· make or become less clear or less distinct
· a thing that can’t be seen or heard clearly
I live in a blur these days; literally and figuratively. Figuratively, it comes from spending time with my mother. It’s often unclear what she can see and hear. She doesn’t want to talk or engage. Books and crosswords puzzles have been put aside now forgotten. She sleeps most of the time and prefers a gentle touch rather than sounds or sights. She wants to sense you are near and not have you announce it. If she had a choice, she’d prefer to be naked under a light sheet. I leave the outside world as she has and enter her room; it is hushed and feels holy. It reminds me of being in church when I was young and fervently religious. Church was the space between the living world and heaven. While there, you could feel closer to God. I imagine the space my mother, a religious woman, lives in is a blur and from the peaceful smile on her face, it wraps her in comfort and she feels closer to God.
I am literally living in a blur as my eyesight requires more light, and I have reached the maximum strength of my prescription. More and more I’m viewing life through a cloudy window, one too hastily cleaned with streaks and smears. Unlike my mother, the soft edges of the world and the challenges posed to the work I love most, writing and reading are making me agitated and immobilized. Being severely nearsighted for most of my life, I panic when I can’t find my glasses upon waking up or have an issue with my contacts. The blur is encompassing most aspects of my life and I pull up the phrase; “can’t see my way clear”. Clarity eludes me in what I want to wear and what I want to do. Even my body seems to blur as it becomes soft and lightly padded to prepare for winter. No more sharp edges. Just when my motor turns over, I stall. I wait and while I know what that means for my mother, I don’t know what it means for me. This inertia is panicking me yet I can’t stop myself.
Remember the rose, the thorn and the bud? I’ve encountered a thorn; I have cataracts and will need to have surgery on both eyes. I should have suspected, as both my mother and grandmother had them. Now I wait for the appointments scheduled to make that happen. Like many other changes in COVID life, getting medical and dental appointments now seems to take much longer than it did before. So I’ve been waiting for six weeks to get mine and, of course, the wait is even longer when it’s for someone who comes recommended. Next week, I begin the process. There is, however, an enormous rose; I’ll be able to see more clearly than perhaps I have for years. I might never again need to wear contacts or glasses. I confess I love my glasses and would miss them, they seem to be part of who I am. Maybe some for reading.
I’ve never been very good at waiting. When it comes to patience, I’m on a constant learning curve. It’s why I never did online shopping until COVID, when I want something I want to take it with me, to make the excitement of desire continue past the moment of discovery. The danger is when this is impulsive and it pierces you with regret when you buy something you didn’t really want. Sometimes this lack of patience stems from a fear that even after waiting, what I want or want to happen won’t. That there may be no reward for it. It’s like being pacified by someone, “Just wait for my ship to come in” and it never does. Also, while we are being told this is the “new normal”, it’s uncertain to me we are through the end of this. Uncertainty about what the future may bring still looms large.
I learn patience through times like these where I must endure waiting that is outside my control: not being able to eat your Easter candy until after Mass when the fast was broken, graduating from high school, having a baby, quarantines, the house buying process. During these times, I manage by having a uniform and a routine. The fewer decisions for me to make, the better. I chunk up the big things I do every day. I subscribe to the “do something small every day” and that’s “good enough” philosophy of cultivating patience.
The bud in this scenario is that once I get my cataract surgery and my vision becomes clear again, I will see my everyday life in new ways. Maybe view what’s in my closet a little differently and change up my routine. But for now, you’ll be finding me in jeans, oversized shirts, sweaters, jackets and a good old pair of scruffy loafers. I’ll be doing 3 minutes of exercise for every hour I sit rather than my usual 40-minute stints, writing for an hour in the morning and not again unless I feel like it, organizing one drawer in my bureau instead of organizing the whole thing, taking a half-hour walk instead of two hours and preparing simpler meals; soup and bread are great in this weather. As they say, practice makes perfect on my lifelong journey towards cultivating patience.
How are you practicing (or learning patience) during these times of uncertainty? Or if you want to share what’s your Rose, Thorn and Bud these days?
My rose is I found a great pair of flared jeans at Madewell. Love them! The bud is enjoying my winter boot collection. The thorn is having people make demands on my hospitality- having a guest house has it’s downside. Another few years and I will be coping with cataracts. Hope all goes well for your surgery!!
I am really appreciating and sinking into the truth that life is uncertain. All the trappings of that delusion are stripped away. My Rose is finding that I am in a place I dreamed of for many years – my creative hub and ocean home. It isnt actually mine, I am house sitting, but it is wonderful to sensate something that use to be in my imagination and is now realised in nascent form. The thorn is awareness and acceptance of a lifetime of depression and anxiety. And the bud in that letting go of resistance is a healing salve that makes me ok with not being ok.
I’m 62. The pandemic forced me to see more clearly the direction my life was heading, and I became more fervently religious than I was before. It also invited me to re-think my wardrobe considering the direction my new career is going, working from home. This year, I had my colors done by an image consultant who draped me privately. I had to re-examine the utility of things I’m keeping and face up to the change in my body weight.
I see blogs that advise women who are graying to banish all warm and/or earth tone clothing, accessories and gold jewelry from their wardrobes. I also see blogs that advise younger women to get their colors done, and having determined which season one belongs to, begin a process of wardrobe purging according to a book of cloth swatches or color cards. What is everyone’s opinion about this wardrobe advice? Is it useful, or does it hamper creativity and expression? What would Lyn Slater say?
Well, Lyn Slater is not a fan of rules of any kind and I am a real fan of experimentation. I was told I should never wear orange but colors have so many different shades I found that I actually can love and embrace my particular shade of orange. I feel my wardrobe from the inside and would never want the constraints of being told what I should wear and when I should wear it.
My rose: I’ve been writing press releases for each new Oscar de la Renta collection. This combination of my two great loves–words and fashion–is a joy.
My bud: I just discovered that my childhood best friend is my sister. She and I have made it our mission to make up for the 50 years we’ve lost.
My thorn: Getting older is hard. Even though I’ve always been physically active, body parts hurt.
Wow exciting on many fronts!
I’m so sorry about your mom. What a lucky mother to have such a wonderful daughter by her side.
Thank you, I am also lucky to have a sister and brother supporting me as we go through this together.
My thorn: still constraint by Covid restrictions
My rose: have 3 pairs of glasses: my regular trifocal ones, my special reading and computer use ones and my prescription sunglasses.
My bud: planning an oversea trip for next spring.
My patience has always been limited and is getting thinner as I age….
Patience ah yes I aspire but never quite get there.
It is no accident that I found you.
You talk about things I, too, am experiencing in my life.
Currently, at 69 years of age, I have just lost my mother. After years of estrangement, I chose to grieve her passing spiritually instead of fishing through her dementia for a glimmer of hope for any recognition or love. The feeling I’m left with is peaceful resolve.
The blur caused my own cataracts has finally become enough of an issue to consider the same surgery. I wish you well with yours.
What a wonderful decision you made about how to approach the passing of your mother. Thank you for sharing it.
This blog was beautiful. I have just watched my mother deteriorating and placed her in a care home. Your description of leaving life and sleeping most of the time was the same experience. I wish you well and your mother.
I just live one character of syntax on a line after another, since Covid. So, I will talk of the Rose, the Bud, and the thorn. The Rose is that I spent wonderful time with my grandchildren last weekend, the Thorn is that found week old kittens from a Feral cat that refused to take two of them back. I am now bottle feeding kittens every 2-3 hours with some success as they pee and poop with consistency. The Bud is that the father of one set of grandchildren has offered to take the kittens if I can keep them alive until they can eat on their own and use a litter box. So is the excitement of my life.
And something that goes full circle, a lovely story.
I identify with multiple aspects of this post – streamlining decisions; minimizing wardrobe to ‘uniform’ choices that always work; dinner soups; being OK with less ambitious domestic organizing tasks, and especially the never-ending quest for patience. The thorn is always patience! Patiently waiting for research funding, research results and then patiently accepting the time and tasks required to prepare for publication. The bud is the promise affirmed by the research. My rose is being forced by Covid to get off the merry-go-round of constant travel and business development to ground myself in my northern Calif property where I’ve hardly spent time in the last 10 years. Witnessing my dogs daily practice of patience and trust. The rosy confirmation that family and friends have got your back. The rose is the marvel of communication and technology – little treasures like the Accidental Icon! Thank you
Thank so much for sharing your rose thorn and bud story. Happy for you.
I’m awaiting , with trepidation, my scheduled appointments pre cataract surgery. Just one eye. I read, less and less, with the bad eye and drive with the good one. I don’t think they will able to give me a large enough sedative pre laser!
Venturing out for the first time in what seems years for a long weekend. Vaccinated but experiencing major heebee-geebees.
Stay safe and have fun!
Cataract surgery is a bizarre experience, and the results are truly amazing! You will be so happy!
Thanks, I hope so!
Good luck with the surgery! 🤞🤞🤞
As a very nearsighted artist, I was concerned about having cataract surgery.
It was a minor miracle. Color changed and the warm colors returned to my vision.
I thought the brick across from my studio window was yellow/green only to discover it was a warm blush.
I no longer need glasses unless I am driving night – but then my night vision was never very good.
It will change the way you see the world.
Thanks for the inspiration.
I understand how you feel about waiting for cataract surgery. I had my right eye done in 2015 and at that time my doctor told me there is one in the left eye too but it is not “ready” yet or in other words insurance won’t cover it until you are nearly blind. December 2020 I landed in the hospital with pancreatitis which dumped a bunch of toxins into my body and caused serious swelling in the macular of both of my eyes. For a couple of months, I had serious vision issues and I was scared out of my mind, to say the least. Lots of drops later my swelling is gone and they have caused my cataract in my left eye to be ready for surgery. Bonus! I will be joining you this month for cataract removal! Yay! Having had it done once before I know that it is a breeze so fear not and during surgery pay attention to the ceiling. I wish you well and I pray for your sweet mother’s peace and comfort.
Thank you so much and happy to hear you are on the road to recovery. Good luck with your surgery.
Hi — thank you for this post. I have been through cataract surgery in one eye — the result of a childhood accident, the cataract reared its head when I was about 40. The surgery was miraculous — as you said, I could see! as I had not seen in years. As I also was myopic since childhood, I did lasik in the other eye to “even them up”…now, 17 years later, I have a cataract forming in the other eye, and a lot of ‘floaters’. I will ultimately have to take care of the 2nd cataract, as I too write for a living (and for fun). I like the notion of Rose, Thorn and Bud, and will have to think on this a bit. My thorn is the uncertainty of a job that is likely going away in the 3-6 month timeframe. Uncertainty has never been comfortable for me. This leads to my bud – which is that I have stayed in a job that has not really grown me, provided adequate professional resources or optimized my talents for about a decade too long…so being forced into a new adventure is the bud that has not yet unfurled — but holds the promise to be a wonderful future American Beauty. And my rose…well, I guess that is everything that is well and good with my life. My overall good health, my cute little cottage, my pups, my talents that will undoubted see me through all of this uncertainty, and the inspiration of so many great books, movies, mentors, and creators like you who help me to see uncertainty as adventure. So, thanks again for sharing! good luck with your surgery. The cells of the eye are the fastest in the body to heal. you will be amazed! Take care! Linda
Thank you for your kind words and I wish you much success on you journey to find your American Beauty. Many of us are in the reinvention phase so you will find like-minded companions here.
I just had my cataract surgery 4 weeks ago on the second eye and 2 weeks previous to that on the first. I didn’t realize what normal eyesight was like since the darkness proceeded so slowly. I can now see brilliant colors and textures! The textures are in 3d. I still need reading glasses, but that was my choice in choosing my lens. Every day is glorious!! And I can once again drive after dark. I’m excited for you to experience the same. Good luck!
I know the cataract surgery sounds scary, but it’s (mostly) wonderful. I had it about 2 years ago and, as you suggested, it lets me see more clearly than I have since childhood. One thing they don’t tell severely near-sighted people about cataract surgery: unless you opt for monovision (one eye near, one eye distance–which has its own set of challenges), you’re going to miss your good near vision. With the usual cataract surgery, you’ll probably be amazed at your vision for driving and other distance-based tasks. It’s a miracle to wake up and be able to see before you find your glasses/contacts. But I (we?) were used to being able to read and write without assistance, even though we had our noses nearly touching the paper. Now I can’t read tiny type at any distance or with any normal level of reading glasses. The directions on the back of food packaging require a magnifying glass. I read and write constantly, but drive infrequently, so I repeatedly told my doctor I wanted my new intraocular lenses to prioritize near vision. Alas, this seems beyond the understanding of the medical establishment. I wish you better luck w2ith your medical professionals and urge you to be strong in advocating for your particular needs.
Thanks for the advice to advocate. I have done research on all the kinds of lenses available and what will be best for the close reading and writing I need to do so hopefully I can get the job done.
I thought your passage about your mother was very serene and sensitive…well written and with feeling. I was in this room with you and could see the pale light and the cool bed sheet. I sense that your mother will be gone soon. Blessings.
(my mother is 98 and still lucid, still outraged with this crazy world she and the rest of us live in. I think it’s her anger that keeps her alive)
I also can relate to your personal dilemma with cataracts since I had both eyes done last year and waited a good bit to be scheduled around the lock down. Here’s the good news. I was seeing things in a Naples Yellow tint and, as much as I adore yellow, I realized that, once the first eye was done, I could see the most beautiful pale light and the most glorious distance on the horizon. I was struck by how ‘blue’ things looked until I realized that the cataract was making things rather yellow and dim. So, the rose for you will indeed be amazing vision and yes, you can continue with new scripts for glasses that you’ll still need. Me too.
All of you are making me look so forward to seeing colors in such a brilliant way. Thank you!
I love how you so succinctly describe things going on, feelings, etc. My thoughts are with you as you attend your mom. I know it’s not easy and comes with such a mix of emotions. I will have to think a bit more to identify my rose, bud, and thorn. I live in an area with lower vaccination rates, lower masking, higher covid, so my first thought is I can only identify my thorn- COVID. The rose and the bud would have to be making plans with our son to get together for the holidays and actually pulling it off. We live 9 hours apart, and in different worlds (rural mountains vs DC) and have seen him once since the pandemic began. I remain grateful, though, not to have lost any family or very close friends during this tough time, and am also grateful for my country home where I can garden as much as I want, enjoy nature, walk in quiet, and am surrounded by beauty wherever I look. Peace, Deb
Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving.
What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing. You may not be very good at waiting, but you are incredibly good at writing. What a beautiful gift you have!!!!!
Thank you this means so much.
I had cataract surgery in Feb and March. Can I just say how VERY wondrous it’s been?! I have been myopic since 4 years old, when I started Kindergarten. I was probably half blind much earlier. I was fitted for hard contact lenses in 1969 when I turned 15. The optometrist told my mother it would be a shame for me to wear glasses much longer due to the crushing weight of my thick (then glass) specs. My eyes are not just weak with poor vision but they are sensitive too so I gave up contact lenses in my late ’30s. In my early ’50’s the doctor said I had an unusual form of slow growing cataracts. Until they weren’t. Suddenly they went on the move and within months my vision went completely south. It was depressing. Because of COVID operations were delayed and I panicked imagining untold delays but suddenly operating rooms were opened. I opted for the upgraded lenses recommended due to my type of myopathy. Hours after the operation when the doctor checked my vision, it was 20/20. Stunning. Even the docs were astonished. I have to wear reading glasses which are really just snazzy magnifiers. Sometimes I stand and look out the window staring at the hummingbirds, the flowers and now the leaves falling from the trees. I could weep with joy and gratitude. My heart is with you as you wait. Am I good at waiting? Most of the time I am. I have been online shopping for almost 20 years. I’m fussy. I like what I like. It’s only through online shopping that I’m able to find precisely what I’m seeking. I have little patience wandering from mall to mall and store to store searching for that item. I’m prepared to wait for just what I want to show up in the mail. 🙂 I’m always so moved reading your stories about your mom. My last weekend with my mother is a memory heavily laden with a fog of tears and a fierce sort of stoicism struggling to keep that from her. She hated emotional expressions and was deeply suspicious of demonstrations of affection. She was 58 and I was 38. This month I’ll be 67 so this memory is already almost 30 years old yet as fresh as yesterday. Thank you as always for another deeply moving post.
Thanks for sharing this and the good outcomes that come from patience. I also get comfort from the freshness of the momory you still hold for your mother and I hope for the same.
Unlike you and probably many others, I have never stopped working through the Pandemic. Yes, having blurry vision of not knowing whether or not what each day will bring. As a Security officer at one of the largest power plants in Nevada, I to have gone through the process of how to be patient. I became ill and had to have my gallbladder removed.I had to take baby steps to get doctors appointment, x-rays and schedule surgery. Yes the pandemic has put a lot of things on hold, but it has also open my eyes to many things and situation and has brought me to a place of reality. I’m still taking baby steps to finish up other medical problems but I will keep on pushing, for I believe tomorrow will be a better day.
Your attitude is impressive and I wish you a good recovery. I too continued to work during the pandemic but I was able to do it from home. I am still doing consulting work wearing my hat of social welfare professor in the area of workforce development. I have also continued to create content and earn a living through sponsored content on Instagram. I hope to transition to making a living by writing but really won’t see myself retiring until age 70 and will probably do things beyond that.,
Wishing you a successful surgery and clarity. Love your blogs. Thank you.
I would recommend having the surgery so the eyes are 2 diopters short-sighted, especially for people who read much. . Makes it possible to see /read something near and one doesn’t have to give up glasses, but the prescriptions are so much cheaper.
Good point, thanks
I am in exactly the same waiting game for cataract surgery and am looking forward to clear vision and true colors. Just imagine doing makeup without a 10x mirror, or sewing a button on without glasses, or reading your wonderful writings without having to struggle. I think it will make many daily tasks much easier. I send your Mom wishes for comfort and wish you strength in your care taker role. Be strong.
Thanks so much for your kind words.
Alas, I too have been on the journey to embrace patience which seems to be leading me to inner peace. I am caring for an elderly mother whose life is blurring and I had cataract surgery on both eyes last year at the age of 59. While the blur brings with it fear and uncertainty, clarity in its various forms brings a new appreciation for life and the roads yet to travel. You are not going to believe what your eyes have been missing!! As I figure out what my 60-year-old fashionista is most longing for, I am practicing being present to what my mind, body, and spirit are saying. I am focused on what is important to me, diligently saying yes only to things that bring joy and purpose and saying no to things done purely to check a box. I am finding joy in the simplest things. Today, as the temperature reached a high of 51 degrees, lounging in soft olive green sweatpants and a matching tank top paired with a vibrant handmade crochet afghan, did the trick!
I can see you in your lovely outfit with an attitude that is beautiful as well.
Good evening 🤗
It’s always interesting to hear what you have to say. You seem like a real grown-up, although I wonder why you seldomly smile.
Your discription of your time with your Mother seems ‘Taylormade’ and agreeable to you both…that’s a difficult win. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us… I can only imagine ☺️💃💕
Ah, the smile question. In general, I am a fairly serious person. That does not mean I am unhappy. Victoria Beckham when asked why she doesn’t smile said, “I’m smiling on the inside” I guess that’s me too.
Cataract surgery is very freeing to not wear glasses generally although I still require them for reading so have a pair of readers in every room, my bag, the car etc. also wonderful to wear any sunglasses not just prescription. You will be thrilled to have your eyesight cleared.
The sunglasses will be HUGE
Blessings for you as you traverse this path with your Mother. What a blessing we have the means to aid your continued seeing.
I recommended a book to my friend from 4th grade — we’re both 80 — and met in Catholic Grade School. The book is The Afterlife of Billy Fingers. She stunned me saying it the best book she’d ever read. I was so glad to hear that! I recommend it to you also . . . it will aid in understanding what I call the pre-school of a future transition . . . what is being worked on before leaving. Are you aware of Marianne Williamson’s quote of us being afraid of the powerful being we really are? And do you wonder now what else there might be? Well, dear Lyn, Billy will help open that to you. Blessings
Thank you for this recommendation.
My husband just had cataract surgery….had to have both eyes done. He doesn’t have to wear glasses anymore and can see great. Having a few problems with headlights at nighttime. You are going to be so glad you had it done! As for me I’m trying to find the “new” normal!!! We just moved and it’s been stressful but trying to take one day at a time and count my blessings! All the best to you! They say this too shall pass…sure hope so!🙏🤗
Good luck with your new home!
Thank you for doing what I can no longer do: Touch your mother’s hand, let her hear your breathing, rub your cheek gently against hers, speak and sing gently. This isn’t wasted; she knows what you are doing. Much like a tiny baby who can only handle so much stimulation, she is confronting the world within her own limits. I know you left your expectations at the door; you need now only enjoy her.
Thank you for this,
Good luck with the cataract surgery…what they fail to tell you is you will permanently have dry eye. Everyone I know who has had this procedure now has this condition…even though the surgeon tells them it is extremely rare!
I did not want to be the only thorn on everyone’s rosy assessment of cataract removal, but OMG! for me it was a long and troubled road. First a diagnosis by my optometrist, then trying to get a covid appt, with an ophthamologist for a re-diagnosis. This process alone took 7 months. The darker days didn’t bother me as much as the blurry eyesight. Here in BC they make you wait 1 month between eyes, different kinds of drops several times a day and sunglasses worn in my bright white house while I healed. Two months later I required another procedure to laser debris left over from the cataract procedures off both eyeballs. More drops. Now, 10 months later, my eyesight is as bad as ever due to the dreaded DRY EYE SYNDROME. It will never be cured, only managed. Very common in post menopausal women.
Mornings and evenings I can hardly read at all through blurred vision and the fear of loss of my eyesights has been added to my pile of syndromes and conditions. I still wear progressives for glasses, same expensive prescription in sunglasses. I have experienced no escape from lifelong nearsightedness, only more limitation. Temper your expectations ye who have it all before you…
I appreciate honesty and being fully informed about risks and benefits so I thank you for your honestly
We seem to have a spectrum of outcomes in these comments all things my doctor has told me about. Thanks for the heads up.
I was in your shoes with the eyesight a year ago. I was also very very nearsighted and totally dependant upon contacts or glasses. I chose corrective lenses, one for near and one for distance, just like my contacts. But- you don’t have to choose corrective lenses! Ask your surgeon, but you can get new lenses that will allow brighter vision, but you’ll still need glasses. Your choice!
Love to you and your mom.
Thanks for the tip.
I lost my mom last week. My siblings and I were able to keep her and care for her at home. That was her wish. She was at peace and it was peaceful. The last several days have been a thorn. The healing process has begun, however, I will have moments of loss for some time to come. I miss her. I haven’t seen the bud or rose yet but I know in due time, I will. I now have to pull myself from the back burner and take care of me. Now to find a new normal….whatever that is. I love reading your blog and keeping up. Keep up the great work!
So sorry for your loss. Wishing you the best as you engage in self-care and begin the journey of dealing with such a great loss.
I had my cataracts done a couple of years ago. I had the first one done, and that afternoon when I removed the bandage, colors were so bright and clear that I suddenly realized what I had been missing for so long. It was almost too intense. There were a few disappointments: my lovely red tote turned out to be magenta, and my nice little steel gray fan turned out to be powder blue. But mostly I was joyful as one could be.
Ha ha! I’ll take those kinds of disappointments!
OMgosh, I was required to do 2 weeks’ hotel quarantine upon returning from overseas recently, and that was a great help. I called it my plush prison, but it wasn’t prison at all – it was like a compass, guiding me ( who is already called a Pollyanna by 1 neighbour) to make the most of 2 weeks confined in a room, with meals delivered.
How to spend your time? Yes, you can create exercise, you can make art and craft, you can watch and listen to and read things, and you can engage in online work. All of that keeps being closed in a room very manageable. But just knowing that it’s up to you to make this work really helps develop patience – with the situation, and with yourself. Didn’t meet all my goals today? It’s okay, I met one – HOORAY! – and there’s more time tomorrow. Was it a good day, well spent? Yes. I am not just what I accomplish.
I love this attitude! Especially I am not just what I accomphlish.
Too many thorns and not enough roses! I find myself more impatient than usual and fold back into myself when I realize it.
Thanks for your musings, they help!
Here’s to finding some roses! Or even a bud.
Thank you, I lived reading this, because it resonates with me. I shall take away and think about the the Rose, Thorn and Buds in my life…
I hope you’ll share them.
I am the lotus bud (and bloom) – no thorns! However, sometimes one needs a thorn…
I’ve had both eyes done about 4+ years ago and shortly afterwards (about 9 months or so) I had to have the implanted lenses cleaned with laser. Never looked back and I want to tell you to go into the experience with trust – you will love the new colours you will be able to see. I’m an artist – and believe me, it helped/helps A LOT!
Best wishes – keep going!
Thanks for sharing your mum’s story with us. I wish you lots of strength so that you can go on to take care of her.
Thanks for your good wishes, they will be tucked into my pocket.
Thanks for the encouragement!
I developed cataracts pretty early, and they came on fast – I had my first one removed at 61 and my right at 62. It is truly a miracle procedure, and I can confidently predict you’ll be happy with the results! We left one eye slightly undercorrected, which means I don’t need reading glasses except for the small print, or when I’m doing fine needlework.
I’ll take reading glasses if I have to!
Thank you for this wonderful blog, so full of rich insight about what its like being who you are. I can relate to a lot of what you say, and so beautifully said it is.
The fog of todays dawn
a veil of beauty over the lake
making clear one thing
I am transparent and opaque
to myself, to the world
I lift with the warmth of the sun
a trail of dew my path
a prism blinks at the sun
I love what you write. Thank you.
You are inspiring.
So very beautiful, thank you for sharing it.
So well done .. love this piece and all the best in the process😊
I am going through exactly the same thing. I am an artist who works in a small scale and the headaches I have everyday are as annoying as the lack of sight!
I try to carry on as normal, whatever that is these days and hope that the cataracts grow fast so I can have them operated on soon.
It’s very frustrating because I am feeling even more creative than ever! Thankfull there are more and more medical and technological advances to meet some of the challenges of age.
As always, a thoughtful blog that makes me stop and think. I’m 63 and was terribly shortsighted from about age five I think Teenage years with glasses wasn’t much fun and contact lens were great but i would over wear them and then have to lie in a dark room for 24 hrs till my eyelids healed ( hard contact lens in those days.) I saw an advert in an onflight magazine saying that Simon La Bon from Duran Duran had had lens implants done I got intouch with the eye specialist that had done them and had lens implants put in asap 1999. Best thing i ever did. Even had a cataract op in 2014 where they took out the cataract and the lens and put in a new one.
Being able to open ones eyes and see in a morning without reaching for glasses – never worrying about doing outdoorsy sports and knocking a contact lens out is very freeing All the best Lynda x
I look forward to not fumbling around for my glasses!
After cataract surgery my husband got progressive lenses. Now he always needs sunglasses outside and bright light inside. You like glasses. Maybe go distance lenses and still use glasses for close.
I appreciate your honestly and your sharing.
Thanks for the tip!
Good day, as I just read what seems to be your most recent chapter in your life, it inspires me to elaborate on my own affairs with respects to my Rose, Thorn, and Bud. As I sit here and gaze at the wall (thinking) the most dominant thought that comes to mind is “my age” and with pure honesty, my lack of exercise.
I just feel the changes happening each and every day, it is getting harder and harder to deal with the freezing cold weather of Cleveland, Ohio and with no regrets, I don’t think I wold want to live anywhere else. It makes me wonder if that is do to me always living here, and I am sure that is what keeps my feet planted in this reality.
With over twenty-five-years of working as a computer programmer it is starting to get harder and harder for me to get up, get in my car, and make the long drive into work. Once I am there, I am fine. I just hate the drive to and from a job that I can do from home. So with no further ado, my Thorn is having to drive to a location, spending money on over priced gas, parking rates, and not to mention a few cups of four-dollar coffee (I could scream) just thinking about this. Today.
Yes, this evolved from a nine-month period of time I got to work from home at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. During those days, I got myself into a peaceful frame of mind each and every day (stress free for the most part). Between the hard work with engineering programs and programming them as well, I found myself enjoying the daily tasks of watering a few plants on my front porch, walking my dog around the block, and having the ability to dress-down. With how good I was feeling, it felt like a form of freedom that included a pay raise by eliminating all the expenditures mentioned above.
About six-years ago I discovered I was born with a gene mutation where my blood clots to where DVT’s form in my legs and/or arms. My first bout with having a DVT in my leg, the doctors also found that I had four pulmonary embolism’s in my lungs (they were small) thank God and I was able to live through the battle of eliminating them. With having to deal with such a thing, it makes me wonder what would happen if I did contract the Covid virus and am I one of the many who is to far out of shape to fight the battle.
I could probably write a book on this chapter in my life, with regards to the two injections of blood-thinner I had to inject each day; for over six-years (I felt like a pin cushion) and after six-years I started forming blood clots again in my leg. My Oncologist moved me onto a drug called Warfarin that I take religiously (is this the Thorn?) OMG, I cannot express how good it feels to have the freedom and to share with others my own stories (thank you for inspiring me to share).
With respects to the Bud in my life, this is another story I would only share if requested (smile) it is a very complicated but inspiring part of my life.
My Rose, is my family who put up with my sometime aggressive personality. It is amazing how some of my children have grown into such great people. It is a form of self-worth where I feel some form of accomplishment in helping them get to where they are today.
As I wrap up my story today, I can only think “how lucky I was today” to have the ability to share a few paragraphs (trust me, you need to read between the lines) it feels like I leave so much to the imagination in some lines of text. I am trying to see myself as a writer some day. I would love to write a novel in my final years. I have always wondered “I wish I would have known back then what I know now” as my father always told me, “life is as good as you make it”.
All the best to you and your mother,
Thank you for sharing what has been a remarkable challenge that it seems you struggled with and met. I say get started on that novel! There is a wonderful group called London Writers Salon that meets each weekday over ZOOM for an hour across 4 time zones. You get an inspiring quote and then for the next 50 minutes you just write. You are in the silent company of others from all over the world and it’s an accountability structure that has taken my writing leaps and bounds. You might also want to read Anne Helen Petersen and Charlie Wurtzel on what they are saying about work, you’ll really relate.
Thank you, means a lot.
I feel you…I have been through the death of my only child and two cancers…periods of waiting for the other shoe to drop or my ship to come in, have been my experience for most of my adult life…life will teach us patience whether or not we asked for it. I now tackle things more slowly…writing first thing, cooking less but enjoying it more…clearing clutter one surface at a time…graces I think, of aging.
I can’t even begin to comprehend the loss of a child, what a brave woman you are and today I take inspiration from you.
I can relate to this post. Life is full of compromises. More so than ever as I speed through my 60s. I have had one of my cataracts removed and replaced with a lovely new lens, or so my surgeon has told me. Due to a minor complication I am not yet seeing much more clearly. I am still in the blurry zone. And what I didn’t realize with the surgery is that the decent close-range vision I’ve enjoyed all my life, that allows me to read without glasses (when I have good light) will be gone and replaced by reading glasses. So I am fumbling around in the in-between-times when I wait for the appointment that will remove the membrane from around the new lens. Meanwhile I wrestle with my sometimes wonky depth perception and blurry left eye, with my right eye carrying me, with the help of my old eye glass prescription. There seems to always be a trade off.
Thanks for the honesty, I always like to know both the opportunities and the challenges.
There are many things in this post that resonated with me. My eyesight is not great anymore and I have reached the maximum strength of my prescription too. I have to have the pressure in my eyes monitored, as it fluctuates, and my mother has glaucoma, and cataracts, which have diminished her eyesight. She doesn’t engage much with the rest of the world although it sounds as if she is still more present in it than yours. I hope you are able to get your cataracts removed sooner rather than later so you can see your way more clearly. I have had to be patient as I have had some other medical tests recently and as you have noted, it is taking longer to get appointments to see physicians, etc. It’s so hard when you just want to move forward and you can’t without something that someone else has to provide.
I am now waiting a long time for surgery dates so I can completely relate. I hope all your other tests have positive outcomes.
I’m trying to be patient and approach the things I didn’t take time for. A time for me. I’m an artist, 62 and I need to push my work now.
Still a mom & Granny…
Push it, sister! I’m trying to do the same with my writing.
One thing is certain, even in a blurry photo, the Accidental Icon appears chic. May your athleisure and my wear for calm foster patience.
Thank you! Trying…
Thank you for sharing. I am feeling pretty much the same these days. I had my cataracts repaired 2 years ago and subsequent detached retinas. I like you was nearsighted my whole life. I now have 20/20 distance vision, but still need reading glasses. Which is just fine because to me (again like you) my glasses are a fashion statement
Glasses are most definitely a fashion statement.
Interesting that you are having to wait longer for medical appointments. Here in Las Vegas, I’m having to wait less time. Waiting rooms are sparsely populated. Twice recently I’ve called for appointments and heard, “Can you come in tomorrow?” Uh, no.
Young people may be rushing to sports events and crowded concerts, but those of us who are older and maybe wiser but certainly less confident, are not all that excited about being exposed to strangers.
Good luck with your cataract surgery.
Thank you for your good wishes.
For 14 months I have been on a high dose of Prednisone for a rare illness (GCA), but I am fortunate that my optic nerve was saved. Since my husband passed away early 2020, I have gone through this alone, frightened and stressed but positive that I could once again be “normal”. At the age of 80 I thought I would be traveling and enjoying life. Instead I am confined to my house because recently I learned my hip pain is dying bone (avascular necrosis), probably a result of the prednisone. The side effects I suffered from that drug were many and I am considered an outlier (I don’t fit the normal category). That is my thorn.
My rose, of course, is the fact that I still have my eyesight. The buds are my hopes for the future. I will probably need hip surgery but will recover. I will eventually get off the prednisone (please) and my Cushing syndrome will disappear. I gained 40 pounds with this syndrome and am a vain person so that was a REALLY BIG thorn! You may have to google some of these things. I never heard of them until it happened to me.
Regarding the cataracts, it was an easy surgery for me both times. You will wonder why you ever worried. As for your mom, my thoughts are with you and I totally understand the “holy place” you refer to. I have experienced it several times and hope that when it happens to me I will be experiencing it and the peace it brings as well.
I have definitely learned patience through these past 14 months. My office is a mess but it will eventually get organized, the repairs to the house will eventually happen, my hair will grow (it mostly fell out from the drug) and I will be a new person who survived as a warrior should.
Being an introspective person, I have analyzed my situation many times and know that I have suffered many of the things my husband went through with his illness and it gives me even more respect for this man I was married to for 57 years. I have read more books, watched more TV, learned from the Internet and kept my positive attitude. It is amazing what you can do if you have to, and if you are a strong woman to begin with, as you are.
You are a role model for us all and sharing your story, the positive attitude with which you have responded to many challenges is inspiring and a guide for all women as well as a call to all of us to find the strength we have within.
As I can read there will be another exciting period in your life, I can understand that the wait is long, it is true that we have had to be patient in recent years and wait and see what the future will bring????
I myself am not good at this either, rather yesterday than today or tomorrow, it creates unrest in your life and that is not good waiting for the unknown…..
Yet I have learned that every time I get restless I start meditating, loosen the mind and control your breathing and I can tell you it helps!!
I wish you luck with your surgery and get well soon!!! Many greetings Griet
Thank you for the suggestion, patience is a virtue I have always struggled to attain.
Growing old is the gradual seeping away of your energy ….I think I first noticed it just before I was 60 but it’s speeding up now I am approaching 70. One thing I’ve learnt is you have to accept that fact, because it’s a fact of life (and a part of life is eventually death).
Luckily I’ve always had a positive mindset and will find things to enjoy that I’m physically capable of. I also have a great relationship with my husband which has improved with age, and a lovely, funny and caring daughter – my rose(s).
My thorn is that my beautiful son went to live and work abroad where he’s married and settled down – this has been especially difficult during the pandemic and seeing them has been doubly difficult.
My bud is my little granddaughter who I hope to live long enough for so that she remembers me with fondness when she’s the same age as I am now.
I find myself not having energy after dinner in a way I never experienced before. I’m going with the flow and listening to my body tell me what it needs. Enjoy your granddaughter one of the greatest gifts ever!
My rose: spending time with my grown-up children, my Guy, my friends and family. Each feeds my soul in their own special way.,
My thorn: I have always loved working, loved my work, but I have grown tired of corporate foolishness. I’m surprising myself by how much I suddenly can’t wait to retire.
My bud: Moving toward living in Maine with my Guy in his beautiful home, retiring, gardening, walking the woods and beach and working on my sewing (I love making clothes and have for years) and a blog I’ve been dreaming of doing for a while.
A lovely future is in store. I hope you get there sooner rather than later.
I learned a great deal from this piece and enjoyed the way you wrote it. It was a real pleasure to read. I am going through a major overhaul in the way I view and deal with things, so until I get it all sorted out in my mind and spirit I am cleaning out my office and my closets. Many of the things I keep there, like many of my attitudes, are no longer useful and even burdensome. Getting to that one last thing I need to throw out is also an act of patience, but I find it useful to work against a deadline: a 3 week-long trip next week. I guess I’d better get on with it.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts in such a beautiful way. All the best with your surgery.
Thank you so much for your kind words. What a treat you have in store when your overhaul is done. I long to travel again.
I identify so much with this post. My mom is in early stages of dementia, and no longer able to do her words with friends or crossword puzzles. While she is still up and fairly active, she is now living in assisted living.
…and I am struggling with the blurring of cataracts caused by steroids that I took! They are like spider webs across my vision, but I am not yet bad enough for surgery. My glasses are part of my identity, so I am not sure how I will handle that surgery if I am required to leave them behind.
Thanks for your post!
I have the same thought about my glasses! Thanks for your comforting words about my mom.
I had cataract surgery during the pandemic although a month and a half apart due to hospital constraints. I love the results. I paid the extra for the panoptix trifocal and do not need glasses or contacts. I do not have any dry eye issue due to the surgery but had previous dry eyes primarily from contacts.
I have lost both my parents and that last chapter is never easy – just being there was a comfort to us both.
Best wishes as you come into the clear
Can’t wait, thank you.
A beautiful, honest introspective piece, again, that I so enjoy. My thorn – a two-hour commute in heavy traffic everyday. I cocoon in the warmth of my truck with smooth jazz, mindfulness on the beautiful landscape that surrounds me, and the joy of being paid a salary what I am worth. A learning curve in this new job position. It has pushed me out of a routine, but it has become a bud in that I feel stronger with each step of accomplishment in this uncharted and new journey. My rose – my ever-deepening spiritual relationship with Christ, just as close to me at my table while I read as much as in a church, that now over-illuminates the fickle nature of people, thus giving me greater confidence in how I navigate with others, am much less disturbed by the mercurial nature of those with whom I must deal. Years ago, I would have ruminated, become anxious, angry. Not so today. I am able to easily shut it off, as the power of people holds only as much as we allow. So, even in thorns comes beautiful growth and clarity. Pressed but still blessed.
Such beautiful words and encouragement that it is never too late to make big changes, take on new risks and how important spirituality is for our sense of security. Thank you for sharing.
I wish you as much success with your cataract surgery as I had last year. It has been wonderful not having to find my glasses to see now. Things are so much brighter and I can even read if the light is bright enough. So good wishes for a successful outcome.
I feel for you and your Mother – it is very hard watching a parent become the child. I learned this at the age of 12 when my Mom had to take care of my Grandmother. Even though there were other siblings my Mom was the only one she would cooperate with to eat and take her meds properly. She once said it was easier to care for 3 toddlers than an elderly person for they have been an adult.
I am having far more friends have medical complications and expound on them way more than is desired in normal conversations. It often makes me wonder how soon I too will do the same.
In my experience, there is a fine line between expressing something and dwelling on it to the point it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I am a believer that thoughts create feelings, behaviore, and outcomes. As we age and our body changes the one thing we can control are our thoughts so let’s make them optimistic.
The changes to your life seem to be hitting you from all angles. Sharing the feelings that go along with these changes must ease them slightly.
Your beautiful words when referring to your mother made me think of the beginning of life when we are aware of the preciousness of a new born – how a gentle touch is needed as their newly formed nervous system starts accepting the outside world. That same awareness is now with you as you are there for your mother.
When I had my first cataract surgery – during the procedure I saw the most amazing colours like a firework display – that was a gift in itself.
My Rose- I have planted a lilac bush as have always wanted one, and it is healthy and now with lots of green leaves so hoping soon to see the beautiful blooms.
My bud – returned to singing in a group which looks as if it will continue
My Thorn – feeling disconnected and not really wanting to connect with friends
But being thankful for your blog that has enabled me to be more honest with myself – ThankYou Lyn
Thank you for sharing so honestly. Writing for this blog makes me be honest with myself as well and it seems writing is the way I feel most comfortable expressing all the complicated emotions I am feeling. The comments that are so authentic and real also help me to feel I am not alone.
It always takes time to read your post, which means they are good and meaningful instead of just normal, could feel you are really very attentive to the use of words and the selection of content, therefore every piece is anticipated. I am wondering is it convenient for near-sighted person wearing contacts after the sight turns presbyopia？Good luck with the surgery and best wishes of November~
Wow, your words about my writing mean the world to me.
Dear Lyn, I had surgery in April for cataract in both eyes, like you I have been very near sighted since early childhood. The first day after surgery I went for a walk in my local park. I could not believe How beautiful vivid in colour and detailed the flowers, plants and structuur of the leaves and trees were. The grey clouds were literally lifted. I am so much more relaxed and confident since this surgery and truly Enjoy magnificent sunsets and especially the autumn colours at the moment, which were a blur in the past. Love your writings, so much wisdom, inspiration and so beautifully written.
Thank you so very much !!
Thank you soooo much you are making me so excited about this surgery.
I practice patience by realizing when I am being impatient and just breathing, or counting from 10 backwards and just realizing it is a choice. Don’t always succeed, but am getting better at it. Feel for you with the fuzzy vision thing.
A good suggestion. My mother seems to be insisting I learn that virtue right now.
I feel your heart as you speak of your mother. I lost my mom to dementia over 20 years ago and at times still feel the pain of her loss. She was a vibrant career woman who was also a wonderful cook, beautiful knitter and had a passion for downhill skiing which she did until age 72. It is such a painful process to see someone slip away slowly day by day. Enjoy those touches because they carry so much love between the two of you. On a cheerier note, I’m thrilled to hear you’re getting your cataracts removed. I had mine done a few years ago and surprisingly had my grow back which the ophthalmologist said is extremely rare. But thankfully just went in and with just a few laser zaps all is good again. No need to do anything with the lenses. Basically it’s just scar tissue which is easily removed. I had multiple eye surgeries as a young child and wore glasses since 9 months old so my vision is precious to me. You’ll love seeing the world is all its clear beauty once again. I’m 75 and went from a traditional quilter to a fiber artist after retiring and my vision means I can continue my artistic endeavors which bring me such joy. Here’s to finding your joy again.
Thank you so much for making me feel even more excited about having clear vision again! I am so drawn to sew myself right now but the vision issues are making it hard for me to see well enough for something that involves close work so I am super excited and thanks for the encouragement.
Wishing you the best in your surgery. My mom has had hers done and she is loving the results. You have at least acknowledged how to deal with being more patient. I haven’t even reached that stage! I am sorry for how the vision is affecting what you love to do. I hope your wait is short.
The Rose for me is being able to spend more time with my family including my dog. The thorn is we recently lost an aunt who was practically a second parent to me and my older brother. This put October into a weird sideways spiral from which I am still recovering.
The bud is something I have never done before. A solo pop up shop for my craft. Two of them. That will be interesting.
Thanks for the good wishes! How very exciting about the pop-ups. You so beautifully convey the challenges and opportunities we have at this time of life.
Thank you for sharing what and how so many of us are getting through everything. There are 2 phrases that irritate me lately. Unprecedented times and new normal. Ugh. Anyway, hope your eye surgery goes well .
I can relate, to your feelings about those words. Why are people passively waiting for the universe to design what life might be? I say let’s get on with it ourselves!
I relate to the blurry life, having no clear field of vision. I battle this “thorn” with an arsenal of: contacts, progressive lens, distant and reading eyeglasses. Thankfully, cataracts haven’t yet become an issue. At age 69, I have lived with Parkinson’s disease for 10 years. It’s my “super thorn,” making doing hair and makeup along with dressing a challenge.
My vanity is the “bud” that enables me to pursue my unique personal sense of style which expresses the artist in me. For decades I have worn sterling and gold bangles bracelets. My “rose” is that my children always knew where I was by the sound of my jingling brackets!
I love your spirit! I can hear the sound of those bracelets and to me I hear courage.