The War Within


My Left Hand

Each night, before I go to bed, I play Sudoku.  You know, that number game that is vaguely reminiscent of crossword puzzles?

I love playing Sudoku just before going to bed.  I don’t know why, but it eases my brain into a restful sleep.  After finishing off a few games, I’m not obsessed about what I have to do at work, or that story/chapter I haven’t finished writing, or that comment about my writing that questioned my intelligence. 😉

But lately, I’ve found that I am fixated on the game.  It’s become mandatory.  Otherwise, I don’t sleep well.  So even if I am dying to just sleep, I force myself to stay awake and finish off a few until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.  During the few moments before I finally reach over and turn off the light, the unconscious part of my brain begins to take over, illuminating a part of me I didn’t know was there.  A part of me that is, apparently, in constant competition with the other part of me.

Let me explain.  I am ambidextrous.

I wasn’t born this way.  Writing, grabbing, throwing, pulling, pushing began with my right hand – with the left-side of my brain.  After an injury to my right arm during my early twenties, I learned to chop, write, brush, drive-stick-shift (yes, it can be done), throw, twist, mouse, and punch with my left hand.  I even started kicking and leading with my left foot.

At first, I noticed the competition between my hands.  Determined to do all that my right once did, but better, my left hand took over.  When my right arm healed, I continued to do stuff with my left because it was just convenient.  Plus, I figured my right hand had given 20 years of great service, it was about time the left took up the slack.  No biggie, right?

Well, I’ve begun to notice strange things happening during that time between consciousness and unconsciousness.

My right hand is mad.


Right hand, coming in for the attack

No longer is it content to play second fiddle to my left hand.  It wants dominance and has resorted to violence to wrest it back.

Last night, as I lay in bed, my head drooping off to one side, I struggled to find the pattern in my Sudoku puzzle.  The solution was there on the tip of my right-sided brain, but I couldn’t figure it out.  At least, not in the amount of time I had before I knew my eyes would close and I’d be off to dreamland.  Before I could stop it, my right hand yanked the pencil from my left hand, pushing my left-hand fingers aside, and finished off the puzzle in record time.  Surprised and wide awake, I started another puzzle with my right hand and the numbers flew onto the page.

I thought maybe the right-side of my brain is better at doing number games.  Maybe a test was in order.

Fully in control of my hands now, I switched the pencil back over to my left to complete the puzzle.  It torn through the puzzle my right had started, determined to beat its time.  It did.

I guessed, the right-side of my brain is just as quick with this game as my left.  That’s not a problem.

Maybe my left hand was caught off guard, and my right hand came in for an easy victory.  Maybe its trying to prove to me that its better.  Maybe its mad that it has lost its prominence in my life and is no longer the leading star.  For 20 years, it has waited for my attention.  Maybe, its decided not to wait anymore…


Get it out of your system

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