After putting it off for far, far too long, I have now been to the eye doctor, and I have an order in for a pair of progressive bifocals.
To say that I am worried and distressed about that, would, I think, be an understatement. It's not "Oh, I need bifocals, I'm getting oooooold!" I did have that reaction when the eye doctor first mentioned the possibility, but I'm long since over that. It's more that... Well, I am in my forties now, and you know what they say about old dogs and new tricks. The idea of having to change my visual habits -- which I am told that, yes, I will inevitably have to do -- is... it's hard to even conceptualize. "Think of it this way," the doctor told me. "It's a tool. And like any tool, you have to learn to use it. Like any tool, it has its uses and its limitations, and those have to be accepted." Which sounds like a good, sensible way of thinking about it, except... Except, it's not a tool. It's a part of my body. By which I mean not just my eyes, but also the glasses themselves. I've worn glasses pretty much every waking moment since I was six, and in my mind, they are a part of me. To ask someone, after four decades, to change how they use a body part, and how they use a sense... That's not an easy thing.
Everyone I know who has progressive lenses has told me that, after an initial adjustment period, they were absolutely fine. I am trying to be reassured by that, but... But when it comes to reading, everybody else is not me. Everybody else does not walk down the street with a book held up in front of their face. For example.
So instead, I try to comfort myself this way: when it comes to reading, nothing has ever been able to stop me. (Well, music and voices can interfere with the process of putting words into my head, but hearing is not the relevant sense here.) I can read in dim light, in moving vehicles, while walking... When I was young, I even used to read upside-down. So, I can read with bifocals. A little thing like having to relearn a lifetime's habit of where I hold things and how I move my eyes, that's hardly going to stop me. Right?
Now, driving, on the other hand, that might be a different story...