I’ve often wondered if all the hours I spent reading under the blankets with a torch when I was a kid contributed to my bad eyesight. I’m short sighted – I can’t see anything more than a few centimetres in front on my nose. Too vain to wear glasses, I have worn contact lenses since I was sixteen.
Well at least I used to wear contact lenses until a few years ago when I got Lasik eye surgery. I paid a surgeon to reshape the cornea of my eye with a laser, while I was awake and conscious of everything he was doing.
I can’t remember much of it though and it certainly wasn’t very painful. Aside from some initial pain once the anaesthetic wore off, my eyes were just uncomfortable rather than sore.
Now, I wake up every morning and I can see the world in perfect sharpness. I am grateful not to have to bother with lenses or glasses. I can see when I’m swimming and when I’m in the shower. Having perfect vision after all these years seems like a miracle.
I have noticed lately though, that I can’t read small text anymore. I’m glad to do most of my reading on a Kindle so I just increase the size of the text. For other things, I do that thing where you hold everything at arm’s length.
It occurred to me that having difficulty reading the small stuff might be a metaphor for aging. As we get older, it takes a much greater effort to focus on the small stuff. Things that used to drive us crazy, now seem petty and insignificant.
Life is too short to fuss about properly ironed t-shirts or how the towels are folded. Getting your own way isn’t as important as it once was. Needing to be right about everything has lost its appeal.
I don’t have any trouble seeing white cockatoos fly across an impossibly blue sky or the silver reflection of the moon on the ocean. I don’t need to squint to see the afternoon sun streaming in the window or the shadow cast by a tall palm tree.
I can see clearly now what is beautiful and important. The rest is just visual noise, and I’m happy to let that go.
This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge.