Writers block: Insights for this optical year

 Dear Past, thank you for the lessons. Dear Future, I’m ready. How’s that for an optimistic look backward and forward?

Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

December is in the rearview mirror. January is in the windshield. While none of us know the twists and turns 2020 may take, it is helpful to focus on what’s ahead.

Teachers have been hopping, skipping and jumping with glee that thanks to Leap Year, the holidays land with perfect timing—Valentine’s Day is a Friday, Cinco de Mayo is on Taco Tuesday, the Fourth of July and Halloween both land on Saturday, Christmas is a Friday so the celebrating can go on and on.

Also squeezed in among the holidays are the July 24-Aug. 9 Summer Games in Tokyo. According to event organizers, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative ever organized, and will rest on three fundamental principles to transform the world: striving for your personal best (achieving your personal best); accepting one another (unity in diversity); and passing on a legacy for the future (connecting to tomorrow).” Those are pretty good goals for all of us, athletes or not.

That’ll be a good time to unite and cheer on our fellow Americans before politics divides us once again.

 For those who like elections, there will be five of them this year—Feb. 18, a spring primary; April 7, spring general election; May 12, a special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by Sean Duffy; Aug. 11, the fall partisan primary; and Nov. 3, the general fall election.

While only 35% of American adults have unaided or uncorrected 20/20 vision, it is fun to anticipate what lies ahead no matter how nearsighted or farsighted we actually are.

I’ve been nearsighted all my life, probably due to reading by a dim lamp in my bedroom since I first learned to read. My poor vision wasn’t actually detected until my fifth-grade teacher, the late Richard Gilbertson, moved me from the back of the classroom to the front. Just like that I could see the equations and assignment questions on the blackboard, and my homework improved overnight! I was the youngest of nine, and my parents couldn’t afford to get me glasses right away. But by the time sixth-grade  arrived, I had a cute pair of gold-rimmed glasses that matched my golden tresses. I still have them, although they don’t fit my face anymore, and my prescription has changed many times since then.

At my last couple appointments, my eye doctor has been trying to get me to wear bifocals lenses—either in the form of contacts or glasses. He says without them, I can see well only near or only far; I can’t have it both ways.  I’m resisting, claiming I’m not old enough for them yet.

However I am among a growing population, according to a study that predicts nearly half the world’s  population will be nearsighted by 2050. A large number of senior citizens and too much screen time among all ages are to blame.

Yet even the most sharp-eyed among us can’t foresee all that awaits in 2020. It’s the unknown that makes each day exciting. We can’t see the future, but day by day, we’re getting closer to it.

Most people overestimate what they can do in a day but underestimate what they can do in a lifetime. It’s all a matter of looking back or ahead.

We generally see what we’re looking for, so I would encourage everyone to look through the lens of neutrality from time the time.

What appears so in the distance may be quite different in reality. Let the one who sees all take the wheel during this 12-month ride through 2020. Enjoy the sights along the way!

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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