Q: “Mom, how many fingers am I holding up?”

Me: (Cue deep sigh of annoyance) “I am not playing this game.”

Q: “Come on Mom, how many?”

Me: “You know I can’t see anything.”

Q: “Ok, but like, what do you think you see?”

Little did my son know the weight of that question would lead to an existential spiral in December which is very different than the normal Waldorf-y advent spiral we celebrate.

Q, my 13 year old prankster of a son, had a bit of fun with me when I couldn’t see. It’s fascinating to him how I see the world without my glasses. I tried to explain that it’s like a Monet painting, reflections of light and colour – beautiful paint splotches with little depth. It still amazes me how much my brain fills in the gaps and how my body’s spatial intelligence prevents me from mishap like, for example, falling down the stairs or stepping on a headless lizard gifted by my cat.

It’s actually blurrier for me than when the camera is out of focus.

My husband and I have been together since 1994 and he can’t remember a time when I wore my glasses regularly. I have had this compulsion to see everything clearly all the time so I always wore my contacts first thing in the morning and only removed them right before I lay down to sleep.

I am grateful that this was not a major eye injury resulting in permanent damage but it has revealed many things to me. Things that I need to take a closer look at which of course surfaced as I spiralled.

My period was late during this eye debacle. Everyday Chris and the kids wanted an update on my status like a daily weather report. And as the days went by, it started to get a little tense around here. My cycle had been like clockwork since I weaned my fifth child in 2011 – a consistent 27 day cycle. Chris tracks it on his phone and observes it like a religious holiday to keep the peace.

Another fun fact: my mom had my third brother when she was my current age and then seven months later, I had my third child.

This was very odd. As a family, we went a bit hysterical with our thoughts so I made AJ, my eldest, go into the pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test. (This is a small town so it’s less scandalous if they assume my 24 year old daughter needs it instead of me.) As I sat on the toilet and peed on the stick, the same feelings came back to me as if I were 19 years old again.

I can’t do this at my age. This is not part of the plan.

It was a surreal moment as I stared at that stick. I counted to 180, the amount of seconds before the results would show. In between counts, I prayed and my life’s plans to spend time with my husband in our forties and that book that I want to write flashed before my eyes. The second line on the test never showed up. I wasn’t pregnant and a week later, my period came in full force. We celebrated as if I won the lottery, which I feel like I did.

Hello. My name is Rozanne. I have officially entered peri-menopause.

Through this eye injury, I also came to terms with another age-related condition. It started a few years ago when my daughter asked me her normal question when we buy anything packaged: Are there nuts? I grabbed the pack, turned it over to read the label, and I couldn’t. I exclaimed that the font was illegible. She took the package and read the label with ease and looked at me funny. I took it back and then that thing happened. You know, that thing you see older people do. The arm slowly extended the package away from me so that the words come into focus.

With my recent extensive eye examinations, I couldn’t avoid it anymore. It was gently recommended that I get glasses with the two prescriptions now. The doctor kept asking me my age as if that should signal the decision.

I thought I was ok with aging. I stopped colouring my hair when I moved to Costa Rica in 2016 and large chunks are silver now. But if I am really honest with myself, I stopped because I am just lazy and cheap. Now I am entering a new stage of life and it feels bittersweet as I say goodbye to child-bearing and child-rearing, and say hello to bifocals and hot flashes.

So back to my son’s question: What do I think I see?

I think I am seeing myself for the first time in a long time. A me that still struggles with old patterns. A me that truly embraces my body for the first time. A me that doesn’t need to see things clearly all the time. A me that loves the blurry and edgeless. A me that trusts others to guide me when I can’t see what is in front of me or beyond me. A me without five children at home. A me committed to renewing my vision this year: my vision of myself; my vocation; my desires; my roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, colleague.

In this phase of life, there are also new superpowers that have everything to do with how I see the world. Stay tuned.

How are you defining your 2023 word guiding you this year?



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2 responses to “Vision.”

  1. Toni San Gabriel Avatar
    Toni San Gabriel

    my word for the year – Peace

    1. rozanne Avatar

      Love it!

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