Changing vision, a hot summer, & other musings…

Last summer, I went to the eye-doctor & found out while my ‘distance’ prescription for contacts/glasses had not changed, soon I was going to need ‘a change’ for my up close seeing. I didn’t really pay attention to what she said, because she said, “SOON” I would need it, not “NOW” you need it. So I went happily on my way… until last September. I was reading (translation: attempting to read) something & found out that my arms had gotten much shorter. Or that my contacts (& glasses too, dangit,) were no longer adequate in less than perfect light to read. Anything. Especially fine print (anything less than, say, 10 pt font.) I panicked & went into the eye doctor w/o an appointment, content to sit & wait through the day until I could see her & she could tell me WHAT was wrong with my eyes…

After sitting down with her & explaining what was going on, she reminded me, “Remember when I told you that SOON you would need a change for your close up seeing? Well it seems that SOON has become NOW.” Great, I thought, & asked what that meant… It meant… progressive lenses. I had no idea what those were. So she explained:

BIFOCALS. I needed bifocals.

It’s not like I was in denial about the fact that I am aging – my mirror tells me all the time that I am not the spring chicken I once was. (BTW: where the HECK did the term spring chicken come from? Who decided it meant a young(ish) person? I don’t get it. But I digress.) But BIFOCALS? I was not ready for them – so I asked, “Is there anything I can do to avoid having to get bifocals now?” The doctor assured me that I could probably buy a pair of 1.5-2.0x magnification ‘cheater’ glasses to wear with my contacts, for reading, & I’d probably be fine. But, for my ‘glasses only’ days, I would need to purchase a pair of bifocals. “Ok,” I thought, “one day I will. But that day is NOT today.” So I walked around the corner, bought my cheater glasses, & went about my business.

Everything was fine until May 1. That is the day my allergies returned… the day my eyes & sinuses & throat rebelled against the constant inflow of pollen into them… & I’ve spent parts of every day since then coughing, sneezing, wheezing, & rubbing ‘gunk’ from my eyes.

And it became really irritating to wear my contacts.

No trouble, really. I could do this. I’ll just wear my glasses. Which worked great. Until I needed to read something. And then I was out of luck.

In my job (& at home) reading is kind of a thing for me… so, when no one but my long suffering Bean was around, I would ‘double stack’ my glasses so I could read. You know, put my regular glasses on first. And then put my cheater glasses on over them. And then I could read fine. But its not like I could go out & about double-stacking my glasses all the time.

Things came to a head a couple of weeks ago. Hanging out with the kids for Fathers’ Day – went to an escape room (check it out HERE. A really good time.) An escape room, for the uninitiated, is a room where you are locked in with clues on how to escape. And you have 1 hour. It was a blast.

Except I couldn’t read the clues. Because the print was too small. Pasty caught me putting the paper the clues were on down on the counter & stepping back to try & catch what was typed on the paper in such an impossibly miniscule font. And he asked, “Uh, dad? You ok?”

And then I knew. The gig was up. I needed to get bifocals.

Years ago in therapy (it was more like conversations where your counselor challenges you to think about & do things that seem so counter-intuitive to the Way Things Have Always Been,) when Chuck, my counselor/mentor/friend said in an aside, “You know, Americans don’t know HOW to grow old. They spend their lives trying to get to an age, then spend the rest of their lives trying to stay at that age.” (Reminds me of something C.S. Lewis wrote about in “The Last Battle” – Book 7 of the Chronicles of Narnia.) At the time, I just nodded my head & filed away the fact somewhere in the filing cabinet that is my brain. And when Pasty asked me “Uh, dad? You ok?” I was taken back to that conversation… to Chuck’s wise words, & I heard God say something like, “You’re getting old. It happens. And it’s time to EMBRACE it.”

Finally got a doctor’s appointment to get my sentence, err.. my new prescription. My distance vision is holding strong, (“YES!”) but my up close vision definitely requires a change to progressive lenses (so nice & euphemistic to call them progressive lenses instead of bifocals. It is supposed to soften the blow for those fighting the losing battle against time.) Went through the whole ordering process, & they should be ready for use. Wish me luck.

In this process, I have heard God quite a bit talking to me through Scripture, little whispers, & life experiences… the idea of my vision changing is no longer something that I am trying to fight or (vainly) hang on to. It’s an idea that I’m trying to grab hold of, full force. Because as my physical vision fails, & the doctor is helping to correct it, & help me see the world (& to READ, which is oh so important to everyday life,) God is also at work in me, changing & transforming my vision so that I can see the next steps for what’s coming in our lives, & for church, & for ministry. And when He does something, He does it well. So I’m believing in that & contending for that, & trusting that my see-ers (spiritual eyes) are being refined as well. Thank you, Jesus, for never wasting a change to teach, to reveal, & to encourage.

Dang it, it’s hot. I remember less than 1 month ago we had SNOWAnd now we’re on a streak of 95F+ for the foreseeable future. Summer.

a Monday that reminds me of a holiday, & other musings…

For some reason, today has seemed like a holiday, albeit one that I chose to go to work. Don’t know why… maybe its due to the fact that this is the last Monday before all 3 kids return to school (Pasty to his 1st college semester at TMCC, iDoey to his sophomore year at Reed High, & theWeez to 8th grade at Mendive Middle.) Or it could be the 2 pots of coffee that I & the fam kicked the day off with. More than good coffee at that.

It’s hard not to smile today as well, thinking of the 49er game last night. I know its just preseason, but the more the preseason advances, the closer the REGULAR season comes. Which means about 2 weeks until it’s on. And the NFL season starting seems like a holiday. Hooray. And on that note, iDoey’s JV season kicks off in about a week as well. Good times.

Part of the holiday feeling I know is lingering from theBean & my impromtu vacation travels. I can’t remember a trip where I’ve come back feeling more rested, relaxed, & ready to engage in the world around me. Many previous vacations ended leaving me with the feeling that I needed a vacation… I think this one didn’t because we didn’t pack the schedule with Stuff To Do. Cause I’m not really a Stuff To Do person. More of a cook & chill, sit around by the pool, lounge on the deck, & eat person. And hey now! I am good at that.

It’s 8/23, so today is the day that I submit my grad school application. At long last, I am hoping to launch into continuing education through the LPC starting in January.

Last night, I felt the briskness in the air that indicates fall is just around the corner. Loved sitting on the porch with theBean, under a mostly full moon, thinking of the days & nights when I’ll actually need a hoodie… On that note, I love sunsets. There, I’ve said it. Not so much because they’re Beautiful. They are. But mostly because it means the fiery orb has left the sky for the day, allowing the night’s coolness to come & comfort us from the heat of the day.


Broke out my guitar today… haven’t played it in weeks, as it had found its way to Pasty’s closet somehow. Been making do with Brother’s 12-string Takamine/Martin knockoff. It (the 12-string) has an amazing sound & feel, which I’d love to play, plugged in. However, there seems to be an issue with the pickup that will preclude that happening.

I love to sit in the quiet of my office & just play whatever progression comes to mind; sing bits of songs, think & meditate… pray & talk. Sing the Psalms. That & a cup of coffee makes me feel like I’m hanging out with Jesus, spending time together… truly it feeds my soul & rejuvenates even the nooks & crannies of my being.