in one aspect (or several, should we be so lucky), but isn’t it detrimental to neglect what we are already not so good at?  Or does it really not matter all that much?  For the most part probably not, but in general I think we should all look in the mirror and go to task with ourselves on those weaknesses we so much love to not address, not only because they will be less of a weakness, but also because I’m pretty darn sure that the working on something we ‘re not good at also stimulates our brain cells more and builds new synapses faster we otherwise would not build if we keep only working on the stuff we know we are good at.  It goes into the same category of pushing beyond the comfort zone regularly, in all aspects; mentally, emotionally and physically. Never stop learning, otherwise your life is done, I think.  

Try to brush your teeth with the ‘wrong’ hand… ouch, I know. Go out on a limb: talk to a stranger, admit a mistake, reach out to a person you had a falling out with, tell someone you care.  Push yourself and go harder or longer on a workout, break the routine.  Sleep on the other side of the bed. Don’t ride your favorite route, ride your least favorite route. Don’t order your ‘usual’ meal.  Mix it up.

As for right from left. I will still tell my friends while driving to look at the mountain on the left while I point right and I will turn right as my co-pilot will scream at me to turn left. And maybe I will NOT return my brand new Garmin GPS that will without batting an eyelash tell me to turn right while the arrow  and pink line clearly indicate a left turn.  We only differ from the fact that when I say left and mean right it could be as well the reverse and on the GPS the pink line is always correct.  We both need to work on that.  The GPS gets a software patch and I get to practice (legal) U-turns or learn to live with the knowledge of a wrong sock on the right foot.