Rut Race, Day 3: SpectaclesI’ve been in a rut and this post is part of a series I’m writing to chronicle the efforts I’m making to get out of it. Are you in a rut, too? Or maybe you just want to spiff things up a little for yourself? Join in. I’m calling it the Rut Race.

I may have seemed down on my editing work last week, but I really do enjoy it. It involves a lot of screen time, though (and not the kind we wish bigoted pundits had less of). It’s, like, exclusively computer work. And if I’m even remotely tired or otherwise rundown, and end up hunched over, squinting at the screen.

I always wear my glasses[1. Unless I’m running. I do that blurry.]. Always. I hate contacts and though my eyesight’s not abysmal, I hate even slightly blurry vision. Also, I love my glasses, and I love wearing glasses, period[2. I was intensely in awe of my childhood babysitter Marla, who wore glasses. I used to put cheap sunglasses on the dresser next to my bed just so I could reach for them first thing when I woke up in the morning. The Dar Williams song “Babysitter” always chokes me up. I’ll never forget going to see Marla in her high school’s Sing (only New York City people know what that is, eh? I wonder if high schools still do Sing…). Anyways. I was not at all disappointed when, at age eleven, I needed my first prescription].

So lucky me that I have in my possession a pair of reading glasses. I don’t generally need them – my usual prescription is both for distance and for reading. But sometimes – and more and more in these days of intense editing – I need to bring in the big guns. I do this so infrequently that whenever I feel like wearing my reading glasses I have to search high and low for them. But I always find them, and then putting them on is like donning a shiny thinking cap, but on my face.

Last week I started wearing them. They’re magic. I write faster when I wear them. I sit straighter. Most importantly, I’m less distracted when I wear them. I don’t know why. Must be all the magic.

Being more efficient in my work makes me feel capable. Stronger. Confident.

It’s an added bonus that getting lots of work done frees up time to take care of myself creatively.

Such a simple thing. Is there something so simple that you do when you’re dragging?

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Catherine Winters

Ha, I immediately thought of Dar Williams when I started reading the first few words of your second footnote.


I was exactly the same way about glasses when I was a kid.  I so clearly remember going to pick out my first perscription pair…and I still enjoy doing it.  It’s like getting to pick out a whole new face every few years–why would you want to mess that up with contacts?


I’ll never forget the moment I donned my very first pair of prescription lenses at 10 years old – my gosh – it was wonder of wonders!  I remember the exact moment.  Since then, I’ve had Lasik but still have to augment my vision with reading support – I enjoy populating each room in my house with a cheap funky pair of reading glasses.

Shannon Henry

 Did you catch this recent NY Times article on how clothing can affect cognition? May have something to do with the glasses magic… I don’t wear glasses myself, but there are absolutely things I can wear, or even ways of doing my hair, that can give me a little nudge towards feeling more productive or capable or confident.

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