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Learning To Be Present Through The Loss Of Sight

“I never thought I could “go through that” until going through “that” was the best alternative.”

Being a pragmatic person who has to have loads of information, then weigh the pros and cons, when faced with a situation where the path forward appears murky I try to find another path. When my eyesight began dwindling away and pathways to vision restoration closed down I was stopped in my tracks.

Residing in a state of denial during the span of time from when I was declared legally blind up until I needed to begin using the white cane was my new reality. The fear wasn’t so much the blindness rather it was the not knowing what was ahead.

Since the decline of my eyesight was so severe it was excruciating not being able to see further than my new limitation. The white cane became not only my lifeline but the tool that would be my eyes so that I could relax and travel safely.

I feel so vulnerable when I take my dog, Mollie, outside because it’s not practical to use my white cane. Without the cane, my steps are a little unsure and I have to trust Mollie to warn me if an animal or person invades our space.

It occurred to me that it’s within this range of either Mollie or my white cane that I’m safe. No, I can’t determine what’s beyond the range but that’s okay because all I have to concern myself with is where I’m at now.

On Mother’s Day, I felt that same sense of safety as me and several family members had dinner with my mother at the nursing home. We laughed and had such a great time enjoying each other’s company I didn’t even look at my phone except to take a picture of my grandson.

I know that time is winding down not just for my mother but all of us. More and more each day I am given I enjoy my loved ones and can’t imagine what life would be like without them.

Life is way too short to waste it focusing on things we have no control over. Live life now and be in the moment.

Low Key Ensemble

What I wore: Ann Taylor black tee (old), black leggings, black crisscross heels | DSW, gray long hooded vest, and of course my white cane. I wore a long silver toned tassel necklace, cuff bracelet, and earrings.

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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #25

How To Achieve A Casual Monochromatic Look

Selfie of me with my shades on in my son's car.When I’m feeling blue and my energy levels are down a monochromatic outfit is in order. Adding just a smidge of bling and some new shades helps to lift my spirits. I created yesterday’s low-key vibe by going with several shades of gray.

The ensemble consisted of a charcoal gray tank top, gray capris, light gray hoodie tied around my waist, and gray sneakers. Earrings, cuff bracelet, shades, and white cane made me appear as if I hadn’t a care in the world. It’s worth mentioning that I got the capris and shoes on sale, added stacked coupons, and used Ebates to accumulate cash back on my online purchases.

Trio collage of me posing in a standing position with my white cane.
Capris | Kohl’s; Sneakers | DSW

After I uploaded the collage in this post it occurred to me this look serves another purpose as well. The range of gray from light to dark and shades in between is a simple example of sight loss. The similarities, although on a grander scale, demonstrate what the loss of sight looks like from vision that is sharp to no sight at all. It’s anywhere in between these two where varying degrees of sight loss occur.

Blindness is not simply seeing vs. unseeing. This is why we have to use great care in assumptions. Many people, myself included, use a white cane or guide dog even though we have residual vision. We need this mobility tool(s) to navigate safely and to let others know we cannot see very well.

Have a very nice Friday and a fab weekend!

 

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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #23

Easy Peasy Run About Town Look

3-panel collage with me posed standing by my counter with my white cane. Outfit description is in the body of the post.
Black lattice hem capris | Kohl’s, Silver Sketchers | DSW

So last week my doctor calls with the results of my bloodwork. It’s mostly good news although while my good cholesterol is high my bad cholesterol is also high. He suggested statins I said, “no, what else can I do?” I already knew the answer I just wanted to see if there was a loophole.

You gotta understand, I have nothing against diet and exercise except, I really, really, really want it all my way, is this too much to ask? Apparently so because now I have to grow up, act like an adult, and take my health seriously.

3-panel collage with me posed standing by my counter with my white cane. Outfit description is in the body of the post.
Black lattice hem capris | Kohl’s, Silver Sketchers | DSW

Motivation to return to the gym means I had to invest in some new workout gear. After scouring some of my favorite online stores I settled on Kohl’s where I found these cute black lattice hem capris. They are so cute I wore them to my mother’s doctor appointment the other day.

Today’s exercise apparel is chic enough to wear while running about town. For the look in the photos, I added a black workout tank top, white hoodie, and silver sneakers. Since the goal is to create a casual appearance my jewelry was at a minimum (remember, I always wear earrings) but I got to sport some of my new hair – YAY!!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!

 

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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #21

Lose The Hypercriticism

I'm posing for the camera standing with my white cane prior to leaving for the evening.Like a little kid anxiously awaiting Christmas morning, I was so excited to launch personal preparations for an upcoming gathering with friends. I carefully selected an outfit including a couple of baubles, had a mani/pedi, updated my makeup, and dare I say this here? Eh, why not? Ordered a new wig.

Everything was lining up pretty nicely as my online orders began arriving last week. So what if the larger of the two same pair of jeans I ordered fit? At least I had the presence of mind to order two different sizes (just in case).

Then it happened. On Tuesday stuff started going haywire.

I’d received just about everything except for the wig but I thought ‘no worries’ I still have two days left to get it in time for my outing. This was the first of several annoyances.

On the way home from my spa day I examined my newly manicured fingernails and thought they didn’t look quite right. Throughout the balance of the day, night, and into the next morning disappointment mingled with thoughts of disgust (because of money forked out) flitted in and out of my mind on my nail situation. It got to the point I had to call the nail salon to request a redo for the following morning.

So, yesterday afternoon with nails redone and still no wig I begin getting ready for the evening. Even though I was bummed about the hair situation I was still excited to use my new makeup that is until I began applying my eyeliner. One eye was done, then I go to twist the liner pencil only to hear the sickening sound of a click indicating it was empty. But because I do denial extremely well there I am at the bathroom mirror continuing to twist the pencil with the expectation that mystically magically more product would appear-drat! Time to break out the emergency backup liner pencil even though it’s not the right color it would have to do.

While my final look wasn’t exactly as I imagined just as soon as my phone rang I was all grins. It was Margie and she was outside waiting for me. As soon as I get in her car thoughts of increased size, wigs, nails, and eyeliners flew out the window. We were on our way to meet ‘The Gang.’

‘The Gang’ includes extraordinary people with whom there are no pretenses. Nothing is ever off the table because we can laugh, cry, share and talk about contentious topics like politics, race, religion while respecting differing opinions. This is what it’s about—life is about people. It’s about a mutual appreciation for one another and loving unconditionally.

I began this post to demonstrate that appearance isn’t everything and when we place too much focus on those minute things (many which are barely noticed by others) we lose sight of what’s really meaningful.

Outfit Description:

  • White boyfriend jeans (I talked about these last week in Tip #20) | Macy’s
  • Heather grey, long-sleeved, ribbed lattice detail top | Macy’s
  • Nude lace-up block heeled sandals | DSW

Have a great weekend!!