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The Progressive Lenses Conundrum

A few years ago my eye doctor suggested I was ready for bifocals. Of course, I didn’t believe him. His response was, “One day you’re getting glasses to read, and the next year you’ll need them to eat.”

Ouch.

woman-wearing-glasses

Are these progressive lenses?

He knew what he was dealing with, so he referred to them as progressive lenses, the kind where the close up and far away views are blended. He convinced me that I should get used to o the back and forth before I really needed them. He said I could train both my eyes and my brain to read around the blur. I like to imagine myself as progressive, so I gave in.

Those bifocals are my old lady glasses and I never wear them. It’s a lot of work, adjusting to that space between close up and far away. And the blur in between? Well, that was actually painful. Plus, I looked like my grandmother. She was beautiful, but she was 93, and I am not there yet.

I wear glasses, just not all the time. I believe I have six pairs of reading glasses (very cool glasses, too), stashed wherever I might need them. They’re required for close ups, but I don’t need them for distance.

At least I don’t think I do.

I suspect there is a metaphor hiding in my glasses. The bifocals, the progressive lenses, those multi-taskers known as transitional lenses.

Fifty-six. With the curiosity to look closer, and the patience to scan the long view. And, though sometimes painful, navigating the blur in between. They are a little annoying, and not always cute, but the clarity is almost always helpful. Proof that I am indeed older, and more than halfway to Grandma Jessie’s 93.

That’s me, squinting as I adjust.

Read more from Kim Tackett on her blog, Fifty Fifty Vision

Kim Tackett

Kim Tackett blogs at <a href="//fiftyfiftyvision.com">Fifty Fifty Vision</a>. She’s 56 and is a proud and enthusiastic Northern Californian, living in Davis, where she is powered by coffee, new projects, travels, and her family, which includes her husband Steve, and her two fiercely independent daughters (ages 26 and 20) who are carving their own paths far away from home. This is handy, as Kim is an emerging writer who is diving deep into the midlife ecosystem. Kim is a marketing consultant at the company she owns with Steve, <a href="//www.tbdesign.com">Tackett+Barbaria</a>. When she can steal a moment, she’s wandering, writing, and figuring out what’s next.

Kim Tackett

Tuesday 26th of August 2014

Tammy, I hear you (at least I think I do). Both my husband, and my daughters (and my parents) wear glasses. But me, I am holding out...

Tammy DeMel

Tuesday 26th of August 2014

Kim,

I never needed glasses until two years ago when they said I needed progressives. I tried them and never got used to that blurred area so I gave in and got bifocals (and I'm 51). I still mostly only wear them to read or during meetings where I need to view a presentation. But my husband says that he notices that I squint all the time. I just can't get used to the idea of wearing glasses all the time when, to me, I can see just fine.

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