Friday, September 19, 2008

Eyes....

According to my dashboard, this is the 701 post I have written. Not posted mind, written. I appear to have verbal diorrhea. Excluding the first random odd posts I did, I really started blogging regularly in April 2006. Good heavens. I never did know when to stop talking.

And, getting some techy things out of the way, I think I have adjusted or fixed the site feed thingamewhatsit. Let me know if you still have a problem with it. MG told me what she did, so I did it too. Do you people use a special feedburner thingy? If so, why? Which one? How? etc etc etc.... I am such a technical whizz.
Ignore the above. I have killed my site feed and I do not know how to fix it. Can anyone help???Wail!

Right.

Eyes.

While I was expounding on age a few days ago, I had a moment of pure illumination. I have spoken before of how my view of life, from the lofty heights of approaching the middle 50s, differs from the view of my younger colleagues. How I have learnt what matters most, and it is absolutely not the climb up the ladder of success in life.

Age brings with it a changed perspective. You get the bigger picture more clearly.

And then I remembered how, when I was 43, with perfect vision, I had my eyes tested, and thought I was brilliant. Perfection. And the optician turned over the stick thing I had balanced on the end of my nose. It had a little sheet of print on it, and you had to move it forward to the place you could no longer focus on the words clearly. It said Age:43. He looked at me and said I will see you in a year or two. That was because the length of the stick/my arm was 10 years. In 10 years, my sight would change that radically.

Sigh.

It happens to all of us in one way or another. Sight alters, unless you never read or do anything requiring a change in focus, and quite frankly, I can't think how you can survive life without at least some close focus.

But I digress yet again.

When we are born, we can't focus our eyes on anything other than the food source. Aka mother. Our vision is simple. As we grow, it grows with us, to encompass people around us, and then the little world we live in. Watch a baby chewing its toes. Or trying to get a spoon in its mouth for the first time. When we are children, we don't see danger or world problems. Our focus is on being a child.

When we are young adults, we are usually single minded, and focussed to a larger extent on ourselves. Making the most of who we are. Discovering who we are. Preparing for a career, a role, a life. Working hard to acquire skills and become someone. Life outside our own world is somewhat blurry. It is head down and full steam ahead and if we are honest, to a very large extent, it is all about us. The "I" is the focus of our lives. In good ways too. This is not saying that being young is bad in any sense. Please don't get me wrong here.

Our vision of life is perfect close up. Our eyes focus on things right in front of our noses. It is what we see best. And we are designed to grow through this part. It is the distance we may have a problem with. Blurry. Shadows.

As mothers, we focus on our families and homes, and the work we do. We see, or try to see dangers, and we see life from a protective perspective, but largely, it encompasses a little area we live in. And if my life was anything to go by, there was a lot of survival mode thrown in too. I battled to see beyond the potty training, or sleepless nights. My vision of life was focussed on how to raise a family without any major disasters. My family.

When we get older - like me - our vision changes. We have raised our children and they have flown away from the nest. They are out there - in the distance. Our worlds are no longer contained within our 4 walls. Our worlds are so much larger. Wider. Broader.

It is like zooming out on google earth (satellite). We see patterns in life. We remember things happening before, and see cycles. We know summer will follow spring, and winter will follow autumn. Little children don't know that. Zoom in too close on google earth, and what happens? Everything goes blurry. Our focus has changed.

We also know that bad things happen, and that we will survive them. That money can't buy you happiness. That success is measured by who you are more than what your salary may be. That people matter. It is the things we have experienced throughout our lives which give us the wisdom I hope we have. That is the bigger picture we can see.

The irony here, though, is that we all have to go through each stage ourselves. I can't change anyone else's vision of life, or focus. I may want to. But I can't. All I, or we, can offer is a different perspective of the situation, seen with older eyes.

And back to the eyes again.......

As we get older, we can no longer see words close up. Books with large type are treasures. I used to complain about my arms shrinking. We can't see to thread a needle. We take off our glasses and can't see our faces close up any more. Make-up becomes more of a challenge. We can't focus on the close up, the "me" part, easily any more. And you know what? The me part doesn't matter so much any more. At all. I once made the mistake of looking at my face in the early morning with my reading glasses on. Do not try it.

What we do have is a clearer vision of the world though. Our distance vision is entering into the perfect phase. The world out there is no longer blurry. We see. We understand. We know.

Is it just possible that the stages of our vision over the span of our lives is not random, but intended? That as we age, our focus changes in our vision, mirroring the changes in our lives? Maybe right now, the close up for me should be blurry. And my eyes should be focussed way ahead.

Right now, I could look down with my reading glasses on, at the piles of debris I am trying to climb over and get bogged down at the enormity of it all, but I can also choose to take off those glasses, and look up and see the blinding light ahead - over the mountains. I can see it clearly. I couldn't see it when I was younger.

Anyway. That is it. I hope it made sense. I need more coffee.

10 comments:

Chris said...

Oh dear friend, speaking of sight, I still can't see you on Bloglines. The feed is still wonky. GRRRR.

Lovely post. Needed to hear that today, but then again, you of all people know that!

Hoping you can see past the knee and on to bigger and better things!

The Saturday call may be out...I'll let you know more by email later. :(

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

It makes sense, I'm sure of it, but I'll be returning to re-read so that I may digest it better.

For whatever it's worth, your blog is updating on my blog now. Yay!

Dawn said...

This one made me cry - it is so beautiful. Linds, you have an amazing mind and an amazing way with words. There is so much truth in these words. I am still considering having laser procedure - but the near vision will still be blurry - that says a lot, doesn't it??

Thanks.

Susie said...

Hi Linds,
Yay! your feed is fixed (I use Google reader)
Great perspective on aging today. Since I'm quickly approaching my 60th birthday, I can most definitely
relate to your thoughts!
xo

Morning Glory said...

This was brilliant, Linds! I think you captured all of it and said it so well.

Thank you for the award in the previous post. I'll have to attend to it next week sometime.

I've reached the limit of my techno-knowledge. I don't know what to do about the site feed thingy.

Have a beautiful weekend!!

Crystal said...

You are so wise and so good at sharing your thoughts on this blog. I really admire that in you. One day you are crazy humourous about some situation and the next you are pensive and reflective about a big life issue. What a woman :)) Thanks for thoughts that reflect my thinking too. And have fun looking way down the future road to new adventures and new friends in new places. ((( HUGS )))

Judith said...

I am so late here. Tried leaving notes on your two posts before this one. Couldn't get it to go, so: Your new look is exactly right, especially the color and the coffee. Then "Eyes" made me dig deeper to think about all you said, and I thank you for that. I am constantly amazed at how for granted most of my patients seem to take the last days of their lives. I think as I'm entering the Pearly Gates if I make it that far in that direction, I'll be thinking, yes Lord I'm eager to be there, but I've just got to finish this book".

Dawn said...

I've been missing your sparkling wit and wisdom over at my place recently. I am not happy with my new situation that I'm having to work under, but am glad I can still be blogging.

Jan/lost-strayed-or-stolen.blogspot.com said...

Beautifully written. You and I are close to the same stage of life, I think. You expressed this idea so well.
Jan

At A Hen's Pace said...

Thanks, Linds--you cast a helpful "vision" of the perspective that comes with age. I am 43 right now--so still sort of in the close-up stage....but working on expanding my distance vision as I launch teenagers here in the next few years!

~Jeanne