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.