Change is hard, and it happens all the time. The little ones we barely notice, and suddenly it’s Wednesday instead of Sunday and it takes a moment to remember your age. The larger ones- like moving or transitioning through life’s changes are better marked but that doesn’t make them easy.
I’m getting glasses. It’s a new transition. One I’ve never had to navigate before, and I didn’t realize it was so hard to know all the things. It’s a very small correction, mostly for the blue light. It might be one clue to why I’ve resisted editing so much lately and focused on things that take me out of the range of the screens.
The difficult part is in my head at this point. I’ve never needed glasses. If it’s on paper, I can read it. Even the small print. Mostly I struggle as soon as it’s on a screen, and that’s just a headache. But headaches become cumulative, and I’d really rather live without them. So while I’m waiting on my “real” pair, I got a cheap pair without correction that only filters some of the blue light.
There’s a difference in the blue on my office walls more than most colors, so I know it’s a small adjustment. But I’m more comfortable driving in the semi-glare without full sunglasses. The first full day and I just felt less strained. (That’s what glasses are supposed to do, right?)
But there are also other things I’m attempting to get used to – like the ring around where my eyes are. When I walk inside I want to take them off like they’re sunglasses, because that’s all I’ve ever worn and it feels weird inside. This pair gets a glare sometimes on the corner where it looks like the person next to me is showing me a cell phone screen but it’s only a reflection from the window behind me.
So many people wear glasses, that very few people even remark on my new look. It was much more of an oddity in engineering school to not wear them. They just assume they’ve never seen me in glasses because of contacts or something else. Some people I know have reading glasses on top of their contacts. I know the adjustment is inside my head.
Partly it’s my age – this is the age where a lot of people need reading glasses or something. It’s around the age where my father also needed that correction. Partly it’s just that we live in a world with a lot of harsh lights.
I didn’t want to teach with my glasses yesterday, because they’re some pretty physical classes, and I was worried to drop them or break them. But I noticed the light streaming in the window, and I almost changed my mind. If nothing else, I am paying much more attention to the light that surrounds me and how it makes me feel. Wearing glasses is a small change, but the sensory differences are worth noting.
It’s time to get back to that manuscript in edits. I know this has been part of my resistance. There are always a few other things hanging, and I’m juggling them even if I keep dropping a couple things. Part of that resistance took the form of organizing and decluttering within my home, which still isn’t done. It’s just another piece of this time of change, and I’ve been feeling that much more acutely than normal.
So, because I almost never talk about my father, here’s a really old picture of the two of us. He’ll have been gone 14 years in May.