As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed my eyes have started to go fuzzy. Everyone told me it would happen when I hit my forties, and I ignored them, believing myself to be the exceptional exception.
Turn out I’m not exceptional after all.
My eyes are getting worse and worse. I can still read at a comfortable arm’s length distance, but I can’t focus very close up. Every day that arm’s length gets a little farther. I find this more amusing than disturbing, fortunately.
As I enter middle-aged adulthood, I find myself thinking alot how silly many of the things I have done or am doing are. So many are simply meaningless busywork. I am finding that as I grow older (and hopefully a little wiser) I am more interested in people and their lives than my own achievement or activities. I am finding that my focus is shifting outward, just like my eyesight. It makes me wonder if God has designed our eyes to lose focus up close as we age to help us learn to focus outward — to stop looking at ourselves so closely and to really see others.
Over the past several months, I’ve learned to really value those close relationships with the few close friends I have — some of whom I have loved and cried with for decades now. With these long term friendships sustaining me, I’m struggling to value those relationships I know will be temporary, especially at Church. Middle-aged me has no desire to invest effort into a friendship that “alters when it alteration finds” or that ceases when you move or that will not last our lifetimes. Virtually all relationships fall into this latter category, and I’m finding myself increasingly unable to expend the energy to connect with you, only to find myself forgotten once I’m out of your sight.
Middle-aged me, however, is learning that human connection is the only thing that matters in this life. I do want to redirect my focus to others. That’s fortunate, I suppose, as these aging eyes won’t let me do anything else.