Thursday, August 20, 2009

Contact Lessons

I recently got my first pair of contact lenses. My distance vision is still fine, but without my reading glasses, this computer screen I am writing on becomes nothing more than a blurred vision of gibberish.

I never thought contact lenses would be for me. I am generally a squeamish sort who could barely get an eye drop in without it running down her cheek. The idea of anything foreign floating in my eye left me edgy. But when not one, but two of my girlfriends started raving about these multi focal lenses they had just gotten, I decided to give it a try.

I left my eye doctor with my trial pair, an instruction sheet for the first time I put them without the guidance of one of his staff, and a starter kit of cleaning solution and moisturizing drops.

I learned quickly this was not going to be easy. In fact, it was going to be frustrating. I was going to have to practice something that is always a challenge for me, patience.

My first solo attempt was like an episode of I Love Lucy. I kept misplacing the right one. Once I found it on the floor. The left one got folded in half and while the instructions made it sound very simple to unfold, I did not find that to be the case.


My frustration level was high. Of course the more frustrated I got, the more difficult it seemed. So I walked away and waited.


Then I came back and tried again. This time it worked. First the left and then the right. I could do this! It was possible!


I was feeling pretty proud a few days into it. I was getting the lenses in and out in less than a half hour. That was until I had a set back.

I accidentally had torn the left one in half. It got caught on the edge of the container and I didn’t notice it was not in all the way. A couple of screws on the lid and that lens saw an early death.

I was really frustrated now. Maybe reading glasses were just easier. Why was I making things harder? So what if once they were in, I could see all my food in front of me. Did I really need to see what looked to be a new crease at the corner of my eye? Cleaning the kitchen is a lot quicker when I can’t see all the dirt that has accumulated.

But I called the eye doctor anyway and had them order my full set. For I am not a quitter.

Now a few weeks into it, I have gotten the hang of things. Some days it is a little harder, but I always get them in. I wait if I am having trouble and try again when I feel refreshed. And then it works. Most times, at least.

I’ve learned my contact lessons. Like my journey to publication, this has its moments of frustration. At that point, it is better to pause, breathe, reassess and then try again. And each time is better, each time easier, each time closer to perfect.

My near vision is definitely better with my contacts than my reading glasses. My distance suffers a bit. But perhaps there is a lesson in that too. Maybe for right now, I don’t need to be looking that far away. Maybe for right now, I need to be concentrating on what is right in front of me.
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