Sunday, May 13, 2012

Aging Eyes and Baby Quilts

These days, the main quilting that I do is creating baby quilts, which I love because I can complete a small project.  My larger quilts sit waiting for me.  This morning, my fingers are sore from doing some intense quilting yesterday.  If I'm creating a baby quilt for a specific pregnant woman, the project comes to a point when it must be done.

I've been in some denial about my eyes.  I've only just started putting on reading glasses when doing transcript evaluation, but I've told myself that it's because the transcripts were fuzzy or had small print--or both.  When I use my reading glasses at night, I tell myself it's because my eyes are tired.

They aren't even my glasses.  I'm borrowing my spouse's.

Yesterday, I was having trouble threading my needle, and I borrowed his glasses.  I got the thread through the eye on my first try.

Perhaps it's time to stop denying my need for reading glasses.  Am I in denial about the aging process?  Perhaps a bit.  But part of why I resist reading glasses is rooted in the same reason why I resist a smart phone:  I don't want to have to cart around so much stuff.

I like my younger self, with a credit card and a lipstick in her pocket, and she was ready to go anywhere.

There are many reasons why I chose not to have children; part of that decision has similar roots.  I didn't want to be weighed down in that way.

Of course, my younger self would be horrified at the ways the world weighs us down, even if we travel through it without children, without reading glasses, without a smart phone.  We accumulate baggage.

It's interesting to be quilting on Mother's Day week-end, thinking about aging and the doors that are closing.  It's interesting to think about choice.  I've always assumed that I had plenty of choices, plenty of time.

It's harder to keep thinking that way. 

But instead of mourning, let me use this awareness as a spur.  I won't be here forever, and time grows ever shorter.  What is my life's important work still left to be done?


Jeannine said...

Just think of the glasses as a nice fashion accessory. That isn't optional. That's what I do! I started having eye problems when I started working in the tech field (all those hours squinting at the screen) and they got worse when I started teaching four years ago. I went a year in between classes and my vision actually improved!

Wendy said...

I'm amazed you made it through a literature Ph.D,. without corrective lenses. My friends high school aged sister came to visit one time and looked around our little mentor group and in all seriousness (well, maybe not, but she did ask) asked her sister, "do I have to get glasses to be in grad school?

Kristin said...

I was first diagnosed as near-sighted in 7th grade. But the reading glasses are new. And I wear contact lens, and I have this vision that I'm headed to a future where I need one set of glasses for when I have my contacts in, and one set for when they're out, one set for close work (like needlework) and one for the computer and one for seeing things far away . . .

I shall work on being grateful that the technology exists to correct my vision for all of these situations--and cheaply!