“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. “
How often do we take our five senses for granted? Our sense of smell, touch, taste, hearing, and vision.
Out of all of my senses, vision is something I always try to stop and appreciate. I’ve been legally blind in my right eye since I was eight years old which means I can really only see out of my left eye. However, my left eye is extremely nearsighted and my vision is pretty blurry. Without my glasses, I can clearly see maybe a yardstick length in front of me.
While I’ve grown used to wearing glasses, for years I begged my doctor to let me try a contact for my left eye. My eyes also don’t automatically blink like most people and when they do shut, they don’t close completely. So they are constantly dry and easily become irritated which was a concern with a contact but so far it’s been a risk worth taking.
Earlier this week, after being fitted with a new contact this summer, I saw my doctor for a checkup. We started out with a basic vision test of looking at and reading letters from a distance. As usual, my right eye pretty much couldn’t read anything but my left eye kept going further and further down the chart! I was able to read the tiny letters across the room. With my new contact in, I could see 20/20, something I haven’t seen for most of my life! For the longest time, I used to see pictures of trees and notice their individual leaves. I always thought it was so beautiful how a photographer captured that and wondered why trees (at least the ones I saw) didn’t look like that. But now with my contact and thanks to other advances in technology, I can finally see the individual leaves! They aren’t just in pictures, they’re real! On my drive home, it was mesmerizing to look out the window. Despite being gray and rainy, there was so much newfound beauty and sights that I’ve overlooked for years.
I feel like most of my blogs end with something about gratitude and how having an attitude of gratitude leads to happiness but it’s a message that never gets old. For me, it’s so easy to not be grateful, to overlook the simplest of things, to get caught up in the daily routine and become blind to the world around me. My contact is a small reminder of how much I have to be grateful for. How there is beauty everywhere despite the difficulties in life, even in the simple things like leaves. It reminds me to have a childlike point of view, to approach life with wonder, awe, and joy. It reminds me, as my mom puts it, to take a look in the rear view mirror. To stop thinking only about yourself and take a look at the impact you leave on people. Earlier this month, a women I briefly spoke to at a Christmas Bazaar actually ended up writing an editorial later that week including me it and the impact our short conversation had on her. There I was just volunteering, doing my own thing and look what came from it. It was very touching and moving to read.
Everyday is filled with simple joys and moments of wonder. Before becoming blind to the world, take a second to be grateful for the moment at hand and to approach life with childlike innocence.