A rocking chair sits empty on top of a braided rug.

Keeping Busy With a Visual Impairment

I work four days a week - Tuesday is my Monday. Starting one more work week got me thinking. What will I do when I cannot work?

“Normal” people who retire assure me they seldom get bored. They assure me they have all sorts of things to do. They drive here and there. They do crafts. They read books.

They can see.

Do more activity?

Then they say how active I am. I could go to more exercise classes. I could take the dogs on longer walks.

I have a torn meniscus and Achilles’ tendon tendonitis as it is. I want to continue to be active. I know if I do much more activity than what I already do, things really are going to break down. How will that be helpful?

What happens when my vision is too bad?

I intend to work for several more years. I intend to workout, I intend to write, I intend to travel. But what happens when I cannot work? What happens when my vision is too bad? I cannot fill day after day with the avocations I have now. What do at leisure VIPs do with their time?

Like a good, modern old lady, I went online to research that question. I discovered some people use refrigerator letters and numbers to play games. The articles I found suggested word games but I thought of sudoku. Have someone tape off the grids on a large sheet of steel (like a metal whiteboard). Have them secure the given numbers on the grid. You, the player, have a bin with nine sets of plastic, magnetic numbers 1 through 9. Game on!

Try crocheting

When I was a kid, my friend’s family was braiding a rug. We all got recruited to help. The stitch was a basic crochet stitch and not hard to learn. Once we crocheted the braid, her mother sewed it into a rug.

Also as a kid, I wove potholders on a simple handloom. Over, under, over, under. I suspect I could do it - like crocheting the braid for the rug - with low vision.

Join a book club

How about something a little more social and intellectual? Ever belong to a book club? No? Neither have I, but I bet I could even with low vision. I sort of went a little crazy downloading books from BARD this week. Many were best sellers for the current year. They also have classic reads. Listen to your book and join the discussion.

Same for Bible study by the way. Whatever version your group is using, you can download it on BARD. Find your assigned passages and ponder.

Audit a class

Are you near a college? Audit a class! What totally “impractical” subject have you always wanted to study? Mine is anthropology. Give me a National Geographic article on anthropology and I am content for the next half an hour.

But back to auditing a college class...no credit means no assignments and no tests. Just listen and learn. Getting involved in discussions is allowed. Also, as long as there is room in the class, you can sit in on whatever class you want. No pesky requirements for your major.

Baby cuddlers

Keeping the best for last, I have one more thing to mention. Baby cuddlers! Although many hospitals are swamped with volunteers, there are still hospitals looking for volunteers to hold and soothe sick, premature, and drug-addicted infants. They even provide the rocking chairs.

Okay. So maybe I will be able to keep myself occupied after all. How about you?

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