My fingers feel around the bedside table. I feel the glass of water that I had set on the table the night before. I feel the remote control too, but no eye glasses.
My patience is staring to wain, I can feel the annoyance starting to build in my chest. I can’t find my glasses. I had set them on the table when I went to bed. Now, I’m finding everything but my glasses. I prop myself up on one elbow and turn on my bedside lamp. I get close to the table, inches away from table, to where my glasses would normally be, but I come up with still nothing.
Let me explain: I’m blind.
I’m not really blind, but I have severe myopia, a big word meaning I’m nearsighted and generally see closer objects better, while distant ones are blurred. In reality, it means I’m blind as a bat and essentially need my glasses to see pretty much anything that’s not two or three inches away from my nose.
The white glove treatment
After a lifetime of wearing glasses and earlier in my life, contact lenses, I’m neurotic about making sure I take care of my glasses. I know where they are at all times. I never fall asleep with them on my face or set them aside like some absentminded professor. I don’t take a step without first putting them on in the morning. I’m religious about taking care of them. They’re always in one of three places, on my bedside table, on the sink in the bathroom when I get a shower, or on my face, that’s it.
In the back of my head, I start to panic about my day. It had started out so great. I had worked late the night before, meeting via video conference with a colleague in Australia, and was taking my time getting into work. I was thinking about the celebratory dinner my wife and I were going to have that weekend for my oldest son. In a flash, my perky, happy morning had now gone out the window.
On my tip-toes
I lie in bed for a few minutes trying to figure out in my head where I must have put the glasses. I envision taking one step out of my bed and cracking my glasses. If it were up to me, I would stay in my bed forever, but my life beckons. With ginger steps, I get up and tiptoe to my closet to find my workout bag. I whip everything out of the bag, running flats, shorts and t-shirt, my towel, everything that I had worked so hard to prepare the night before, looking for my set of back-up glasses I find them, put them on and run back next to my bed. I’m on my hands and knees, searching the floor. I come up empty again.
I should say up front that my back-up pair are fine, but they’re nothing to write home. They’re great to use in a pinch, but I wouldn’t dream of wearing them in front of someone I’m trying to impress. They’re dulled from years of sweat and use and they look clunky. Imagine something out of the 80s. When I look at myself in the mirror with them, I ask myself what I was thinking in buying them. They were fashionable when I got them and they serve their purpose now, but I certainly wouldn’t want to count on them in a situation that matters.
As I sit on the floor, I curse my poor vision. I checked into getting Lasik eye surgery a few years ago, but I wasn’t too fond of the doctor I had gone to for advice and soon forgot about it. In short, I need to find my glasses.
Finally, as I start to get up and get on with my day, I see my glasses in the corner. I remember that I had accidently tipped over my bedroom lamp the night before, quickly righting it, and in the process, I must have sent my glasses flying. I pick them up and immediately check them out. They appear fine: no scratches, no breaks, as good as new.
I thank God for my good fortune. I’m lucky that I didn’t step on them when I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or even that my wife didn’t break them when she got up to get ready for work. I’m lucky that our dog didn’t land on them too when she jumped off the bed in the middle of the night.
I let out a sigh, a very long sigh.
Later at work, I take out a microfiber cloth to clean my glasses and I think about how funny life can be. You take your eyes off the goal, your eyes off the prize, and you miss the mark.
I lose my eye glasses and I’m a mess. Life is the same way. I put off working out for a couple days, and then a couple more, and then a couple more, and the next thing you know, I’ve gained five pounds and feel like sludge is running through my veins. Or I put in too many night hours at work and my life at home starts to show cracks.
We need focus and clarity for both our eyesight and our life. Or we need the number of a good laser eye surgeon. In the meantime, I make a vow to myself to take better care of my glasses and to buy a new lamp, preferably one that stands on its own and doesn’t need to stand on my bedside table.
Yes, I definitely see clearly now!