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Monday, February 1, 2016

Not flooded? Count your blessings.

If you read this, you can still see. Yes, sight is probably the first failure of nature we notice, for some of us earlier than for others. I got my glasses in my twenties, by accident, for sure. With nobody else in my family with "four eyes", that  awful condition would never happen to me. Besides, I was fond of carrots and other magic tricks to enhance not just my eyes, but my complexion, my hair, and other parts of our bodies we pay close attention to in our youth.

But eyes, eyes were my exception.
But it did, in an accidental way too.

I was teaching a normal-size class of 30+ one day at Bishop Conaty High School, in my first year of teaching, and as I walked to the back of the class and looked up to the front where I had written the assignment on the board, I had trouble reading what I had written. I asked a student in the back to read from the board for me. She did so and easily.

I had already decided in college that if I had to wear glasses as so many others did, I would do so with style. Well, time to put that resolve to the test. The exam itself was reasonably priced at my budget, but I could not find any spectacles I liked and could afford. A gorgeous pair, the same one Audrey Hepburn wore in one of her movies popular in the early sixties, imported from Italy, would cost me half my salary!

Now, that was then. Today, fifty years later, the same unbalance is present. Lenses and frames are not reasonable at all by retirees' standards. What is a pensioner to do? Even recycling frames doesn't work, as some lenses just can't be fitted in some frames.

With costs going up, life for retirees is about counting any small blessings we still can see; count any thing you can still do for free, like a walk around the neighborhood, a visit to the library, a group social you all contribute to, a house that needs no repairs...

One of my regular blog mates just wrote a piece about having too many vacation time shares she needs to sell off. Goodness, I thought, that's a no brainer. Most retirees would love having to deal with such inconveniences. I am not being mean spirited; just realistic. Most people live on fixed income, and have nothing else they can sell off to offset costs going up. I could go on and on about the plight of old people...

Realistically, this is a good time to live. Great medical support is available and in real tough situations there are support mechanisms in place. The best part, we are a big group, and we can influence political and societal outcome if we work together toward common goals.

For the moment though, let's just count our blessings.

12 comments:

joeh said...

And with modern technology you can make print as large as you want so reading is easier.

Sally Wessely said...

Amen. I so agree with you. Count our blessings. I can clearly see that it would be very easy to be under water with just the slightest change in the economy. My children have had financial reversals I never would have dreamed of four or five years ago. That has meant I have had to help with financial support. Sometimes, I fret over the future if this or that should happen, but mostly I just try to be frugal and attempt to live the best I can on what I have. I know I am blessed with much more than most retirees.

Tabor said...

The issue with Time Shares is that you take a huge loss on your investment when you have to sell them off. The company refuses to provide the benefits to the new owners unless you sell through the company and then they sell for you at a big loss to you. I own one time share and I knew it was a financial sump when I bought it, but I was in another frame of mind then. I do think we have have gotten our money out of it, but the annual fees are continuing to climb and as I age I will probably take the loss, and NEVER burden my children by giving it to them. I got glasses in my twenties and both my parents wore glass. My poor brother had to have cataract surgery in his fifties! I read somewhere that only one company provide 90% of the frames for glasses, so that monopoly pretty much gives you an explanation for such outrageous prices.

laurie said...

I count my blessings everyday, an accident causing a brain injury is stealing my eyesight, took away my memory of many things, my balance and my ability to hear in crowded loud rooms,
but the way I see it is, I still see and still hear much more than some, so I am lucky,, if we had an never ever ending bank balance even all that money couldn't return what was taken so I am good where I am,,

Maggie May said...

Yes....... we must all count our blessings!
If we're not flooded out and have out faculties and can get about and have people to love and live in relative peace..... then we are luckier than many.
Health is always a factor to take into consideration too, when deciding how fortunate we are!

I was 10 when I had to wear glasses for short sight and now I have to wear varifocals. These aren't cheap! However, eyes are precious and we only get the two so they have to to be paid for. The prices are astronomical though and for many, out of the question.

Maggie x

yaya said...

My Mom will be 90 in May and because of a botched cataract operation a few years ago she's almost blind in one eye. That eyesight loss cost her a lot. She had a nasty fall because she missed a step she couldn't see, she can't drive, she can't sew and reading recipes has become harder too. Her hearing is bad, even with hearing aides. All in all she's still happy and does what she can each day to be productive and busy. I hope to be as good as her if I'm blessed to live to that age. I never wore glasses until my mid 50's. I hate them because I just need them for reading and I'm always forgetting them or loosing them! They are expensive too! I buy the cheaters for work and save my good ones for home. Less likely to loose them! Old age ain't for wimps as they say....so taking the best care of yourself is so important and hopefully you'll have many years to continue to count blessings!

My Life in the Charente said...

I could not agree more. I also found that frames were a ridiculous price, thankfully I only need mine really for driving as reading is not a problem. We are lucky to have our health and not go hungry, although not rich we are comfortable, so many blessings to count. Have a wonderful week Diane

JeannetteLS said...

Well said. I buy new glasses only at the point when I have no choice. We shall not discuss dental costs, but I am blessedly aware of the network of fear friends and community. It is a matter of living in the present, recognizing the gifts. So glad I read this today#

Tom Sightings said...

Thanks for the reminder, b/c sometimes I fall into the trap of counting my regrets instead. So today it's the blessings. As far as glasses go, I recall spending a pile of money for prescription reading glasses. They worked okay. When they finally broke, B had me try a pair of standard readers from the drugstore ($19.99). They work even better!

A Cuban In London said...

Beautiful post. We are so lucky and sometimes we do not realise.

Greetings from London.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Manzanita - I'm thankful I only need glasses to read by and can still get by almost without them ... I can drive, and see all the things I need ... and only really need the basic pair for giving me some clarity .. especially on lables ... otherwise I do count my blessings. Cheers Hilary

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Indeed.

As my husband and I approach living on a fixed income in a couple years, I keep reminding him he will have to learn how to live on a budget. Should be interesting.

As to glasses, I've only needed readers but while teaching I would find the wildest ones I could -- flowers and designs on them. My students never knew quite what to think of me. Worked often.