Sometimes the most mundane of experiences has a way of crystallizing a larger thought.
Recently i needed to purchase new contact lenses with an updated prescription.
Bear with me, this does get more interesting than that…
I’d become accustomed to seeing gradually less well with the older prescription, but after a recent eye exam i began to really look forward to seeing better again.
The new contacts arrived in time for me to pop them in on a special day — for an annual family gathering. The moment they were in, however, it was obvious the prescription was wildly off; they were completely unusable.
Checking over the paperwork from both the eye care provider and the online business i’d purchased from, i couldn’t immediately find an explanation. I set it all aside and went to the picnic wearing the old contacts.
Seeing a bit less well that day was insignificant, but the irritability and sense of defeat i felt over the conundrum wasn’t. I usually prefer to confront such problems as they arise — because i usually feel capable of getting it figured out.
But in this instance i felt uncharacteristically stymied and (therefore) upset about how to resolve something that shouldn’t be a big deal. To me, this was clearly attributable to the depletion that comes with the wellness challenges i’ve written about before.
Also attributable to those challenges is the infrequency of my posting here. So many subjects i’m looking forward to writing about, so little ‘productivity.’ In the meantime, i often struggle just to stay on top of routine written correspondence with faraway friends.
As i wrote in my post this past spring, there has been improvement as far as settledness and acceptance. Finding balance has involved staying as physically active as reasonably possible, in combination with giving attention to when rest is best.
Among my attempts at relaxation, i recently returned to the craft of crocheting that i learned as a little girl, and have been finding it pleasantly therapeutic.
The yarn comes in a bundle and i like to pull out several feet of it ahead of time to reduce the resistance between that skein and the hook. I notice that if i loosen too much of it in advance, though, the slack yarn tends to knot up, defeating my purpose of making the drawing of the yarn easier.
Now, that may sound like an irrelevant tangent, but hold on — here’s where i tie it back around to the contact lens incident…
While i wanted to get to the bottom of the lenses quandary immediately, my mental and emotional energy were such that it had to be set aside.
I had to accept that things have changed, and that i couldn’t just charge in and unbundle the proximate tension coming from this minor wrinkle before moving on to the next thing in my day. I needed a more capable frame of mind, or i might have tangled myself up worse.
So the thought i started out with above that needed crystallizing is that as i look for big-picture balance, it’s helpful to be attuned to timing and energy in the small things.
Sometimes a problem is best tackled as soon as it presents itself.
But sometimes wisdom says to wait — and sometimes waiting is imposed on us. Either way, the mental task is to let go for the time being.
A few days after the initial lens prescription bafflement, i was able to discover what went wrong with the order and to resolve the issue with two simple phone calls.
The new, correct contacts arrived today. I’m seeing lots of things a little more clearly now.
This reminds me of a concept summarized by Steven Pinker, where the cognitive exercise of a certain problem or task brings to mind a completely unrelated problem or task because of the similarity in some aspect of the problem-solving process itself. Neat stuff!
Interesting point — thanks, J!
I like your approach to dealing with challenges, big and small., For some reason, I kept thinking of the Johnny Nash tune “I Can See Clearly Now” as I read your well written post.
That Nash tune title was one of the first ideas that popped into my head for titling this post! Thanks for your comment, Shoji.
love the title! and yes a grand approach to life’s challenges!
Thank you, Cybele!
Thank you for writing this article, the advice is very much true. Waiting is a virtue, a virtue often times hard to remember. Have a good day!
Thank you for your comment, Dr Dorio!
I’ve heard it said that as important as learning is, we need just as much to be reminded of what we already know.
Good day to you too. 🙂