I’m sitting at my laptop after a hectic day off. Yes, I finally managed a whole day off. I don’t normally work through weekends but as things have been a bit full-on I decided (that’s I decided … my clients didn’t decide for me) to work right through the last few months to get some deadlines comfortably met.
So, today I had a day off, and my new glasses arrived.
Ever since I was 18, and my husband (at the time my boyfriend) and my mum frogmarched me into the opticians, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the men and women in white coats.
I was fine. Who needed to see if you could ask the little old lady next to you at the bus stop what the number of the bus just arriving was?
But that was 30 years ago.
Since then I’ve had an assortment of really rather crappy specs – from roundish glasses that made me look like a moon, to geeky heavy frames that I liked and no-one else did.
If I’m totally honest I hate having to wear glasses. There are few that suit me as I seem to have quite a small, weird face. My last visit to the opticians resulted in me trying on every single pair of specs in the whole shop and coming away with one pair that I didn’t mind. I actually rather like them now, but it’s not much of a consolation for hours spent looking for the right pair. Oh, how I envy those women who suit all types of glasses and look elegant and intelligent in them.
As an editor I know I have to look after my eyes, but it really doesn’t make it any easier when suddenly you can’t see close-up in your contact lenses any more.
At my last appointment in June I heard the dreaded word – varifocals.
I’m old and I have crap eyesight. I don’t know what’s worse.
I bought some distance glasses and persevered.
That didn’t work.
So last week I ordered four pairs of specs from Glasses Direct to try on. Two frivolous ones, and two that are very much like my distance glasses (only slightly larger as they are supposed to fit a normal-sized head). Guess which ones I ordered?
The nice lady optician on the phone mentioned ‘occupational glasses’ (whatever they are) as something I could look out for in future, but I still semi-resisted and ordered a pair of reading glasses and some … *deep breath* … varifocals.
Dear reader, I’m hedging my bets. I now have a pair of reading glasses and am waiting for the Devil’s lenses to arrive next week. I like the idea that if I hate the old lady glasses I can be even more of an old lady and swap between distance and reading glasses.
So what has this got to do with freelancing and editing?
Well, quite frankly I rely on my eyesight. If I can’t see, I can’t work. Simple as that. And working for hours on end on a computer certainly hasn’t helped my eyes one little bit. I’ve noticed a marked deterioration in the last few years since my editing business has steadily grown.
So what do I do? I certainly can’t take on less work (hey, we all have bills to pay and I love my job).
- Following the recommendations from the College of Optometrists on eyecare when using screens.
- Trying to get on with varifocals. They can take some getting used to apparently, and although I hate the thought of them I will keep an open mind and persevere.
- Looking into getting contact lenses again. Expensive varifocal ones this time.
- Trying on glasses when I fancy it, not just when my prescription is due. Specs are expensive, but self-care is important. And I will try the Glasses Direct home trial again … I may eventually find those frivolous specs I’ve always longed for.
- Stopping with the ‘old lady’ thoughts. I may still think I’m 20, but I’m not. As long as I look after my eyes I’m still just me.
Being freelance, there may come a time when I’m wearing second-hand glasses tied together with string so, while I’m able, I’m going to take my eyesight more seriously and actively look after it.