Posted by: L | April 19, 2014

Frame shift

It began as I was walking out of the Co-op grocery store not long ago. Almost 40 years ago, I arrived in this small prairie city. I mostly went to the Safeway that was quite nearby, and would from time to time go to the Co-0p as well. The Co-op always seemed to have mostly ‘older folks’ there and had the classic coffee row restaurant in it. It always seems like a typical prairie institution. Over the years, it was upgraded and I began to go a bit more frequently, but the Safeway was always the ‘go-to’ place of choice. A couple of weeks ago, the Safeway closed its doors for good, bought out by another chain. The small neighbourhood store didn’t fit their needs. So the Co-op is now the main place to go as I am not that enamoured of Superstore or Sobeys.

One recent Saturday, I was walking out to the parking lot after shopping and it suddenly struck me. I was now one of the ‘older folks’ going to the Coop, that I had remarked on when I first arrived here. Whoa! That was how I would be seen by the few younger people who might be shopping there, just like I did 40 years ago.

A few days ago, I was at a dinner at the University, accompanying my partner. At one point I was introduced to a young couple who worked at the Vet College and who had recently moved here. Again, one of those moments. That was me 40 years ago; I had my first job here in Vet Microbiology. I can remember talking to senior faculty then, never thinking that one day I would be the senior talking to the newcomers.

Funny how suddenly one’s frame of reference can change from such an innocuous moment. I don’t see it as a negative thing at all, just a different perspective.

Today, I experienced another shift. I saw a link on Facebook to a Huffington Post item on introversion. I have always thought of myself as being something of an introvert, based on what we generally thought of it, someone shy, bookish etc. So reading the information was another revelation. I followed up a couple of the links in the article and that lead me to listen to a talk by Dr Marti Olsen Laney. It was very interesting to hear that introversion is more currently seen as not shyness at all, but is a temperament based on how one gets and uses energy. And also that an introvert’s brain works differently, using acetylcholine, versus the dopamine an extravert uses. Introverts need to recharge by spending time alone, among other things, and have a number of other characteristics that I could really relate to, such as needing to think before speaking in particular situations. So that was another frame shift. Suddenly a lot of things that I need/like were actually based on something quite fundamental. Now I know why I simply can’t start an in-depth conversation after 10 pm, for instance. I wish I had known some of this a long time ago, but the research into all this is fairly new. I am glad to know it now, that it is not ‘wrong’ or ‘abnormal’, simply the way my brain works. It is quite reassuring.

 

 

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