Updown, Updown, and Repeat

I settle into my grandfather’s rocker, look around, and say a word that likely never passed that gentleman’s lips. After getting into the nose-over-toes position I heave myself gracefully up out of this low-to-the-floor chair and head upstairs. Again.

I’ve already gone back up twice — once for a different set of knitting needles, once for the vitamin I take at this hour every evening — and so this third-time-lucky trip is about as welcome as you’d expect.

Coming back down the stairs with scissors in hand and full attention in mind, I round the corner at the bottom and pause before placing my bottom back down in that rocker. Where the heck are my glasses? I’ll need them to read the closed captions on the TV — the only thing that gives me a fighting chance at following the racing-along mumbling that now passes for dialogue in most shows. I squint at the horizontal surfaces adjacent to my grandfather’s rocker, but can’t see a pair of glasses anywhere.

Dagnab it! Or words to that effect. Sigh. Big sigh.

There was a day when I always knew where my glasses were. They were in one of two places: on my bedside table when I was in bed, on my nose when I was not. These are not those days. Nowadays they can be almost anywhere.

Although my optometrist disagrees, my vision has changed such that the near-in part of my progressive lenses is subtly wrong for near-in work. It turns out my day has a lot of near-in work. Computer/phone screen-time. Eating. Knitting. Reading. Playing euchre. I sit down to these activities and pull off my glasses in irritation. Ah, that’s better.

But my day also includes work-at-a-distance, defined as just slightly beyond 18 inches to, say, the horizon. That defines a goodly portion of my day, too. Cooking and other housework. Watching TV. Walking outside. Gardening. Driving. For this work, I need my glasses. As in other areas of life, it’s the transitions that cause trouble.

Planning to knit and to watch TV, I reach for my glasses. Hmm. Are they where I last ate? Or where I worked on my laptop, under a welter of paper? Or where I read that label in a low-light closet? Or where I brushed my teeth? Or on the kitchen island where I’m supposed to leave them? These are all live possibilities (the last one being slightly less live) and they’re all upstairs.

As I skip lightly up the stairs for the fourth time this evening, I reflect that these failures — of elementary forecasting (What tools will I need for this knitting project?) and of basic remembering (Where are those pesky glasses?) — could be seen as Nature’s cruel jokes on my aging body. Or maybe it’s just how She ensures that I get at least some exercise as I age.

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8 Responses to Updown, Updown, and Repeat

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    Glasses are no problem for me. I always have either one pair or the other on my nose, which enables me to see well enough to find the pair I should be using at that moment, for that purpose. Hearing aids — that’s a different problem.
    a) They’re small
    b) Living alone, I don’t need them for most of the day.
    So I take them out, or forget to put them in. And then, when I need them, I can’t find them. In fact, I lost them completely about three weeks ago, and haven’t found them since. It’s amazing how a grunted “Umm-hummm” will keep someone’s narrative going long enough for me to figure out what they’re talking about.Almost as if I had actually heard them….

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – Oh, dear. They should come with a ring tone so you can ping them. Like a phone . . . I hope they surface soon.

  2. I have found that at this stage of living/aging that I need to take my own advice about Focused Listening to music to be able to keep track of my glasses or of anything else. Memory depends on a brightly functional right ear. So do personality features such as patience and keeping my mouth shut under duress, of which I have plenty just now.

    My glasses, like yours, have two settings, neither of which is helpful in some circumstances. I have learned the painful way to take them off before I use stairs, especially going down. My brain, on glasses, has no good idea where my feet meet the step or the ground. I wish more of my clothing contained pockets. I think I need something like a holster for my glasses!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – “Patience is a virtue: possess it if you can. It’s rarely found in woman, and never found in man.” That’s not nice, is it? Nor even true. May you continue to find a supply sufficient for the demands on you.

  3. John Whitman says:

    Getting old sucks!

  4. barbara carlson says:

    Three pairs — different lenses… BUT I no longer need glasses to read! Go figure? Means I can read in bed, lying sideways. My computer glasses stay next my computer (desk top). My TV glasses stay on my bedside table. And my “regular progressive pair” I now only wear as a fashion accessory because my face is too bland without them: face jewelry. 😀
    (And they go dark in the sun.)

    I win.

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