Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Gift of Vision

That's my word for 2011.
A dear friend and I have been exchanging words for the New Year for several years now.

Clarity of purpose. Clarity of thought. Clarity of health. Clarity of vision.

It's remarkable how much one little word can yank you back on track throughout the year.

I have a little ornament that hangs above my kitchen sink year-round. It's a little antique-looking engraving of two little girls walking arm in arm and it says "Happy New Year". I originally put it there several years ago when it was too heavy for the Christmas tree. I neglected to put it away at the end of the season, so I made up an excuse to leave it up. Every day is the beginning of a new year. I make New Year's Resolutions year round. But once a year, I think about the year to come and choose a word.

Clarity. Some days this year, I wished my word was Claret instead. Some days it was clarified butter. Tasty, tasty days. Some days this year, my word was Clarence because that's almost always a funny name. Mostly it was clarity.

I discovered a few weeks ago in my first visit to the eye doctor since 1995 that my blurry vision was not as a result of over 7 years of being really tired. So now I wear glasses. A childhood dream come true after it's no longer a dream. I wasn't thinking of that sort of clarity when I thought of my word, but it works.

I've been sporting about in my new glasses just looking at things. I am really kind of appalled at how much clearer everything is now. I had just gotten used to squinting or fuzzy edges or using trombone arm to read things. I just put up with it until I just could not read the liner notes on a CD no matter what kind of ocular gymnastics I did. What other things have I just been putting up with that are easily remedied?

Clarity. Clear out junk. Clear out old and useless ideas. Clear space for something new. Clear the air. Clear the cobwebs. Clear conscience.

It's kinda hard. Sometimes clarity in a situation reveals a troubling truth. Sometimes clearing out old ideas leaves you exposed and chilly. Sometimes it's too tempting to just continue to put up with something than to make way for something new. Sometimes the cobwebs are hiding more junk that needs to be cleared.

But I have a fabulous new accessory. Three fabulous new accessories, actually. The doctor suggested that bifocals might be an option. They most certainly weren't. So, cherry blossoms and movie starlet sunglasses for distance and hot pink stripes for reading. If I must, I must with flair. So these accessories change my face, but clear my vision. I hardly notice the lines around the edges any more. I don't like to be boxed in.

I can see clearly now. So, in these last few weeks of the year I'm looking looking looking to see what else I need to clarify. It's only fitting that this year of Clarity be concluded with clarity of vision. I wonder what I'll see next year? 


  1. Clarity is good. Even when it's scary. Because when it's real clarity, it's not scary. It's new, and it's unnerving sometimes, but not scary. I like clarity.

    I've been thinking about this; another friend of mine does words for the year too. I think my word for 2012 is going to be simplify. I'm too young to make things as hard as I do and too old to think I have plenty of time to do what I want - just later. Simplifying will mean different things at different times, I think. But I'm going to follow that road where it takes me.

    With clarity. :-)

  2. Yes, clarity is such a non-threatening element. In my universe, it goes like this, "May I ask a clarifying question?" Then I can pursue any line of interrogation that I choose, under the guise of merely seeking clarity. My "word" would probably be "No Fear." Math was never a particular strength of mine.

  3. Clarity is such an innocuous concept that can conceal so much, isn't it? Here's to the discovery of many new wonderful things with your newfound clarity:)

  4. I could use some clarity--maybe Santa will put some in my stocking? ;)

  5. Do you choose the word at the beginning of the year or do you choose it at the end of the year in hindsight? I wasn't really clear (hee hee) on that.

    Also? Congratulations on the new glasses!

  6. @Jane - I choose it at the beginning of the year and then reflect back at the end and see how it guided the choices I made during the year. I haven't picked mine for next year yet. I have a few days left...

    Also? I am ridiculously excited about my glasses.


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