This is a continuation of my last post, so if you haven’t read that one yet, you might want to start there. 🙂
So a couple of weeks after getting my new glasses I started to notice a low-level anger in my heart. I was getting snappy with J more than normal and was just generally grumpy. After a few days of reflecting on it, I realized that I was mad that no one had noticed that I had gotten new glasses. My first thought was, “well that seems sort of petty, doesn’t it?”
So I sat with that idea for a few days and came to a deeper realization. The reason I was mad and upset was that I am not around any group of people regularly enough for them to notice that I had new glasses. In the past, my work has been a part of a team of people that I spent time around almost daily. It was the kind environment that felt like extended family.
But my current work has me largely working alone in my office either reading or writing on the computer. I know that when class teaching starts that will change some, but it still feels like I’m pretty alone in my work. For those of you who know me, you might think, “hey, he is an introvert so why is working alone such a problem?” Well, I’ve known for some time that I’m more of a “social introvert”. I may get refreshment from solitude, but I need a certain amount of people in my life to feel whole.
Over the summer I took the Strengths Finder test and discovered that my number one strength is called Connectivity. In a nutshell it means that more than anything I want to do work that I really believe in with people that I really like. That, as they say, might explain a few things. I know that this year of work is only a “season” and won’t last forever. But it does make me wonder how long I can do what I’m doing if it doesn’t involve other people on a regular basis.
In the mean time, I realize that I need to take the initiative to have people in my life more often. So if I ask you to have lunch with me on a regular basis, don’t be too surprised.
Glasses. I’ve worn them since I was nine years old, so I’ve had a number of pairs over the year. I really like getting new glasses. It only happens every couple of years, so it can be pretty exciting. But this time, it was a little more disappointing than usual. Don’t get me wrong, I love my new ones (see picture), but there was a lot of unexpected emotional baggage that came with this pair.
To start with, I discovered that this time I needed to move to “progressive lenses”, which is 21st century speak for bi-focals. Up to this point, living life as a man in his 40s hasn’t seemed very different than it was in my 30s. But the shift to progressive lenses was one of those subtle reminders that I’m slowly getting older and my body isn’t always going to function like it did in my 20s.
The other issue that hit me was the price of the silly things. In the past, I’ve expected to pay around $400 for a pair of glasses. My vision is bad enough that I need the high-tech lenses which are much thinner than traditional ones, otherwise they would just fall off my face from the weight. So the “two pair for $99 in an hour or less” option has never been available to me.
But this time, I was hit with the extra manufacturing cost of progressive lenses. Combined with the high-index material, scratch coating (because if I’m paying this much, I don’t want them to scratch) and the anti-glare coating (I work with people so it helps to have them be able to see my eyes) I was looking at $650 just for the lenses. Add in frames, fees and taxes and now I’m up over $800! $800! That’s a good used Stratocaster or Telecaster. That’s only a little less than a brand new MacBook Pro. That’s real money, folks. Ouch!
I know I shouldn’t complain. It’s mostly just the shock of it. Of course my vision is more important to me than things. And I did receive an offer from a friend for half off the frames, but I would have had to drive to Topeka for it to work (1 hour away). I guess it is just a little disappointing that I’ll have to pay so much to compensate for my deteriorating body from now on. Maybe this is part of the “groaning inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Rom 8:23)
In that case, I guess I’m glad that I know the end of the story. Still, it makes me long for my real home and a day when my corruptible body will put on the incorruptible and no longer need glasses (and maybe even get hair?).