“Your eyes look great,” my optometrist finished, much to my relief. For whatever reason, I always expect the worst walking into doctor’s appointments. Sore neck? Meningitis. Eye pain? Detached retina. Achy tooth? All of my teeth are about to fall out my face.
“You are wearing sunglasses, right?” the optometrist asked casually. “Light eyes need sun protection.” I hadn’t previously known that, but it made sense.
“I mean, sometimes I do? Kind of. Not recently,” I stammered back. Sunglasses…oh boy. Since high school, I hadn’t had a pair that had outlasted a few weeks at most. Usually they were lost on trips, or stepped on. Plus, most days you can catch me wearing my regular eyeglasses, which don’t usually fit well under a pair of sunnies.
Which means that nine times out of ten, you can catch me squinting in the bright sunlight of Los Angeles, trying to navigate highways and byways through an ever-present glare. To find a good, reliable pair of sunglasses – even, dare I say, prescription sunglasses – felt more of a luxury than necessity. I put a pin in it.
Flash forward to me at work, later that week. Mid-afternoon, and the sunlight is pouring into the communal kitchen. I’m bopping around, cleaning up. The sun is directly in my eyes, but I’m powering through it, my mind on my day’s to-do list. We need to email our directors for their weekend availability, and check on the status of our wifi inventory.
The sun. Still annoying. Is my face burning?
Where did I put the number of that handyman?
My face is definitely burning.
And finally, at long last, I turn to those dumb windows and I pull the shades down.
With that tiny bit of effort, I am comfortable. No need to worry about a weird glasses tan line.
This gets me thinking. There are so many things in life that we – that I – tolerate, but with a little effort and adjustment, they can be fixed. Life doesn’t always have to be a long march of suffering. When the sunlight is pouring in and cooking you alive, you can always pull the shades down.
I don’t have to have another cold winter. I can save up and buy a heated blanket. My pajama pants don’t always have to be too short. I can donate them and buy a pair that actually fits. Small adjustments can feel like unnecessary luxuries, but they were invented for a reason: to make our existence that much more enjoyable.
My Warby Parker prescription sunglasses will be arriving any day now, and I’m positive I won’t be losing this pair anytime soon.