Now

“One life on this earth is all that we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.”
~Frederick Buechner

Last month I accomplished something I’ve been delaying for three years, or at least thought I had. I admit that I can procrastinate with the best of them, especially when the object of delay has anything to do with eyes. For reasons I cannot explain, I have always been squeamish about eyes, to the point of averting my gaze from Visine commercials. When someone suggested during my teens that I try contacts I nearly gagged; spreading apart eyelids and introducing a foreign object to my eyeball would rank somewhere up there with being buried alive. As a result, I stay with the less stylish and more traditional choice of wearing spectacles, which leads to the point of this story.

Vision occasionally shifts and prescriptions change, necessitating a visit to the optometrist and fitting for a new set of frames and lenses. Pragmatism sometimes trumps procrastination; in this case, I needed to order new glasses before December 31st so as not to waste a year’s worth of insurance benefits. I endured the puffs of air to each eye, piercing lights, clicking through different magnifications, and even drops to dilate pupils and the resulting cloudiness of sight for the afternoon. My eyes were healthy apart from a freckle on my left eye, but my prescription had changed and needed to be strengthened. That meant going next door, selecting frames, and being fitted for no-line bifocals. The ordeal should have been over and done in a week’s time, but when they returned and I took them for a test drive, I could not see anything clearly. The lenses left the sensation of being on a cruise ship churning through choppy seas; each eye attempting to act independently of the other, and the rest of me trying to remain upright. This necessitated a return to Walmart and being refitted with a different type of lens. I had gone cheap with plastic and evidently needed the more expensive poly carbonate version. Of course. Unfortunately, that did not do the trick and I landed back in the optometrist’s chair for re-examination. After repeating the routine of the previous month, she determined that her machine showed astigmatism, but that my brain evidently would not recognize and allow the corrective measures. The only option left was to order new lenses without allowance for astigmatism and hope that my vision would be the better for it. It is the end of January, and I’m still waiting to see–literally.

What are you waiting for? Who are you delaying to see? When are you going to say what’s been on your mind and in your heart? Where will you go when sufficient courage arises? Why prolong anxiety? How will life improve if it remains the same? Procrastination is a petty thief that pilfers one moment at a time; you’ll not notice what was lost until you go looking for something that you need or want and wonder why it isn’t there. One simple word can change everything–“now.”

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