There’s something about January and February: Freezing and dank, limited funds and just the general urge to sleep right through these months make it a challenging period.
However, I’ve started to treasure this time. Perhaps it’s to do with age, perhaps the desire to live more in the moment, but there’s a lot to be said for taking life at a slower pace. It’s become a good opportunity to reflect, plan, savour the lengthening of the light day to day, and the gradual weaning off chocolate to more healthy sustenance.
It seems to be nature’s way of letting us ‘be’ of giving us the time to succumb, take stock, re-build and re-charge. In short a time to embrace a fresh start.
Sitting in the optometrists chair for the first time in seven years, reflecting took on a whole new meaning. Looking through lenses, responding to the question ‘1 (pause), 2 – which is clearer?’ repeatedly, Sachin took my eyes through their paces.
“Hmmm, your left optic nerve is bigger than usual. Were you exposed to bright sun growing up? Maybe you grew up abroad?”
“Um, no. I was raised in Southern Ireland” I replied.
He chuckled. “Ah! That puts paid to that theory!”
In the old fashioned wood panelled store on Wigmore Street Sachin introduced me to his colleague – a diminutive gentleman with the daintiest hands I’d ever seen. He went through the lens options for my new specs. “We recommend you have the anti-glare film – it absorbs all that screen brightness we get so much of now.”
“What about just not looking at screens so much?” I asked.
“Well of course, but if you’re anything like me you’re checking your emails on your phone before you go to sleep at night.”
The bluish tinge of the anti-glare lens was unappealing. “I’ll take my chances” I said. “I’ll wait until they’ve worked out how to take that blue colour off.” He peered at me over rimless glasses and gave me a wry smile.
I stopped off in the supermarket on the way home. I loitered in the vegetable section searching out anything green and leafy. Right. I was going to start treating my eyes more carefully. Kale, spinach and watercress were just some of my purchases. Just as Sachin had suggested, I would start making green kale based juices, and when I got home would coax my sunglasses out of hibernation.