My eyesight, or lack thereof, has always taught me lessons. Back in 2008 and in my recent book, From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop “Doing” Life and Start Living It, I shared my experiences of having poor eyesight before receiving my first glasses. I learned a lot about myself through my microscopic view of the world due to my near-sightedness. Then, once I had the right glasses, I began to see the beauty and interconnectedness of the world. Now my eyes are ready to teach me the next lesson.
A few years back I received Lasik surgery. For the first time in my life since third grade I had no need for glasses. I could see with crystal clear vision both things close by and far away. No glasses fogged up due to cold air. No raindrops blurred the lenses. I did not have to frantically switch glasses going from sun to shade. I could see the clock on the other side of the room when I woke up. I was free.
Not wanting to miss out on this blessing, I made sure to make the most of it. Using this new vision I snorkeled and saw the amazing and colorful fish in the sea. My trip to Peru allowed me to see amazing vistas and ancient wonders clearly. For the past few years, I often stopped to watch a sunset and enjoy the amazing dance of sun on the waves. Every moment was a beautiful experience of wonder and beauty.
But now that is fading.
Last summer I finally admitted that my eyesight had changed. By September, I had distance glasses again. Not realizing how much my sight had changed, I assumed I would just need the glasses for driving. The second I put them on, I realized how blind I had been. Now I am adjusting to the new routine of needing my glasses every time I leave the house and needing to remove them when I need to see close up.
I am sad for the loss of vision but I have no regrets. I knew my perfect sight through Lasik was a gift. For the nine years the surgery provided me with the gift of sight I could never have had on my own. Thankfully I did not take it for granted and actively chose to make the most of every moment my eyes were open.
What gift is in your life right now? Maybe it is something physical like your ability to walk or hear. Maybe it is a perfect job or hobby. Maybe it is your favorite painting or path to walk. Maybe it is a relationship or your canine companion which adds much to your life. Maybe it is a skill you have which you love to share with others.
How often are you aware of the wonders of this gift? Are you taking it for granted? Or are you celebrating each time you are able to experience your gift?
Take a few minutes today and inventory the gifts in your life. Your ability to see, hear, walk, talk, read, write, create, connect, love, and laugh. Look at the people in your life and how they add to your joy. Look around your house and really see your favorite items.
Everything in life is transitory. Take a moment every day to see and acknowledge your blessings, before they are gone.