Thursday, February 21, 2013

Older eyes

They say you’re only as old as you feel, which means it isn’t about how old you look. But what about how you see?

I picked up my first pair of bifocals yesterday, which means… well, that my eyes are getting as old as the rest of me, I guess. But I’m OK with it. I’m not one of those people who obsess about my age, because it has been apparent to me since I was a kid that there are advantages to aging.

Take note, I did not say ‘to growing up,’ because I’m avoiding that at all costs.

But the aging thing, a process that starts at birth, has so far been a pretty cool deal. I started out bald and toothless and will probably end up that way barring any unforeseen accidents, but the journey from beginning to end has been interesting. Maybe because it’s all about learning.

We start learning from the instant we’re born. We learn to roll over, crawl, walk and run. We learn about empathy, love and humor. We also learn about sarcasm, which is pretty cool. Sure, bad things happen and we have to learn about pain, sorrow and anger, and we also learn that some people are jerks, but then we’ve got that sarcasm thing to fall back on.

So getting older is more of a blessing than a curse. Without getting older, there are certain things that couldn’t happen, like the beauty of falling in love and getting married, the joy of having kids and the awesome wondrous magic of having them leave.

Sure, there are trade-offs. I never battled weight until I hit my 30s. I creak, snap, crackle and pop these days. I’m more apt to nap than party once the sun goes down. And then there’s the whole bifocal thing.

But all in all, if getting a new pair of specs is the cost of getting older, I’ll take the grandbaby, the ability to leave for a weekend without getting a sitter, the better financial comfort, the ease of cooking for two… all of it, over being forever young.

So I guess I’m only as old as I see. And with the proper head tilting to accommodate the progressive lenses in my new shades, I can see everything!

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