Habits Have a Way of Becoming Habitual

I was 12 years old when I got glasses to correct my myopia – I needed them to see well at distance.  Reading, not so much – and I held on until I was 50 before I had any use for bifocals.  That’s a long time – and over time, when you do the same thing repeatedly, you develop habits.

At first I read with my glasses on.  Then I started taking them off to read, and wandering around indoors without glasses.  And now, after getting cataract surgery and replacement lenses, I find that my habits are counterproductive.  I pick up a book without glasses, and have to hunt down the reading glasses to read.  I put on reading glasses when I step outside, and the entire world blurs. 

There is some humor to the problem.  Habits that have made my life easier for the better part of 60 years now lead me into mistakes.  When I needed glasses for distance vision, it was fairly easy to tell when they needed to be cleaned.  With reading glasses, any time you put them on, the world blurs.

One of the more extreme challenges is looking outside with near perfect distance vision, and wanting better detail.  Habit directs me to put on glasses, the reading glasses blur the universe, and I realize that I’m not thinking – I’m behaving habitually.  And I hear my advisor’s voice from back in my master’s program saying, “Habits have a way of becoming habitual.”  He was stressing that your outlook is a product of your thinking habits – upbeat thoughts lead to being happy, depression reinforces depression.  The message got into my conscious mind – and now, with a physical example of my habits becoming habitual, 30 odd years later, his message has returned.

It is a great Spring to have good vision returned to me.  The ice is leaving the pond.  The geese and ducks are much more distinct and easy to watch.  I can focus on the front sight of the 03A3.  I’m looking forward to using the scope-free Reising 22.  And I’ve been promised that in another month or so, the vision changes will be solid enough that I’ll be able to get by with a single prescription of reading glasses.  And some new habits.

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