Eggnog, Frustration and Perseverance

Our minds are amazing things, the way they can go from one direction to another, then another, and sometimes too many directions at the same time. And sometimes the first thought gets lost in the shuffle.

New challenges

I was making a custard-based eggnog for the holidays when I became frustrated as I found that for the first time I couldn’t quite read the numbers on my round glass candy thermometer using just the light on the stove.

Rather than turning it into a very rich omelet or trying to wing it by checking if it coated the back of a spoon, I brought out my little portable lighted magnifier.

Success! It’s time to get another one to keep in the kitchen. Soon I’ll have one in every room!

Frustration to perseverence

While constantly stirring and watching, and knowing that 5 degrees can make the difference between a lovely smooth drink and a curdled mess, my mind went from frustration with my vision to perseverance. That perseverance we need when our macular degeneration changes what we can do and how, not if, we can still do it.

The origins of perseverence

Being a word nerd, I started thinking about the word persevere. It comes from the Latin root persevereus which means "continue steadfastly, persist" and that word comes from two others, per- for "very" and severus for "strict." So, today, the meaning of the word is to persist in a methodical way despite obstacles or distractions. I normally persist despite the obstacles, but not always in the most methodical way!

Overcoming low vision

Those of us with macular degeneration, whether just beginning this frustrating journey we didn’t sign up for, or already with low vision, continue despite difficulties or obstacles.

We’ve overcome obstacles before. So we persevere. We learn what we can do and then we do it. Although perhaps in a different way. We turn to communities like for education, help, and support. We ask questions and do our research. We go to our retinal specialist with a list of questions to ask, written down so the stress of being there doesn’t make us forget to ask something important. All signs of our perseverance.

Stress and vision

Macular degeneration gives us every right to be frustrated, and frustration contributes to stress. Many of our members have commented on stress impacting their vision, so anything that can help reduce that stress is important. One way that frustration can be eased is when we allow ourselves to fail and discover that life still goes on. We then increase our level of perseverance. We also learn our level “of stick-to-itiveness” can be heightened with time and repetition.

Learning to live wth acceptable

Frustration can help us learn to persevere as long as we don’t let it overwhelm us. It works in all aspects of our lives, not just vision. We discover that successfully completing a task, persevering, brings the sense of satisfaction of a “job well done”. Or at least done as well as possible.

Perfectionism is not easy to maintain with vision difficulties. A seam that is almost perfectly straight, as long as it is strong, now becomes acceptable. And those of us with macular degeneration learn to live with acceptable.

By the way, the egg nog was smooth and delicious!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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