I went out dancing last night. How many years has it been? Too many to try and count. Three of my friends and I, all senior women, had a great evening at a retro rock and roll dance party following a burger and beer supper. A local rec centre has a lounge with a dance floor and attached cafe/bar. How had I never discovered it before now? That alone was a sign telling me I need to get out of my comfort zone a bit more. The four of us actually got up on the floor and danced the night away. I realized I can always still dance, even if my sight deteriorates. My Fitbit loved it too, counting every step! But what does this have to do with macular degeneration, you ask? I’ll tell you what I learned about myself, just from an evening out.
I almost didn't go
I almost said no when my friend suggested it, thinking about the drive home in the dark, and perhaps it would be raining (which it was). We all know how difficult it is to see past the glare on a rain-soaked road. Then there’s the darkness of a dance floor, and wouldn’t it be easier to just stay home, put my feet up and watch TV.
Macular degeneration has taught me...
But then I thought about the comments in this MacularDegeneration.net FB post: Macular degeneration has taught me _______________ . I realized It was time to listen to what others with macular degeneration had to say, as well as what I said to myself when thinking about that question.
The value of friends
One person wrote about how hard it is to depend on friends and how wonderful it is to have them. I bit the bullet and asked one of my friends if I could drive the short distance to her house and she would drive from there. Of course! No problem! But still I found it difficult to be the one asking, especially as I used to be the driver more often than not.
The little things matter
Another said to value the little things. An evening out with good friends used to be a “little thing” now it’s a “big deal.” We need to do what we enjoy while they’re still little things, and do them more often. Before something as simple as perhaps a trip to the grocery store, for example, becomes a big deal. Let’s keep our lives more normal, more filled with lots of wonderful little things.
Take in the enjoyable moments of life
So the lesson learned last night? I realized I have the capacity to do what I need to do, to appreciate the beauty of every day, and appreciate the company and support of good friends. To be more spontaneous, and do what I can while I can. To be more patient with myself, and the big one for me, to ask for help when I need it. Above all, to wring every bit of enjoyment out of the little things.
If you recognize your responses to that question from our FB site in my article, thank you! Thank you for reminding me to enjoy life to the fullest while I can still see and do most of what brings me joy.
Do you still drive?