Lessons from a Lost Contact

I was getting ready one morning, a few days before a weekend event that required me to be at full strength, when I lost my right contact lens.

blurry

I can’t see a thing without eye correction. I have fairly new glasses, and I wear them at home at night. But I chose the frames rather hurriedly and always wished I had picked a different pair. I’d certainly never wear them to a public function that involved a lot of personal interaction, at least not voluntarily.

So finding that contact was imperative.

And also impossible.

The problem was that I didn’t know when I first realized it was gone. I know this sounds crazy, but I get up early and my eyes sometimes take awhile to get used to being open. That’s what I thought was going on at first, thus the fuzzy timeline.

We launched a full-scale search-and-rescue operation. But not even daughter Molly, whose crawling-around-on-the-floor method often works, could find the lost lens.

I kept praying that I would suddenly notice the contact somewhere, but no avail. It had disappeared into thin air.

Groaning and kicking myself, I called the eye doctor and ordered a new lens. Then I spent the next several hours trying not to let this inconvenience wreck my whole day.

I know, it’s silly and shallow and immature. But sometimes I let the dumbest things affect my overall outlook on life, which in turn affects the overall outlook of everyone around me. I default to letting my circumstances rule my feelings, instead of focusing on the good around me.

This time, though, I decided to do as Robert Frost famously advised in his poem “The Road Not Taken.” I’m not kidding—I actually had conversations like this throughout the day:

Just be grateful you have nice glasses to wear, Lois—take the road less traveled by, I told myself.

And,

Smile, Lois—it’s just a contact. Nobody’s sick, nobody’s hurt. Take the road less traveled by—just do it.

Though I still felt like I was wearing bulky safety goggles, the pep talks did help some.

The insignificance of my problem was further amplified later in the day when news broke about the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, Calif.

Suddenly, fretting about a missing contact seemed very petty indeed.

Still, I was thrilled when the new lens came in the very next day. But then I discovered another problem. When I put in both of my contacts, I could hardly see out of the old one.

This was odd, but I thought maybe wearing the new one just highlighted how dirty the old one was. So I went back to the eye doctor to have it cleaned.

That’s when the truth was finally revealed.

When the optician started scrubbing the lens, she discovered it was actually two contacts stuck together. For some bizarre reason—and for the first time in 30 years of wearing gas permeable contacts—I had put both lenses in the same eye.

No wonder I couldn’t see!

Later, as I ran errands and started looking forward to the weekend once again, I put together a short list of takeaways from this eye-opening experience:

• Searching for something that isn’t there is an exercise in futility.

• Two contacts in one eye do not make your vision twice as good.

• Sometimes, what you think is the problem is not the problem at all.

• Self-absorption has a funny way of fading away when real tragedy strikes. Or at least it should.

• When life throws you an inconvenient curveball, you can resist your default reaction and take the road less traveled by instead. And that really does make a difference.

• Life’s too short to settle for glasses you don’t really like.

Lois Flowers

P.S. Linking up this week with Christy Mobley at #RaRaLinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart, Lyli Dunbar at #ThoughtProvoking Thursday, Missional Women and Grace & Truth.



36 Responses to Lessons from a Lost Contact

  1. Meghan says:

    Loved this post and the revelations this predicament brought about. God bless!

  2. The little things are what get me, too. Thank you for this authentic look at life-lessons from every-day problems. Joining you from 3-D Lessons for Life.

  3. Joanne Viola says:

    Ok so I loved this post. I have often been amazed at the many life lessons experiences with my contact lenses have taught me. This one is appreciated 🙂

  4. Karen says:

    Firstly, Yes!! How often we allow these trivial things affect our attitudes!
    Secondly, YES!!! The initial reaction when, on the rare occasion, contacts fail us…. well… its not pretty!
    Thirdly, I LOVE how you’ve taken such a temporal issue and pushed it to evolve into a deeper self reflection! Your writing is very inspirational, profound, and, yet, I found myself giggling at the imagery! You are amazing.
    I’m so glad I found you on the blog hop, am now tagging along and cannot wait to read more!
    Karen
    http://wanderlust-wishlist.blogspot.com/

  5. Oh, Lois! This is such a good application. Self-absorption does blur our vision!

  6. We are all a bit scatterbrained, aren’t we? God loves us anyway. Thanks so much for your sweet post, neighbor. Abundant blessings!

  7. June says:

    God has such creative ways of teaching us valuable lessons, doesn’t He, Lois? I’m glad everything worked itself out in time for your event! And I hope you treated yourself to some new glasses! Have a blessed weekend!

  8. Bethany says:

    HA! Here I thought “sweating the petty” and “bizarre self-talk” were my own weirdo habits! : ) I love it. And the points you make. Praise the Lord for the solution and the lessons along the way- love when His Humor accompanies His grace!

  9. Anita Ojeda says:

    This made me both smile and think. I’ve put two contacts in the same eye before–and I’ve also picked out frames in a hurry that I don’t really like. I do the self-talk thing, too :). It really does work.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I wonder if talking to oneself is a trait of people who tend to be thinkers, Anita. My daughter tells me about conversations she sometimes has with “herself and her other self” … the way she describes it makes me laugh, but I totally get it!

  10. Pam Blosser says:

    This had me laughing when you discovered your lens in the same eye! But aside from the fun part of this piece, you bring a powerful message of putting things in perspective. The tragedy in San Bernadino was another shocking example of how broken this world is. So grateful God gave us a way out. Your neighbor at Holley Gerth’s linkup!

  11. What an adventure, Lois! To find you were wearing 2 lens in one eye. You made me smile with telling about choosing frames and wishing later they were different. Once I bought some glasses, got home and HATED them. Wore them two weeks until a friend, bless his heart, told me I looked like the Church Lady in them. And do you know what? When I called the optical, they let me come in and choose new frames. For free. No joke. I couldn’t believe it.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      The Church Lady? Those must have been some glasses, Betsy. And that is pretty unbelievable that the optical place let you exchange them for free. Maybe they didn’t want the bad publicity that might have come if you told someone where you got the frames. 🙂 That’s a great story!

  12. That’s incredible! It’s amazing what a change it can bring when we shift our perspective and choose to focus on the good rather than let the bad run wild with us. Love the perspective you drew from the situation. Visiting you from #tellhisstory today. Blessings, Lois.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      So true, Tiffany. Sometimes shifting that perspective is like moving a two-ton block of concrete, but it’s so worth the effort, isn’t it? Thanks for your encouragement today!

  13. Kristi Woods says:

    Oh my ~ you brought a smile with this one, Lois. I JUST had one of those moments. Silly. The garage door. Yep. I get you. Praising God alongside you, trusting Him with emotions today. (And thanking Him you found your contact.) Visiting via #tellHisstory.

  14. Carly says:

    I love how God can teach us through those little everyday circumstances. I agree, it’s so easy to let circumstances dictate our moods. I also have to have those conversations with myself to remind myself of what’s really important. Visiting from Tell His Story.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Carly, I also struggle with letting other people’s moods dictate my mood, which might be even worse than the circumstances thing! I’m slowly realizing that my happiness and joy does not depend on someone else’s emotional state. 🙂 Blessings to you today!

  15. Trudy says:

    I love how you have conversations with yourself, Lois. 🙂 I, too, often “default to letting my circumstances rule my feelings, instead of focusing on the good around me.” I need to give myself pep talks more often. 🙂 I’m so glad you found your contact! Sorry, but I had to smile about how… It makes me think of how we sometimes search so hard for something, not realizing it’s right in front of us all the time. 🙂

  16. Heidi says:

    Soooo good!! And true!!

  17. Lois, I love this because I have done the exact same thing! I out two contacts in the same eye. It made me so dizzy.
    Recently I have gotten “dry eye” which has caused me to wear my glasses more. I hated it at first. God had to adjust my attitude. I could relate to your post all around.
    Thanks for linking up today with #RARaLinkUp.
    Blessings ~
    Christy

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Christy, I suppose I should remember these incidents when I am talking to my girls about adjusting their attitudes. I so easily forget the times when, like you say, God has to adjust mine! 🙂 Here’s to clearer vision, with or without glasses!

  18. Megs says:

    Totally get it… I’m taking deep breaths right now because it’s windy this morning and my wifi is out!!!! I’m praying I don’t have to work all day on my tiny little phone screen! Ah! I have similar talks with myself to attempt reason with my frazzled brain.
    Thanks for your post!
    Happy Tuesday!!!
    Megs

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