Friday, May 3, 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different...

The girl is mother to the woman.

As you know from my recent sewing activities, many of my friends at work are in the midst of starting their families and there are now 4 little ones between the ages of 1 and 3 bringing both joy and aggravation (hopefully not in equal measure!) to these friends. 
We are all research psychologists of one form or another, and so we all have an inherent interest in human behavior – this makes for a lot of interesting observations and discussions about the children.  One topic that routinely comes up is the extent to which you can predict what type of adult each child will grow into. 
There is official psychological research out there that says that some personality traits are fairly stable across a lifetime; in particular, the extent to which a person is outgoing – or, eager to interact with other people and have new experiences – and the typical level of anxiety that a person experiences. 
When I think back on my own life, however, what comes to mind is an unusual “quirk” that has traveled with me throughout my lifetime, rather than some broad personality trait. 
A little back story: A few years ago I was out of the office for a couple of months recovering from surgery.  As part of my “Welcome Back!” party, my friends cleaned off my very messy desk. 
Now, some of you may shudder at that idea.  “My desk may look messy, but I know exactly where everything is!” you may declare. 
Not me – I had NO clue where anything was and I was actually dreading returning to that messy desk.  So, I was delightfully happy to return to find a clean desk. 
With one small exception…
During the “excavation” of my desk, my friends discovered NINETEEN partially used pads of notebook paper… (Yikes!)
And I was promptly forbidden from raiding the supply cabinet for any more pads, until I used all of the paper on those 19 pads.  ;)
To this day we have a running joke about keeping me away from new pads of paper… 
And the point of this story?  Well, during one of our discussions of children and adults, I had a flashback to grade school.  I must have been 8 or 9 years old.  The principal of the private school I was attending came to our classroom with a box of new notebooks and said that we could turn in any of our full notebooks to get new ones… 
And I got in trouble for trying to trade-in a notebook that wasn’t full yet. 
Yup, the personality trait that has stayed with me for lo on these 40 years or so is an obsession with new notebooks.  ;)
I wonder why that one never turns up in any research studies?  ;)

How about you?  In what ways are you the same as when you were a child?  And in what ways are you different?  



  1. I'm a paper freak too! I'm noticing I now that I'm cleaning out my home for an upcoming move. I had a lot of paper when I was a girl. And coloring books. Pens, pencils, crayons. Same today. Abundance. I've always liked to have ALL of a product. Like sharpie markers. I have every color. I wonder what that says about me?

    1. Hi Gwen - that's so funny! I love pens too - I usually have a dozen or more in my purse! Not being able to write something down at any moment - because of not having paper or a pen - feels like part of me is missing... And, of course, we have to have ALL of those beautiful, wonderful colors! :)