Happy new year to you and a very warm welcome back to A Blinding Light! It really is wonderful to have you here.
This year let’s talk about blindness and happiness. After almost two years living in a global pandemic, oceans away from many of my family and friends, while continuing to lose my vision, I have learned that happiness really matters. I know it sounds a bit simplistic, but we rarely give happiness the attention it deserves. Life is busy and sometimes stressful, and we prioritise the things that are in front of us. It’s natural to fight immediate fires, but rarely does that contribute to our wellbeing. Maybe it’s time to be a little more intentional about what we do and how we see things, so we can work towards living the life we want – the life that makes us happy.
Living well with Blindness
What I would like to share about how to live well, comes from the most unlikely of sources. Losing my vision has meant learning pretty much everything again. It’s not just learning to use a cane and some assistive tech. It’s everything from getting dressed and making breakfast to socializing and working. But that’s no surprise. When someone can’t see anymore, of course they must relearn these skills. What I didn’t expect, was that while I was busy learning to live with blindness, blindness was actually teaching me how to live better. I’ve noticed that when my deteriorating vision guides me to make a change in my life, that change is often not specific to sight loss, and neither are the resulting benefits
If you can’t quite see how this all fits together right now, I’ll be delving into it in more detail in future posts. For now, the basic premise is that blindness has forced me to adjust my behavior and views in certain areas of life and I repeatedly find that these adjustments could be beneficial to anyone, regardless of how well they see. As I continue to learn, I find myself thinking that had I adopted these practices earlier in life, they would have had a hugely positive impact on my wellbeing, even though I could see more back then. They’re more like lessons in life rather than adjustments to blindness and I would like to share them with you, because whoever you are and whatever life you lead, you can benefit from what blindness has taught me.
Is this just an elaborate new year’s resolution?
I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but as January 1st feels like a natural punctuation mark, if there was ever a time to make positive changes in our lives, now seems like as good a time as any. It doesn’t need to be the new year though. Whenever you happen to be reading this, you can choose to make that day your punctuation mark. You can reset areas of your life whenever you want. You just need to make the decision to do it. I hope I don’t sound like I’m trivialising this because I know old habits are hard to break and new habits are even harder to form. But I’m not talking about making lots of big changes all at once.
It’s not a case of flicking a switch to activate your better life. It’s more like making small changes to our actions and mindset. So, this isn’t a new year’s resolution that we break in February, feel guilty about in March and forget about for the rest of the year. This is working on our own wellbeing, and gradually finding ourselves living better over time.
A commitment to living well is much like the rehabilitation process that follows sight loss, it covers all aspects of life, and everyone does it in their own time. If we feel fatigue in one area, we can work on another until we have the energy to return with fresh eyes
A Blinding Light in 2022
This year, on A Blinding Light, we’ll continue to talk about all things to do with sight loss. I’m excited to share tips, technology, recipes and my thoughts related to blindness, but you’ll also see some articles about wellbeing too. I’m looking forward to exploring the relationship between happiness and sight loss. Finding ways to work on my happiness and living well is going to be a personal focus for me in 2022 and if you want to follow my progress and see how the lessons I’ve learned can be applied to your own unique life, then I would love to have your company.
Comment below and let us know your goals for 2022 or if you’re making any resolutions this year.
Thanks for checking in and I hope your new year gets off to a great start!
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