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Our Prime Purpose in Life

Last updated: October 2023

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them." - The Dalai Lama

The years of my life have flown by

Lately I have become more aware of the passage of time. It is moving very quickly and I am not sure how that has happened.

From the beginning of my life in 1959 to the present time, 64 years have practically flown by. Almost feels like a flipbook of my world: grade school, high school, working world, marriage, 4 babies being born, several jobs in between, becoming a grandparent, and the pinnacle of it all: retirement.

Who am I today?

There have been many "challenges and opportunities" (thanks, Dad, for this phrase!) through the years. All of these experiences have made me who I am today.

I am a 63 (almost 64)-year-old married woman. I am a believer and a mother to 4, grandmother to 3. I have had 3 sisters. I have experienced the loss of a father and a sister. I am blessed to still have and enjoy a special lady, my mother.

My work world has covered data entry positions, cleric positions, and the humbling position as a lunch lady in an elementary school.

I have experienced a multitude of surgeries, beginning with a cleft palate repair, structural nose revisions (3 times), arthroscopic knee procedures, 2 Cesarean sections, 2 total knee replacements, and cataract surgery. The cherry on top has been the diagnosis of myopic macular degeneration in 2019.

Myopic macular degeneration and me

This diagnosis is something else. It means vision challenges and navigational dilemmas. It means smudgy views and wavy sights. It means I will not drive at night. It is not safe. I will constantly be turning on more lights and adjusting and readjusting various materials so that they can be seen more readily and hopefully more clearly.

Myopic macular degeneration has no cure. There is a kind of acceptance that has to be embraced. There is really no choice in this matter.

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Recapturing life and exploring creativity in retirement

As it affects me in my present day, I am finding that things are okay. Sure, I wish I could see things better, but what I do see is pretty good. The alternative would be seeing nothing at all. I will take what I can get.

Retirement affords a new way of life, freedom to experience this life on a different schedule. One that revolves around recapturing a life with my husband of 38 years, creating art that has taken me in a whole new direction, and reaching out to others as they, too, grapple with macular degeneration.

I have had the opportunity over the past 3 years to share struggles and accomplishments with macular degeneration through writing on this community. It is my hope that I have helped someone. As the Dalai Lama stated, I sincerely hope that I have helped others. If by chance I have not helped, I do hope that I have not hurt them. Really, there is nothing better than that.

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