I have always loved writing and it has always come easy to me. Whether or not I am any good at it is not for me to decide, but people in my life have complimented and encouraged my passion. And believe me when I say they would have no problem telling me to step away from the keyboard if they thought otherwise.
Since my return to blogging, I have found writing about the more serious topics more difficult and a struggle than before.I know exactly what I want to say but as I write, it comes out wrong, and I end up deleting things and struggling to make sense of it all.
As I write this, quite easily and without planning, I hear what I just said: I know what I want to say (do), it comes out wrong, I start over, it’s a struggle.
Maybe it’s a coincidence, but if so, it is a mighty big one. This process of writing about the most personal of things mirrors how I have been going through my life since I became visually challenged.
Sometimes I struggle and have to stop and walk away. I may think about it, I may not. I may move on to something else. On good days, I return to it and finish it, struggling again or being so annoyed about the whole damn thing that I finish it like the maniac I am.
On bad days, I walk away and don’t go back.
Today is a good day.
Prior to my vision loss, I was an avid reader. One hundred-books-a-year kind of a reader. I read on planes, in bed, on the beach and in the tub. It was nothing to read five or six books on a long weekend vacation.
I have tried audiobooks. Not for me. As much as I missed books, I just couldn’t embrace having a voice other than my own telling me a story.
Last week I received a piece of equipment that enables me to enlarge and change the color of text, enabling me to read. And last night I read 150 pages of a book written by a favorite author. My first book in 30 months.
I tend to minimize any progress or accomplishments because I compare EVERYTHING to how I was before I lost my sight. I have to remind myself that for a few weeks, I was completely blind. And in comparison to those terrifying days, I have come so very far.
Yes, reading using this machine is different and I will have to master this new technique. My reading will now be in one place. But last night, in my mind, I was in New York City, immersed in the world of the characters.
I will not allow myself to discount this milestone.
Opening the hard cover of that book was like opening a door that has been closed to me for 2 1/2 years.
How can that be anything but amazing?
As if separating the yolk and the white isn’t enough, stiffening the whites is a whole other game of Old McDonald Had A Farm. After beating and beating the whites and a slight bit of frothing but no peaks, I Googled for help. I feel it is my duty to share this tip:
Don’t use a plastic bowl.
An even bigger tip:
Buy the dessert.
Spare no eggs-pense.
I CRACK myself up.
This blog may be going on strike until I can figure out how to insert an image into a post using the iPad. I have had to figure out so many work-arounds to be able to use the iPad for blogging that I am actually standing on my head as I write this.
I love you, Steve Jobs. Without you, my world would be much smaller. Your creations allow a visually-challenged techie to return to a world they lost. So, yes, I love you, Steve Jobs.
But right now I don’t like you very much.
Yesterday I spent a wonderful day with two of my oldest and dearest friends. We have known each other for 30 years and been through illness and loss and vacations and more than anything, laughs, together. The kind that make your whole body hurt.
We spent the day shopping in a charming, historic village filled with interesting shops. The path inside the village is brick and hilly and can be a challenge for even the fully-sighted. For someone like me, with compromised sight, it can be dangerous and exhausting as every step is a mystery.
My two friends navigated me around like pros and quickly and organically devised a set of shorthand cues to let me know what was ahead. They told me in stern tones to stop apologizing for taking time to go down steps and told me at lunch how well they think I get around.
They encouraged me when I needed it without me having to ask. They alerted me to danger ahead. They laughed with me when I couldn’t identify the pickle on my plate (it was huge). They offered their hands when the path got rocky. They read things to me when I couldn’t read them myself. And through it all, they treated me like me.
What they did for me yesterday is what they have done for me for the last 30 years. I would give just about anything to have my sight restored, but I wouldn’t give up that.
As for the pickle, once I knew what it was, it never had a chance.
I have not been able to get the song ‘Uptown Funk’ out of my head for the last three days.
I recently heard that researchers have found that chewing gum will rid you of the tune stuck on repeat.
Don’t believe me just watch.
Don’t believe me just watch.
Don’t believe me just watch.
Don’t believe me . . .
I bet the researchers are dentists.
I just read in a magazine letter to the editor that life throws you curves and that it’s how we persevere that makes it all worth it.
It really ticked me off.
The perseverance makes what worth it? And what curve has been thrown at this letter-writer? My guess is a fender bender or being told they need adult braces.
Because my daily and necessary perseverance during the last two and a half years has not been worth-it or worth-while or worth-anything. There is no grand reward in trying to put make-up on using the largest magnifier mirror made and still having to ask my poor husband if my eyes look too goth. Or in typing this blog post with the font so large that only four words are displayed on the iPad screen at one time.
We persevere because life goes on when the curve comes our way. There’s no choice if we decide to keep going. We lightly touch the brakes. We slow down. We hold on a little tighter. We act on instinct. We pray.
It’s not perseverance. It’s survival. And every day we remake the decision to survive. Life has thrown the curve, and we decide to survive. We decide survival is worth it.
Now that’s perseverance.
Due to vision, can no longer use a treadmill
People keep telling me I don’t look 50. If they are being kind, I would like them to stop.
I can’t really see what I look like. I haven’t for two years. Should I be so fortunate to fully regain my sight and get a good look at myself, it might not be pretty.