Losing sight, literally

Losing sight (John Maryn)

Photo: Overcoming adversity. Losing sight, whether literal or of your goals, is a challenge.

(Note that unless otherwise specified, all photos in my Medium articles are mine.)

I haven’t written on Medium in a long while.

One reason, I lost sight in one eye.

PART I

Losing sight, literally

Losing sight, even if temporary, is not fun.

This article is a personal reminder to not lose sight of my creative goals when faced with a physical challenge. It is also an article that I hope will remind us all that, over time, we can overcome periods of non-creative malaise due to physical reasons, be healthy, safe, and non-destructive in our behavior. To feel well enough to be creative.

To be clear, my eye situation is a minor adversity and will hopefully improve over time. Do not avoid eye surgery if needed. Carefully discuss with your doctors. Eye surgery is generally routine and safe and beneficial. In the past, my doctors saved my sight from complete blindness in one eye, and are doing so in my current recovery. I owe them my humble respect for their talents and dedication, and for saving my sight.

The unexpected, the eye. We don’t expect the unexpected to happen, but it does. We are not prepared for a downturn. Summary—unexpected complications after surgery led to vision loss in one eye.

I am optimistic and hopeful for a good recovery. I am functional and able to work, babysit the grandkids, write, and mostly do everything.

Life is busy. Life is good.

Recovery and feeling well. August Birch wrote a Medium article here about the difficulty of writing when you are not feeling well. He was spot on with his message to us — just write anyway, even if you are feeling under the weather. Great advice.

In my case, the complications made it a bit more difficult. I was physically tired from lack of sleep, my head had to be kept in a downward vertical position, off my back, and I couldn’t look forward to work on a computer at a desk. The body and the mind were not in the right place to be creative.

When you are truly physically unwell, it is much more difficult to be creative.

Time heals. The first step is getting past the physical recovery and to move towards a normalcy of life. Once you get back into a routine, back to work, and back to life — you can return to the creative activities you enjoy. For me, my creativity is generally in writing, journaling ideas, writing music on occasion, thinking entrepreneurially, and even taking art lessons.

Writing will help you in your recovery. Writing is therapeutic.

There is something therapeutic about writing. It will allow you to relax, focus, and return to a normalcy that will assist in your recovery.

Was I depressed? I don’t think I was depressed, but I had a certain feeling of malaise — I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I do not know much about depression except that it can also be debilitating. As noted, my situation is a minor occurrence. I wonder how truly serious injuries and depression suffered by veterans, first responders, or accident victims overcome serious physical adversity. I admire those who have the strength to overcome truly serious adversity.

Be hopeful. Feeling hopeful is an important, positive element to recovery.

What to do?

  • Get physically healthy.
  • Be positive, don’t wallow in self-pity.
  • Get back to normalcy.
  • Create.

Photo: Three pirates — patches and all.

PART II

Losing sight, from the perspective of a child

My youngest granddaughter, whom I babysit each day, was recently diagnosed with an eye issue that requires a corrective patch to be worn over glasses. This is a common occurrence and many children go through this necessary step to correct their eyesight. I believe that most eventually end up with good corrected eyesight, wearing glasses.

Before writing this article, I observed Monica the first time she put on the patch. She showed me, at age four and by example, how to rise to the occasion.

I can’t see. I remember the touching image of Monica’s first time with the patch. Her mom, gently holding her and explaining what was happening, guided her through these first steps. Speaking softly, guiding her. The sensitive consoling and explanation by mom was the key. No hysterics. Just calm explanation. This was amazing parenting.

Monica was slightly nervous. She was afraid. She held her mom. No crying or hysterics. She is quiet during the process.

She puts on her glasses with the patch, looks up at her mom and says, “I can’t see.”

“I can’t see.”

This broke my heart. Monica was brave. She takes the glasses off and put them back on a couple of times to see what is different. Within a minute, she gets dizzy and is throwing up. This is also common in this process and continues for days. The good news is that, months later, she is doing well. The patch is working.

Monica’s behavior, at age four, taught me something — we sometimes have to do things we don’t like, but we do them and move beyond the adversity. Human nature moves us forward.

PART III

Losing sight of your creative goals

In my situation, I lost my creative urge. At my age, I tend to be lazy and procrastinate even when perfectly healthy.

What I have learned is that It is important not to get stuck in a rut, and to get back to normalcy. Driving, working, and daily living is part of this. Being creative is part of my normalcy. Writing is good. Creativity feels good.

As you may know, in my Medium writing I relate to personal stories that I hope will encourage young people to try their hand at creativity. This article is an add-on to that theme. Your creativity can be any activity — writing, composing, songwriting, singing, dancing, sports, or raising your family. All important.

When I am not busy, not creative, not being normal, I am more prone to procrastination, feeling down and not being productive. For a short time, I lost sight of my creative goals. Now, my creative goals are back.

While not easy, try to keep your creative goals and dreams somewhere on your to-do plate of stuff-to-do, no matter your physical health. Don’t lose sight of your creative goals. Don’t let adversity get you down.

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John Maryn

John Maryn

Just a normal still-not-quite-retired babysitting grandpa with a love of writing, composing music, photography, art, and encouraging creativity in young folks.