We are almost an entire month into 2015 and I have yet to blog about my One Word. I’ve known what it is for some time now, but I haven’t had the chance to talk about what it is or what it means for me. But something has happened to shed new meaning on my One Word.
The Back Story
Without going into the entire, ridiculously long story, I chose to have LASIK surgery in 1999 to correct 14 years of myopia. I was no longer able to wear contact lenses due to extremely dry eyes, wearing glasses wasn’t my idea of a good time, and I felt like the expense would be well worth it. And worth it, it was.
For 15+ years, I enjoyed nearly perfect vision. Yes, I have floaters and I see halos around lights (especially at night) and nighttime driving is a challenge without eyedrops. But otherwise it has been all lollipops and roses and I’ve recommended LASIK to anyone who asks. My husband just had his done about two years ago, and he’s been thrilled with the results, as well. Over the past couple of months, however, I’ve noticed a change in my vision. My eyes have felt off somehow. One eye has felt weak and slightly blurry at times, and I’ve been getting headaches because of it. Let me be clear (pun intended): my vision isn’t bad. It’s just not as perfect as it was just two years ago, and sometimes it’s hard for my eyes to focus. And so I decided to be a big girl and go to the eye doctor.
I don’t know what I expected to hear. The news that the astigmatism corrected by the LASIK had returned wasn’t music to my ears, and the “I don’t recommend a LASIK touch up because it may make things worse,” prognosis took me by surprise. And then the “this is expected at your age and it isn’t going to improve,” comment just added insult to injury.
I had not gone into the eye doctor thinking I was going to walk away with a prescription for and a purchase of glasses. I spent a lot of money in 1999 to not have to wear glasses again. But like I said, I had decided to be a big girl, and that means facing the reality that I’m 6 months away from 40 and my LASIK’ed eyes aren’t what they used to be. The good news is that I can still see pretty well with uncorrected vision. The blurriness is rare and correctable by lots of blinking and waiting for my eyes to focus. But I know that, especially at night, my new glasses are going to help me get wherever it is I’m going safely.
Please note that I fully understand that getting glasses is no big deal and nothing like the health problems that some of my friends and loved ones are currently facing. But the whole feeling-sorry-for-myself-and-finding-the-silver-lining thing is part of this story.
So What’s the Word?
Four weeks ago, at the turn of the year, I had already decided that my One Word this year would be Focus. I have so much going on all the time, just like so many of you, and I tend to get distracted very easily. Sometimes, in the middle of a task, I’ll forget what I was trying to accomplish. Choosing the word focus and having an artistic rendition of the word prominently displayed by my workspace reminds me that I need to keep my priorities in check and keep my eyes on the prize– whatever that may be. I need to focus on having quality family time. I need to focus on my school work and limit distractions so that I can get my projects done faster. I need to keep my work focus on the end goal– that teachers and students are using technology effectively in the classroom– and not on all the distracting fires I put out that lead me on tangents.
There’s no way I can eliminate all distractions. I reject completely eliminating distractions, just as I reject wearing glasses again. I don’t want to have to do either of those things. So occasionally wearing these glasses will be that not-so-gentle reminder that I can have some distractions as long as I keep my focus. I’m certain that focus will help me to be a better parent, a better student, a better teacher, a better coach, and with a little hope, a better person.