Life as a Lefty

Raise your hand if you're a lefty! Chances are, about 10% of you are raising your hand. My hand is up high, as I am a proud lefty.

Life as a lefty isn't always easy. If you're right-handed, imagine living in a place where every single item you use on a daily basis was upside down. Yes, you'd get used to it over time and adjust to it, but that's how it can feel for lefties living in a right-handed world. Obviously, it's different for every lefty, but there are some things we all agree are harder than they should be. I've been wanting to scrap about life as a lefty for a long time. There's no better time than today, International Left-Handers' Day, to share the layout I made.

I knew that journaling would be the main focus of my layout, but I was stumped about what picture to include. The answer, when it came to me, was obvious - a picture of my own left hand. I picked up my camera (with my right hand, of course, since that's the side with the wrist strap and shutter button on every camera in the world). Then I brainstormed my biggest challenges and frustrations about being left handed. 

  • there's always ink all over the side of your hand
  • spiral notebooks and 3-ring binders are difficult to use
  • you have to hold 'normal' scissors upside down
  • ballpoint pens don't work well when you push vs. pull
  • power tool safety switches are on the right
  • corkscrews turn the wrong way
  • loaner bowling balls are always drilled for right-handers
  • you're constantly bumping elbows at meals
  • left-handed chainsaws don't exist
  • it's impossible to use a right-handed desk comfortably
  • can openers are difficult to use
  • PE classes never had any/enough left-handed equipment
  • the cords on credit card machines are too short
  • mugs and measuring cups are backward
  • everything is the opposite of what feels natural

I wrote each item on a strip of paper, added a title, and embellished with some simple doilies I rubbed with colorful chalk.

Happy International Left-Handers' Day to all my fellow lefties!


  1. WOW! I never realized all the difficulties there must be, that as a "righty" just take for granted! Things like the can opener - I would've never thought of that, but it makes sense. I'm going to be thinking about this now every time I do something routine! Happy Lefties Day! :)

  2. Wow, as a right-hander I never could imagine how difficult left-handers had it! The only things I knew for sure was the "ink all over your hand", and the "elbow bumping at meals" as I've actually witnessed those events.
    Pretty layout! Love the doilies and star BG paper!

  3. I recently realized that sleeping bags are made for right handed people too. I recently got a new one that has one of those things that pull tight around your head for cold weather camping. Until then I'd never noticed that I always flip the sleeping bag to have the zipper on the left side and now with that head thing on it I'm stuck with the zipper on the right side. It drives me crazy! Love this layout idea though. I'm the only leftie in my family so I might have to do something like this too someday. :)

    1. You're right! I hadn't thought of that one! There are probably hundreds more. You should definitely do a layout like this. Send me a picture when you do!!

  4. I'm no lefty, but my brother is!! What a great Book of Me layout!! Photo is perfect with it too :)

  5. Great list...I always notice in stores that clothes are hung so that you have to pull them out with your right hand to see the front of the clothing...drives me crazy!

    I'm sure you've heard this...if the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, then only people who are left-handed are in their right mind!!!

    Happy Lefty Day lefty friend!

  6. My Dad is a lefty and he was in school when they thought lefties were "wrong" - so he was forced to learn how to use everything right handed except for his writing --- so as life went on, EVERYONE tried to buy him LEFT handed stuff, scissors, papers, notebooks, etc ... and he could NEVER use any of it! LOL!!! But it really did him a great service learning how to use his right hand, because when he became an accountant, he could write whatever he needed to with his left hand and use his 10-key calculator with his right and just fly on it! LOL!!!

  7. I didn't know you were a Lefty, Cindy. Uncharacteristically, both me and my first wife are left-handed.

    The first challenge I can recall was in school - the pencil sharpener on the wall is ALWAYS mounted for a right hander. The ink on the hand and smeared paperwork has already been covered. One time in about the sixth grade I dropped an essay on the teacher's desk, Before I could get back to my seat, she was yelling after me, "What did you do, shine your shoes with this paper?"

    Things like canned corned beef or ham with the strips that have to be wound around a key to open always kicked my butt. I'd invariable turn them the wrong way and snap off the tab, making it a REAL challenge to get the can opened.

    This may not mean anything to you, but most firearms are designed for right-handers. I retired from 30 years in the USAF. I can tell you that, if you shoot leftie, the HOT brass ejected from an M-16 will go right down the back of your shirt making the next shot on target a little iffy.

    Being forced to adapt to a right-handed world has its benefits. Most lefties become, at least to some extent, ambidextrous. That was handy when I broke my left arm playing football in high school - I could write pretty legibly with either hand. Playing sports ambidexterity can be a real asset. There are many right handers who are so dominant with that hand they are baffled by trying to guard a lefty, whereas a lefty who can bat, dribble, or shoot either way can run circles around them.

    This is way before your time but it is true. Most people who stutter are men. Even if they don't remember it, most of them started out left handed. But like Julie said above, in school left handedness was considered WRONG. Fifty or sixty years ago, teachers (especially nuns) tried to break them to be right handed, thinking they were doing them a favor. The mental trauma this caused often resulted in the kid stuttering for the rest of his life.

    One last one: Most people think flatware is flatware and don't realize it is actually designed and made with a balance for right-handed people. Haven't you ever noticed that occasionally, left-handed people seem a bit clumsy at the dinner table? Just one glance at me and you realize that is one of the many obstacles I over came with great skill and determination. LOL!

    Uncle Gerry

  8. It certainly is challenging being a leftie in a right-handed world. But you should be very in touch with your emotions since your right brain works out more! I try to use my left hand to "train" my right brain...lol. I can write with my left-hand, albeit badly, because I sprained my right wrist in school and didn't want to take my term exams orally. Pretty nifty in case I want to write a blackmail letter...*winks*

  9. Awesome layout---sooo true, too! I am a lefty, but I only write and eat left-handed---I guess in other ways, I adapted to a right-handed world:)

  10. You have an unusually nice handwriting for a lefty!! I'm a right-hander but I can imagine those things on your list are puzzling! Super cute page. Great use of the doilies. I love the photo. Perfect!

  11. Cindy, I love the LO! Imagine if righties were forced to live as a leftie for just one day,lol. Even though I grew up in an era where left handedness was considered wrong and more than one teacher tried to break me, my mother always went to bat for me. I had to learn to do most things right handed because there simply wasn't anyone to teach it otherwise, but the things I have to do right handed have never felt completely natural or comfortable.
    One last comment, I take exception to the comment that you have unusually nice handwriting for a lefty. What, just because the writing implement is used with a different hand, the writing is supposed to look sloppy? From the first grade through graduation I always got very highmarks for penmanship, in an era that said I was using the wrong hand!

    1. Most of the lefties I know have beautiful handwriting. Now whether that's inherent or something we developed from having to figure it out ourselves and work harder initially to learn to write, I'm not sure!

      I do a lot of things right-handed too, but not because I didn't have lefties around. My mom is ambidextrous and seemingly random in which hand does what. My dad is a lefty, but he's the youngest of three boys. Neither of his parents were lefties, so he learned to do a lot of things right-handed. I do every sport right-handed because that's what my dad taught me, having learned from his own right-handed dad and brothers!


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