The year 2017 was many things for me. I traveled on my own, attended a life-changing writing workshop, met some amazing people, and found somewhat of a groove in freelance writing. I also found a connection that has, and may in the future, contain all these things, helping me to develop the skills I choose to sharpen as a part of my vision for the future and this year to come.
Halfway through the year, I found myself involved with a wonderful group of people here at VisionAware, the VisionAware peers. I saw myself having a voice and a say on things that really matter. I became "one of them," a VisionAware peer, and I am determined on renewing my vision for what I want my life to look like for 2018, that I want to make a difference in the months ahead.
Choosing a Word for the Year
I am not one for hard and fast rules of New Year’s resolutions. I believe in cultivating a lifestyle and a way of daily living in the now, all while creating a strong idea of what the future could be. I have chosen a word for the year, "stoker," and I plan to repeat this action in the most positive of ways.
What the Term "Stoker" Means to Me
Through VisionAware and other avenues, I want to stir things up, to speak up, on the things that matter, those issues that make a difference in people’s lives. This will most definitely include my regular involvement with the Canadian Federation of the Blind as well, here in my home country of Canada. I believe being involved, in both countries, will improve my perspective and help me share my own vision for what people without literal vision are capable of.
It’s still a good thing to have a fresh perspective as a new year dawns. It may sometimes feel arbitrary, this new year stuff, but it matters. Humans like going along with things, on a timeline or with a sign from something. A time of year and a brand new year are perfect examples of that.
We all may choose to focus on renewing our vision for our lives, but the word "vision," can be literal or figurative, in meaning and especially for anyone who has learned not to take our literal vision for granted. The second meaning of the word stems from that appreciation.
Waiting to Find Out My Eye Health
I’d planned to visit my retinal specialist for my routine checkup near the end of last year. I was preparing myself for a clean bill of eye health, though that isn’t what worried me. My vision has been worsening, and I was dreading hearing that there is something going on, something to see in my examination, but even more worried if there wasn’t.
Suddenly, I was forced to bear this uncertainty for a few months more when his office phoned and informed me the appointment would need to be pushed back to January. I had no choice but to keep waiting for the next bad eye day, when everything felt even more blurry than usual and my one, right, real eye of the pair felt tired, even with my eyelids closed tight.
Now that January and 2018 are here, the appointment, unless canceled again, is set to happen in only a few more weeks. It’s then when I will find out if there is anything more to be said, to be done, or if I am heading toward less and less remaining vision, whether I like it or not. The prospect of this reality looms before me in this first month of the new year.
Determined to Create a Vision for My Life
So, again, I am facing a future with disappearing vision. I am all the more determined to create a vision for my life, renewing what that is for myself, what that might look like by the eventual dawning of 2019.
A vision, a renewal of that vision, what might that look like for others? I think about that as often as I think of my own. It is important if you cannot have one that you work even harder to have the other or so I’ve found to be true.
Helen Keller once said, "The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." The renewing of my vision for 2018 is always there, daily and in front or in the back of my mind, as I learn, again, how to live and accept the reality of living with less of one and perhaps a much greater responsibility to go forward with the other. A clearer vision is indeed possible when sight is lost throughout life. I am simply one example of such living and set to become a stoker.