"Well, it's a significant distortion. But your brain may have been compensating a bit."
I sat in the optometrist's office, blinking at the doctor and taking in his words. I should have known earlier that an exam was overdue. The repeated dents on the car, the books held closer and closer to my face. Surely, there were signs.
"In the past I had trouble seeing distances. Is it mainly seeing far away?" I asked.
"No, with this, it effects everything."
It would be more convenient if my distorted vision only related to my eyesight. There are glasses for that. But in my case, I've learned that distortion goes beyond my physical stigmatism.
The way in which I viewed my life had been distorted for a while. For a long time, I've perceived a lack everywhere I look. It's as if I glance past the everyday things in my life that should be appreciated. They blur into the background as the hard stuff comes into sharp focus. I forget to take in the clean water, the opportunity to rest each night, the warmth emanating from my child. Her hot breath, a reminder of the precious life in this very moment. Do I see it? When I'm not careful, I miss most of it.
It isn't until I take up a lens of gratitude that I can see with incredible clarity, the way I am meant to see. Even in the mundane. Especially in the mundane. There's so much abundance. Just as I place my frames on my face each morning, I must choose to appreciate all I have. And as I do, my vision adjusts to see what's been there the whole time.
How easy it is to move through life looking through a damaged lens. How easily we miss our divergence from gratitude.
As I left the office, I wore my new glasses. I held my daughter's hand and stared down at the sidewalk. The whole world seemed different. It was like seeing in 3D for the first time. Life was animated — technicolor.
It's not always easy to remember that my default setting is blurry. But when I do remember, I see that beauty lies in the daily task of putting on a lens of hope. A hope that with diligence comes renewed vision and practiced gratitude.