out of focus

If I take my contact lenses out, or my glasses off, this is how the world looks to me.

My vision is bad, really bad. I started wearing glasses when I was in fourth grade. And each year, they got stronger and stronger and stronger. For I while, I worried that it would just keep getting worse, and I would end up being declared legally blind. Finally, when I was a sixteen, things leveled off.

But even before that, my mom used to say that I saw the world through rose-colored glasses. And while I liked the sound of that, I had no idea what she meant. When I turned thirteen, she gave me a tiny little pair of antique spectacles that had red lenses. She gave them to me and she cried… saying that she hoped I would never stop seeing the world that way.

Through rose-colored glasses.

It is fairly easy to pull this off when you are young, easy to be optimistic, open-minded, innocent. Easy to look at the world with wonder. And I know what she meant, now. At thirteen, I was dreamy, a romantic, trusting. I was naive, in the way that it is okay to be, when you are young.

There was a period of time, right around then, when I started getting up really early just to watch the sunrise. I think this was also right around the time I started writing poetry. And I am not a get up early kind of girl, but I did, for most of the summer that year.
Just because. I still remember those mornings, the way they looked. The way I felt.

But as we get older, cynicism starts slowly moving in, one book, one sweater, one box at a time. It takes up residence in our hearts, in our minds, and it can be hard to kick back out. We stop doing things we love, just for the sake of doing them. Time gets in the way, the lack of it. Life gets in the way, things go wrong. Our way of looking at the world changes.

I still have those glasses. I’ve held on to them all these years. I pull them out every once in awhile, and peek at the world through rose-colored glasses once again. Just to remind myself to be optimistic, open-minded, to look at the world with wonder.

I can’t feign innocence, those years are gone. I can’t pretend that everything is always coming up roses, especially on days that are filled with weeds. But I can refuse to replace that naiveté with bitterness. I can refuse to be jaded.

When I grow old, I want to be the old laughing lady. The one with the rose-colored glasses, sitting in her rocking chair on the porch each day at sunrise. I want to greet each day with wonder. I want to end each night with hope.

My vision hasn’t changed all that much since I was a teenager.

My view of the world is still blurred around the edges.

But the light looks really pretty, doesn’t it?

Tuesdays Unwrapped

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23 Responses to “out of focus”

  • Megan Says:

    Thank you for this… it touches me and is so beautiful :)

  • Megan (Best of Fates) Says:

    What a beautiful gift and sentiment – your mom must be an amazing woman.

  • Debi Says:

    Staying naive is a goal of mine, hard to do for this growing ever older cynical woman, but I luckily have learned to shut off that adult awareness and fall into a childlike awareness, an awareness on a whole different level. The light IS pretty there.

    Love that you have an actual pair of rose colored glasses. :)

  • Vonda Says:

    “I want to greet each day with wonder. I want to end each night with hope.”

    Yes…me too. Thank you.
    I have made a conscious effort to laugh every day. Which is no effort at all.

  • Mrs Soup Says:

    Beautiful. So beautiful.

    And I’m blind too! My contacts are -7, if that means anything to you. It’s not fun. But if I can choose rose colored glasses? Worth it.

  • nic Says:

    so poignantly said. my vision blurs the world into loose shapes and bleeding colors as well, but you are spot-on about that light.

  • jill Says:

    I started wearing glasses in third grade, but I was vain and only wanted to wear them when absolutely needed like to watch TV or to read the blackboard at school. Other than that they were put in a pocket or something, until I got a little older and had an eye check-up one year. That’s when the eye doctor found out what i was doing and told me that i was only using my stronger eye to see and that my weaker one wasn’t getting any exercise and eventually i would go blind in that eye. Well, good thing I was gullible because his scare tactic worked! I can still remember that day when I walked out of his office with my glasses on and saw that the trees actually had individual leaves! :-)

    And, I’m with you about the cynicism…although, some days it does get the better of me!

  • beth Says:

    i’ll be on that porch with you….k ?
    we can help each other with our walkers….and in case the glasses get dropped, between the two us, we should be able to pick them back up again….

    i’m a pretty rose colored glasses girl, too….it’s not a bad trait to have !

  • Days of Grace Says:

    That is beautiful. What a gift. I need to pick up rose colored glasses more often. Thanks for commenting on my blog, too.

  • angela marie Says:

    What a beautiful post…

    Yes, the light does look really pretty!
    :)

  • Melissa Says:

    LOVE this! I was a rose colored, poetry writing teen. I hope to be the 30 something who sits and giggles, then the 40 something who wears strange-what-I-want, and the old lady who skydives.

  • Elizabeth Flora Ross Says:

    Your writing – and your messages – are so beautiful!

  • wholly jeanne Says:

    tis a(nother) lovely post, thelma j. i started wearing glasses in first grade . . . which could be why i can’t ever find those rose-colored spectacles. xo, And

  • life with kaishon Says:

    What a perfect picture. And very intense thoughts. Here is to rose colored glasses!

  • Gordon Says:

    Mrs–

    I am SO stealing this to cross post on Happiness! (Ok, maybe just a link at least.) You hit it on the head. Winston Churchill said something like “I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.”

    Like so many things there are choices to be made, and your post reminds us all that choosing to see beauty and choosing to be optimistic is of much use.

    Indeed, I hope you always keep those rose-colored glasses!

  • georgia Says:

    a lot of truth and wisdom here. i want to be that laughing old lady, too. i grew up going to nursing homes with my mom and dad every sunday… they led a church service for the elderly every week, and dragged all five of us along… made us sing, too!!

    but i remember the difference between the sweet little old ladies and the ones that seemed bitter. i remember thinking how i want to be the sweet one… if i make it to such a ripe old age, that is.

    love the photo. i’m a total sucker for blurry shots!

  • Julie Roads Says:

    Now you’re looking in my window! I started slowly going blind in the 4th grade…and I was terrified that it would never stop. But, thank god, it did – and I eat carrots voraciously. Likely this is just superstition, but me thinks I don’t care. It’s working so far…

  • the domestic fringe Says:

    Great post! I want to be that happy old lady too. I’m pretty sure I’ll be crazy (runs in the family with alzheimer’s), but I want to be happy crazy…you know?
    -FringeGIrl

  • Lana Austin Says:

    Amen! I totally agree! I love your blurry, light-filled, rose tinted view!!!

    Blessings to you,
    Lana

  • Stina Says:

    Yeah, I’m thinking I’ll keep my rose colored glasses around for a while yet, too…. Just adjusting the prescription ever so slightly so I don’t find myself looking at the same exact scenery in exactly the same way….. Thanks for the enlightening conversation today!

  • jo miller Says:

    I so like your Style!
    “refuse to be jaded…greet each day with wonder…end each night with hope…”
    been wearing glasses since grade two & have been accused of wearing rose coloured glasses :)
    Wonderful Lady, thank you!

  • Jennie Says:

    I really like this post. It’s true, you can choose how to view the world. Lately my children are teaching me to slow down and enjoy the simple things. How lucky I am.

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