I’ve Got the Bifocals Blues

One of life’s most amusing and frustrating challenges is the dreaded mid-40s onset “I can’t see a damn thing” phenomenon.  You may have been blessed with 20/20 vision, or like me, you are near-sighted and have worn glasses practically all of your life. It doesn’t matter which vision scenario describes your eyesight because one day you wake up (hello 40s) and the print is too small and your arms are too short.  Caution: small objects at close range are definitely smaller than they used to be!

Proudly wearing my bifocals I continue to have reading challenges, most of which crack me up. I began keeping a running list of the tricks my eyes play on me every day. Here are a couple for your amusement:

What I read: “Are you ready to start crying?”

What it really says: “Are you ready to start trying?”

What I read: “A fashion trend for Fall and Winter is skimpy jeans.”

What it really says: “A fashion trend for Fall and Winter is skinny jeans.”

I made the dreaded march to my optometrist a few years ago to discuss a most sensitive topic for baby boomers – bifocals, ugh! Too many choices, all are unpleasant: line, no line (progressive lenses is the more tactful terminology), one contact for near vision, one contact for far, vision correction surgery that won’t actually correct near vision, and the lovely glasses frames that will accommodate your two-tiered vision. (All the cute choices didn’t work for my lenses).

I took an  eyeglasses inventory at my house this week. Over the past several years (I AM the Other Side of 50, after all) I’ve racked up no less than 5 pairs of prescription bifocals and I could have my very own contact lens start-up company in my vanity drawer. You name a lens prescription strength and I can hook you up. And drugstore reading magnifiers? I can’t even count how many pairs are strewn throughout the house.

It’s ok though. The universe has a sense of humor and it knows that the AARP fan base can take a joke. There’s a difference between aging and aging well. At least, for the moment, I can once again read recipes and back of the box instructions. I’ve learned to navigate steps, the car, my makeup, and my PC. Sure, I have chronic neck pain now from looking up, down, up, down, up…all day long but I choose to see this as an opportunity instead of a challenge. Always loved a good neck and shoulder massage and now it’s a necessity rather than a luxury!

Cue the 1973 Johnny Nash song “I Can See Clearly Now”.

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