Slow Down You Move Too Fast


Tuesdays at work wear me out.  We have a doctor seeing patients and I’m there until 8 p.m.  Then I come home and sit at the end of the couch where there is a stupid lamp with such a thick shade that the light hardly comes through it and that’s where I stare like a zombie at my I-Pad for a couple of hours.  That little bit of light is very relaxing, and because of it I can say I’m not sitting alone in the dark.

Because I’m not.  There’s my I-Pad.  I catch up on Words With Friends and e-mails and Facebook and check out that there’s nothing new on Netflix and as a last resort play some Candy Crush.  I drink decaf coffee. I read my current e-book. I am a barrel of fun.

Wednesdays when I’m off work, I always think I’m going to get a zillion things done, because, hey, it’s a whole day, and I’m off.  So I sleep in late, mess around doing nothing for the entire morning (because seriously, I have the WHOLE DAY), do a repeat of Tuesday night with electronic time wasters, drink my smoothie, consume a lot of coffee, wonder what I should make for dinner….  Suddenly it’s evening.  There are three days of work ahead of me, laundry becomes a priority, there’s no time for those projects I’ve been putting off until my day off.  I am lazy and I like to procrastinate, and I excel at relaxing.  You’re supposed to do whatever you’re really good at, right?

Yesterday, like most Thursdays, I worked early and got off at five. There are a lot of hectic people out there running around getting things done in a huge hurry with places to go and people to see and deadlines to meet and WHY IS THAT?  Our contact lens student is one of them.  She got her glasses dispensing licence, went straight into the contact lens course, accepted the position of teaching the glasses course at the same time, is getting married, buying a new house, looking after her son from a previous relationship and her future husbands son from his previous relationship, constantly doing nice things (like baking) for other people, and now she has accepted the position of manager at another store (the store is a ridiculously busy one and she has no managerial experience) and she will start that before any of all the other stuff is finished.  She is twenty-six.  And probably insane.

Someone asked me if I didn’t remember being young and ambitious and I had to admit I’ve never been that ambitious in my entire life.  I want to tell her to slow down, don’t be so impatient, stop being so hard on yourself, get some sleep.  I’m afraid she’s going to burn out before she’s thirty.  And wonder where her life went.

And now it’s Friday and another full day looming, filled with trying to sell stuff to justify my pay cheque.  I’m tired.  And I haven’t even done anything, comparatively speaking.  But I’m not twenty-six either.  I drummed up enough energy to go and get my hair cut last night.  That was pretty exhausting, sitting there listening to another twenty something pink haired girl tell me about her social life.

Yeah.  I’m old and boring.  And ready to pack in this working for a living crap and actually get on with living and doing whatever I want.  And whatever that is, I want to do it very, very slowly.  Because now I know life rushes by while we’re busy thinking about all the things we have to do to get to a place where we can do something else.

And now I have to rush off to work so I can get that over with and then I’ll be able to come home and NOT work.  We’re all running around in circles.  Sit down and let people lap you.  It’s okay.  That’s really all I’m saying.

Ready For My Close Up

In the final scene Norma Desmond (Gloria Swans...

In the final scene Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) says, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up,” before appearing to reach into the camera and dissolving into the light. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prompts for the Promptless

“A total Monet” is an expression used to describe someone or something that looks good from far away, but up close is a total mess.

  • This expression comes from the movie, Clueless.
  • It refers to the impressionistic styling of Claude Monet

Ha!  This reminds me of the funny phrase “When you are baroque, you are out of Monet”.  And maybe that means you’re also a total mess, but wow, two sentences in and I’m already kind of off topic. But I do have a couple of things to talk about that look good from far away and not so great up close.  One is eyeballs and the other is my face.

irisEvery day I look at eyeballs with a slit lamp, which consists of high magnification and an intensely bright light. It’s not designed to make you go blind, only to make you wish that you were, at least temporarily,  because that light can be painful.   I have seem some gross and disgusting deposits on contact lenses, some unhealthy corneas, and some incredibly scary globs of makeup.

Guys tend to have fewer contact lens complications simply because they don’t slather on the eyeliner and rarely get sparkly bits of eyeshadow floating around in their tears.  But they are not immune.  I have also seen some incredibly interesting iris patterns, although that’s not what I’m supposed to be looking at.  But really, you can’t spend your entire day looking  at scleral injection and blood vessels without your mind starting to wander.

So looking deep into people’s eyes is part of my job, but looking at my face in a 10X magnifying mirror is something I do at home for my own entertainment.  And by entertainment, I mean the same kind you expect to get from watching a horror movie.  So, not everyone’s idea of fun.

I used to think my skin looked pretty good for a person my age.  You know, from across a candle lit room, for instance.  But magnified ten times in a well-lit bathroom, it’s down right frightening.

Kaqchikel Mayan woman; Panajachel, Guatemala

Kaqchikel Mayan woman; Panajachel, Guatemala (Photo credit: xopherlance)

There are pores around my nose the size of craters.  On my chin are random single hairs of various colors, the most disturbing being white, since those are the hardest to see and thus the most likely to grow long before being detected and plucked.  There are fine lines on my upper lip.  Too many to count, actually, but 50 seems a reasonable estimate.  There are strange bumps here and there, small patches of flaky dry skin, and a few splotches of discoloration.  I know they’re age spots, but I don’t want to call them by that name.  Let’s just say they’re over sized freckles.  Then there are the wrinkle patches around my eyes that look like road maps gone mad.

I also have single eyebrow hairs that want to grow up, down, or sideways in the wrong direction.  And mustache hairs!

Seriously, I can’t go on, this is making me too depressed.  Since Doctors are always telling us to keep an eye on our skin for any changes, I thought the magnifying mirror would be a great thing to have as my skin ages and my eyesight deteriorates.  Now I see there’s method to the madness of our vision becoming less sharp as we get older so that we won’t notice how deeply etched the laugh lines have become. They’re not all that funny as it turns out.

Aging gracefully can be a challenge, so I just try to remember that every person is a unique work of art.  Some of us have matured to the Monet stage where our beauty is simply more apparent when viewed from afar.

Claude Monet - Pêches

Claude Monet – Pêches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Labour Day to the Great Beyond

Another Labour Day Weekend has come and gone and here we are, suddenly plunked solidly into September.  If we haven’t had frost yet, it’s in the air and on its way.  Evenings and early mornings are crisp and cool.  I like this time of year even though it’s winters prelude.  (If we’re very lucky we won’t get snow that stays until November.)

I’m so glad my working days are numbered, although I don’t know exactly how many are left.  What I do know is that no one who loves their work should be this deliriously happy to have a day off.  Maybe when W comes home I’ll take a six month leave of absence, just to see how that feels.  It certainly gives him a different outlook on life in general.

English: Ayala carefully prepares to put a con...

English: Ayala carefully prepares to put a contact lens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night I had an unsuccessful contact lens training session with a 13-year-old boy.  I’m not the one who gave up but I admit I accepted his sudden decision with no argument.  I’m thinking of printing up a check list for kids who profess to really want something but aren’t willing to do what it takes to get it.  If you answer no to any of these questions, we’re off to a rocky start.

1.  Do you accept that I am a trained professional who can insert a contact lens into your eye without gouging out your eyeball with my fingernails?  Or whatever you think it is I might be doing when I ask you to stop squinching up your eyes and moaning and shaking like some monster is about to kill you.  Seriously.  Get out of the chair now if this is how things are going to go. (With a bit of coaxing and reassuring and telling him to relax, both contacts were inserted and no one passed out. There was a semi head lock involved but neither of us wants to talk about that.)

2.  Are you willing to look at me while I demonstrate removal and insertion, listen to what I tell you, and follow my instructions?  I’ve done this before and you haven’t. I know what works and right now, you don’t.  Once you’ve mastered my method, you are free to develop your own on your own time.

3. Are you able to place your fingertips over your upper eyelashes (not your eyebrow, your eye LASHES) and hold your eye open so that you are unable to blink?  If this simple procedure causes you discomfort (which you feel you need to describe to me as extreme pain) come back and see me when you’re sixteen.  Or never.  Never would be good.

English: Putting on contact lenses

English: Putting on contact lenses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4.  Can you touch your eyeball?  If you cannot take the flat fleshy soft part of your finger tip and touch your eye with enough pressure to slide a contact lens, guess what.  That sucker is going to stay in there forever.  (No, I’m kidding, I’ll take it out for you, but you’re not leaving until you can do it yourself.  Or until you have a whining melt down about it, whichever comes first.)

5.  Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?  What is your motivation for wanting to wear contact lenses?  If it’s because your mother thinks you look dorky in glasses and you’re doing it for her, that’s not good enough.  A certain amount of maturity, responsibility, enthusiasm and determination is required on your part.  If you have it, you will succeed.  If you don’t, it’s no big deal.  We can try again when you’re ready.

I did feel sorry for the kid, because he was a little embarrassed, said thank you to me for trying to help him and apologized for wasting my time.  I told him it was not time wasted at all.  Now he knows what to expect and can go home and think about it and call us for another training appointment if he wants to give it another go.

Maybe another few months of school and encouragement from his contact lens wearing peers will make a difference.  Maybe I’ve scarred him for life and he’ll never touch his own eyelashes again.  Maybe I’m too old and tired and indifferent to care enough about any of it and thirteen year old boys should book their appointments with someone else.

I’ve done trainings that were a breeze.  Insertion, removal, re-insertion, pep talk, go home, no problems.  I suppose there has to be the odd dismal failure to make me appreciate the big wins.  And it no doubt was not the last little flop in my illustrious career, but at least I can see an end to them in sight.  A couple more labor day weekends in my life, and I’ll be on the home stretch to endless days off forever.

No-Fail Ways to Make Me Roll My Eyes

Speaking of eyes…..some day at work I fear my eyes are going to roll back into my head and disappear forever. I’m an optician and contact lens fitter and I look at eyes all day. I give advice and instructions and try to be a helpful problem solver. The job is not without its challenges and serious eye rolling moments.

There’s the guy who puts his new glasses on his face and immediately declares that he can’t see a damned thing. (Wow. Glasses that cause instant blindness.)

There’s the contact lens patient who wears her 2 week disposable contact lenses for 6 months and then complains that they’re dry and scratchy and making her eyes all red and irritated. Doh.

There’s the mother who insists her child get a pair of glasses that are much too big for him, because he will “grow into them”.

There are the customers (mostly women, but not always) who try on 300 pairs of glasses and insist that you and everyone else in the store state an opinion on each one. But they don’t actually listen to anything you say.

(I don’t like the green one on you. The color is all wrong. No, that green does nothing for you. I really hate what green does to your skin tone. Stop picking up that damned green frame please. IF YOU PUT THAT STUPID GREEN FRAME ON YOUR FACE ONE MORE TIME AND ASK ME WHAT I THINK I WILL HAVE TO KILL YOU.) Okay, well maybe that one went a little beyond the eye rolling stage.

Then there’s the people who are not happy with their own natural beautiful eye color and would like to be perceived as having two shiny blue glass marbles stuck in their heads where their eyeballs should be. (Ask me how great my colored contact lens sales are – the answer will make your eyes roll.)

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