The moment is seared in my mind like it just happened. It wasn’t a world-changing event like 9/11 or the moon landing, but for me, it alerted me that I was getting older. On a warm, July day I found myself standing in the spray paint aisle at Home Depot. Holding a can of spray foam insulation, I casually rotated it to read the instructions on the opposite side when it happened. Words that had been so clear to me were suddenly foggy and unreadable. It hadn’t been that way but now, I was no longer able to read the small printing on the can. The time had arrived for me to begin wearing reading glasses. This was seven years ago in my mid-forties.
I took this new demarcation in my life in stride. I’ve worn glasses and contacts since fourth grade. Having to add readers to my daily life wasn’t that big of a deal. I began with a 1.0 magnification and was surprised how easily the clarity returned. Over the years I’ve kept readers by my side almost without fail. In fact, when I don’t have them, it is a stressful situation. As the clarity would fade, I’d jump up to the next magnification level.
In this last year, I settled in at a 2.0 magnification level. Yet, at arm's length, I just couldn’t find the clear letters I was looking for. I spoke with my eye doctor and she recommended I step down in magnification. Thinking that idea was preposterous, I never did it. Instead, I trudged along with the lack of clarity and dealt with it. But, last week I had had enough. It was time to fix this.
After a few hours in the office, struggling through emails and other work, I went to my pharmacy to pick up a prescription. Upon entering I saw the kiosk holding reading and sunglasses. I parked myself in front of it and began sampling. Of course, my first thought was I needed a higher magnification because going back was just a dumb idea. 2.25 and then 2.5 magnifications did nothing. The blurriness remained. So against my better judgment, I picked up a 1.75 and then a 1.5 but saw no real improvement. At this point, I was frustrated. This had been a waste of time. Just as I was about to accept my fate, I saw a 1.25 magnification pair and thought “what the hell?”
Now let's not be overly dramatic by saying the world shifted into slow motion and sounds became elongated and indecipherable, but it was almost like that. Upon placing the glasses on my face and looking up BAM! Clarity Arrived! I was flabbergasted. How was this possible? I dropped 3/4 magnification and the world was crisp, clean, and enjoyable.
I find it ironic that the key image on my website is a set of glasses in front of a book providing only a clear view of the words behind them while all the rest are blurry. Frankly, now with my new readers on, I just noticed that the writing in the book seems to be Russian or some other Eastern European language. This is a language I don’t understand. I doubt my clients do as well. In my attempts to represent clarity, I’ve missed it. I’ve decided to replace the stock image with a custom one of my own making, displaying the exact reading glasses that have helped me find the clarity I was looking for. The image associated with this blog post is the one that used to headline my website so you can see the difference.
Above Everything, Be Clear!