Doing Things "Effectively" with Vision Loss
Back again. I was just reading some pages from my blog - currently on hiatus, so you are stuck with my prattling here! I found an early page about “firsts.” First trip to Walmart, first time riding my bike after my vision loss, etc. You folks who have experienced vision loss have some idea what “fun” that sort of stuff can be. It is frustrating and frightening and demoralizing all rolled into one not so neat, little package.
Doing things effectively
I wish I had some sage advice about it; I really do. However, when it comes down to it, I have to take some trite phrases from the popular media: just do it and get ‘er done.
Dialectic behavior therapy, the school of therapy I use and teach, has a concept called “effectively.” Doing things effectively means you keep the goal in mind and get the job done. Effectively doesn’t care if you are following the rule book. It doesn’t care if your mother would approve. My father used to say a job was done “good enough for poor people." (Alternate phrase: Good enough for government work.) All the I's may not be dotted and the T's may not be crossed. Did you get your message across? Good enough.
Doing what works
Try to do your best, of course. When you start out and even many times later, even when you are more used to being impaired, holding yourself to your old standard of performance is an exercise in futility and will lead you nowhere good.
Do what works. Does what works involve using funny looking, magnifying glasses that you would otherwise have never been caught dead wearing? Does it involve commandeering a stock clerk (as I have been known to do on many occasions) so she can find something for you? Just do it and get ‘er done. No one is standing at the end of the aisles with scoring placards. Unlike diving and gymnastics, you won’t get points for form. The judges are in your head, anyway.
Adapting and adjusting to vision loss
And there are many, little things that will throw you off and that you will need to learn to accomplish in another, effective way. Finding the car or the transportation van, for instance. Finding a car in a crowded parking lot is bad enough when you have good vision! My husband always parks next to a cart corral. He also points out the aisle we are in. Down from the bank sign of the fast-food restaurant. He keeps an eye out and honks if he sees me wandering aimlessly around the car. In some ways not great but better than wandering around and having the store cop pick me up for suspicious activity!
It took a while to figure out how to identify the vans sent for me, especially at the medical center when there are 27, other white vans there picking up patients. If it is really busy, I encourage the van driver to yell my name. A classy way of doing things, it is not, but I get home the same day and that is my goal.
Effectively. It is doing what works. More necessary now for me than ever. You, too?
How do you protect your eyes from the sun?