One disconcerting aspect of my journey into low vision is that it is so unpredictable. I never know when I wake up how my eyesight will be that day. It may be a good day and I will have normal sight all day. I may have good far-away vision but be unable to focus on anything close. The day may start well, but then go bad with my vision deteriorating over the course of the day. I might be working away at my computer and everything will go blurry. I never know.
I have learned that I cannot base my happiness on any given day on how my vision is that day. I would quickly become frantic on the low vision days and ecstatic on the days with good vision. I can’t live on that roller coaster. I have to find my joy somewhere other than in my eyesight.
Yesterday was a very poor vision day. There was a haze over my eyes, as if my contacts were covered in a film. The haze, unfortunately, was not on my contacts but on my eyes themselves. I had a lot of computer work on my agenda and I was unable to accomplish much. I had to pass tasks off to my coworkers. I had a terrible headache by the end of the workday. The drive home was a nightmare. The traffic was horrible and I felt unsafe driving with my reduced vision.
I wish that I could say that I dealt with my vision issues yesterday with grace and dignity. I did not. I spent about half an hour after I got home complaining to John about various gripes, mostly about the fact that I can’t see. He was very patient while I let out all the frustration of my day. He helped me remember that I am more than my vision, that I have good qualities that do not depend on my ability to see. I began to relax and let go of the tension of the day. I began to look at my blessings instead of my annoyances.
I cannot base my happiness on any given day on how my eyes are functioning that day. I know this, but I have to keep reminding myself. My vision (present and future) takes up a big chunk of my energy and time. I have to keep my joy safe, in a place that vision problems cannot touch. I decided to take my own advice and list some of the blessings in my life that do not depend on my vision. My blessings are a garden and these are some of the flowers:
Spending time with John and our children, Petting my dogs (so soft), Listening to good music, Smelling the lilacs or iris or peonies or roses (whatever is blooming), Sitting on our porch, Drinking a nice cup of coffee, Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, Hearing rain while I am sleeping.
My blessings far outweigh any burdens in my life. Listing them makes them more real, makes me smile, makes me remember that I am living in a world full of grace. If you are feeling down or burdened, try taking a minute to write down your blessings and I pray that you will feel your burdens lighten. If you are feeling joyful, write down your blessings and I hope that your joy will be doubled. I can’t allow my joy to be ruined by the unpredictability of my vision. My vision journey may be roundabout, but the road to joy is straight through the garden of blessings.