This Blog Post is quite different than my other ones. This one came to me over time and seemed worth sharing. I’m trying to put into words a philosophy for dealing with my vision-loss. It’s an attitude I’m trying to live by. Perhaps it will strike a chord with you. Here’s how this thought came to me.
I have more trouble seeing now than I did about a year ago. I have a couple of routes that I can walk to get to the store, the coffeeshop and downtown. One is more shaded by trees than the other, so when it’s hot I take the more shaded route. While the coolness is nice, it is also darker. A year ago, I could make out the curves in the sidewalk and paths where the shade was deepest.
However, this year I realized that I no longer could see the path in those shaded spots. It was disheartening to face the reality that my eyesight had declined so much so fast. I stood there soaking in what this meant. After a bit, with no visual clues, my handy long white cane found and kept me on the path. I slowly get past this and other sections and back on my way.
Over time, I started to try and see beyond the deeply shaded sections. If I could make out where the path picked up beyond these sections, I’d aim for them. Combining confidence that comes from using my long white cane, some eyesight and this method, I’d get through these spots more quickly. Later, I realized that if I could see someone on the path ahead of me, I’d try to use them as a moving target.
It was on one of those walks that it dawned on me that such a practice could be an allegory for the way one lives their life. There will be times in our lives when we may feel lost, getting nowhere or unhappy with our current situation.
But if you have a big goal or a series of smaller goals, you have that spot in the path ahead to aim for. If you don’t have such goals or if they are vague, work on them. Having goals and working towards them can be very helpful.
I also noticed that If someone was a bit ahead of me on the trail, I could use them to point the way forward. I translate this to mean, find or learn about someone who has walked a path similar to yours. Especially if they are now in a “place” more like where you’d like to be. Guides, role models and mentors can make all the difference as you travel along your path.
Edward Cohen is the creator of the EZ2See® weekly planner/calendar.