In 2012 I learned I was near sighted.
For those like myself and unfamiliar with the term, near sighted means I can see things close with no trouble versus far sighted which is those who can see far with no trouble.
I learned of my vision shortcoming thanks to the DMV. I had traveled there to renew my license and quickly learned reading the letter chart was not as easy as it once was.
Still new to the terms “near and far” sighted, I did what I think just about every other rational thinking person without vision insurance does – I stopped into the Dollar store.
Excited by the new opportunity for another type of accessory, I tried on several of varying cute patterns and shapes and bought the ones I thought worked best. Within hours I recognized that would be none.
Calling my mom to help solve this puzzle, I quickly learned what I needed could not be found at the Dollar store. Readers, as it were, are not for near sighted people such as myself. And so a new relationship began by way of ophthalmology.
Needless to say, it’s been a few years since I’ve had 20/20 vision, but this year that will change.
Oh, there is no corrective surgery in my future, although I’ve given it serious consideration. The 20/20 I’m speaking of is taking the opportunity for real clarity in the new year. Now I’m not speaking of resolutions, as it’s not a practice I subscribe to. I’m a goal setter and that can strike me at any given day, month or year.
The clarity I speak of is that of maintaining an honest, transparent approach to this life and concerning myself little with the judgement of others (that’s the tough piece). I truly do believe in this life we get what we give and while I don’t like being on the downside of such a notion, I do use it as opportunity to explore how I may have contributed to certain things.
As I tell my children, if you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you be that with anyone else. Karma (in my world) is both real and just, which can be both good and well … crappy.
Late last week I was reminded of this when I returned to the office following a five day hiatus. There on my desk was a package addressed to me, with no return address. The shape of the package appearing as if a book was inside.
Not an unusual thing to find sent to us, I quickly opened it and learned it was much more than just a book. Wedged inside the book a beautifully written note acknowledging my past year’s columns and shared words of gratitude.
Recognizing the print I looked to my bulletin board and there hung a note in the same writing from 2016 from the same reader. At that time a gift card was included for a sum of money which was not only appreciated, but completely unexpected.
Blown away by the gesture, I used the opportunity to teach my children, as well as bless the lives of others. In short – we paid it forward. Gift cards were purchased to share with others they appreciated. I also purchased a mug so that I would have something to remember this generosity by.
Starting 2020 with this experience yet again feels almost surreal, yet meaningful at the same time.
This reader had no knowledge of my quest for 2020 (aka true clarity) in the New Year, nor did they know the book they sent “A Simple Act of Gratitude” was one in my Amazon cart. Yet here we are, barely a week into the new year and the trajectory is exactly as I had hoped/envisioned.
The generous reader remains unknown, both times cards have come unsigned and no return information. Perhaps it’s done that way so the action continues to have legs. Unable to send a proper thank you to the reader, my thank you travels forward through the giving to others.
So as we begin this journey into this next decade my thoughts are quite simple.
Mine is a simple life, honestly. My means limited, my eyes, hopes, dreams and adventures big. Yet what I know for sure, is we are nothing if we are not true to who we were put here to be. And while it may be misunderstood, represented or appreciated by some – it is indeed in the eyes of the authentic, the kind hearted and the blessed that we live our truth. Happy New Year, here’s to “perfect” vision.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.