By Beckie Carlson
2004 was a memorable year for me due to several things. First of all, it was the year I earned a free cruise with my company. I was able to take my husband on a free trip to Alaska for a week. Looking back, that was our only escape together after we had kids. It was an amazing trip. Another think that happened that year was that we moved to Florida from Alabama. A move I had dreaded, but ended up being wonderful for our family. The highlight of the year would have to be getting Lasik on my eyes.
I was a goofy kid. Don't let my mom tell you otherwise, she lies. I dressed funny, wore my hair funny, had a big overbite, and wore hideous glasses. Okay, a lot of those things happened because I was a kid in the 70s, but I was extra weird. The kids at school sometimes had a hard time deciding which name to call me. Four eyes? Bucky? Becky with a Y? Decisions. I tended to try and blend in with the avocado green background of that time period as much as possible. It worked for the most part....
I didn't say much as a kid. I had great ideas, but I was so afraid they would come out as a bark or something stupid, I kept them to myself. I remember laughing to myself at my hilarity, wishing I could share. It's terrifying to be a kid that is 'different'. Looking back, I think what I missed was that all kids are 'different'. Why can't we see that til the time has passed?
Glasses were a pain for me. My nose just isn't built to hold them. I'd get headaches if I didn't wear them, and headaches if I did. Thankfully, after much begging, my parents got me contacts when I was fourteen (I think). Life became so much better when I could see stuff! Sure, I still had to deal with saline and contact cases and swimming blind, but it was much better. I threw the glasses out and only wore them when I was pregnant. Thanks for that, hormones...
Getting Lasik was a dream I'd had for a long time. For some reason, we had a bit of money in 2004 and that is what we decided to spend it on. The process itself was borderline horror movie. Remember, I'm a big baby. Something about having your eyeball hardened to a rock and a laser blasted into it, on purpose, really scared the c+$&# out of me. But I did it. It was easy, and totally worth it!
Here I am, eleven years later, and guess what? My eye doctor has decided I need reading glasses. My days of carefree reading have started to fade. I told him I would eat more fish, I'd drink more water, I'd stop turning on the lights in my house.....anything that would help. He told me I was getting older and this is what happens to everyone. I didn't hit him or kick him or even cuss him out. I shot him some dirty looks, and went home. Eleven years of perfect vision is great, but I'd like more.
As a kid, we something thought it would be so glamorous to be an adult. We could do whatever we wanted, go wherever we wanted, spend money like we wanted.... Now that we are actually here, we realize that all those things come with a price. We are responsible for all those choices and we have to work hard to do what we want before our bodies wear out on us. I'm not doing seeing stuff. I'm not done reading and writing and drawing doodles all over every inch of paper I own. I need my eyes, like, a lot. So, regardless of what my YOUNGER eye doctor says, I'm not giving into the 'my eyes are just going to fail cuz I'm getting a bit older' routing. I'm going to eat lots of fish, drink lots of water, and wear my sunglasses at night. Who knows, maybe it will help....maybe I'll just be the coolest kid around. Cause I said so.