I recently saw a completely true and hilarious phrase about RP on facebook (Thanks to Roberta on the “Usher Me In” FB page, who saw it on another RP page!) It said that RP is “being able to see a pencil on the floor across the room but tripping over an elephant on the way to pick it up.” (honestly, if whoever originally said that is reading this, give yourself credit here because you nailed it!)
People are sometimes bewildered by the things I can– and can’t– see. I remember a friend once looking for her car keys for an hour, and I ended up finding them within 5 minutes of looking! On the other hand, I once thought a picture hook on the wall was a giant spider, and my dad looked completely frightened when I mentioned it– not for fear from the “bug” but because he realized how bad my vision must be. I know we’ve written several posts about embarrassing incidents, which are easy to recall because they’re so numerous, but I was reminded today that there are those times I see things– and that’s something worth celebrating once in awhile. While walking my toddler back from the park today, I happened to glance up and see a woman walking by with her golden retriever. I kept walking, but then on a whim glanced back across the street behind me and realized that she was also pulling a wagon and possibly waving at me. I then realized that it was someone I had met in our neighborhood a couple times. I immediately remembered her and her little boy’s name and yelled “Oh hi, sorry– I didn’t recognize you at first! Hi Anna! Hi Devan!”She called back across the street, “That’s okay, I look different with my sunglasses on!” which was a very generous comment considering she really looked pretty much the same, and considering most people would have recognized her immediately if they had met her son and dog before, as I had. She then went on her way and I went on mine, feeling very proud that I was able to both spot her across the street and call out her name and everything. That probably seems like a silly thing to be proud of, but I know that there have been dozens of times I have walked past people I know, completely oblivious that they are even there since they’re outside of my line of vision, only to be told later that I “blew them off” or “seemed really out of it”. I once shook a friend’s hand at church during the “greeting time” (which I always dread because I never know where people’s hands are to shake!) and apparently completely ignored the person’s wife who was sitting directly next to him, only to be told about it 2 weeks later by yet another friend!
And I’m sure there have been many other times I have unknowingly ignored someone without even being told about it afterwards. (That actually used to happen a lot in college, but fortunately since my sister and I attended the same university, people just thought that it was the twin they didn’t really know who didn’t wave to them!) So the fact that today I happened to look straight in her direction at just the right moment and call across the street made me smile to myself. I felt like that friendly, PTA-type mom who knows everyone’s name in the neighborhood.
This “successful greeting” reminded me of a time in 6th grade PE when I somehow managed to catch a football (yes, you may have read my sister and I’s blogs about flying objects and how we NEVER catch or hit anything) My hands must have just been at the exact right place at the right time because the football literally landed right in them, and i actually held on to the ball. I was so ecstatic that I quickly began running to make a touchdown…. and DID…. for the other team. I hadn’t really ever paid attention to the rules or touchdown line before because I figured I would never have possession of the ball, so all I knew was that I was supposed to run. But it actually didn’t matter to me that I ran the wrong way; I remember feeling proud the entire day, as if I had scored the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl or something, because for once the ball did not fly past me or hit me.
So today I just want to celebrate the small things. I forget about the word gratitude in my daily life. I grumble in my head about my husband working weekends and feeling stuck at home. I completely forget to be thankful that he is home many mornings, gets to eat breakfast with us and help get the kids ready. I forget to be thankful for amazing friends and family who offer to drive my kids and me places. I forget to be thankful for the things that I can see– those vibrant and beautiful colors that I get frustrated about when I confuse them and am corrected by my 5-year-old “No, mommy, that’s brown, not purple!” Who cares if I mix them up?! At least I can see them!
Regardless of where your vision is at today, find a good catch in your life – something small that makes you feel proud and thankful. And smile about it.