Unless you are one of those super smug people who did their Christmas shopping months ago, you are very likely thinking about Christmas gifts. Thinking about what to put on your list and what to get for your nearest and dearest. You may even be practicing your appreciative face for those gifts you can’t help wondering what the giver was thinking when they chose it! It is all too easy to get wrapped up in all the stress, even though you vowed you wouldn’t this year.
Some of you may know that I wrote an eBook this year to celebrate my tenth year of being visually impaired. It was a good opportunity to stop and reflect on the decade and how my sight loss has influenced those years. In it I describe my sight loss as a gift. I write about all it has given me. All the opportunities I would not otherwise have had and all the fantastic people I have met since. I would not have my business or have met my husband and I believe it has taught me lots about life that I might not have otherwise come to appreciate. To come to this conclusion took thinking outside the box. It wasn’t how I immediately felt on hearing the news of imminent sight loss and it wasn’t how others felt either. It is contrary to most of the messages we receive about sight loss but I stand by the conclusion I have come to.
It may be the festive season but I don’t want to get too sugar coated about this. I also acknowledge that sight loss can be a frustrating disadvantage. There are times when being visually impaired is no fun and on these times I wish the gift of sight loss came with the receipt so I could take it back! It’s also true that I did not write to Father Christmas asking for a bit more sight loss please!
Christmas can be a time when things get on top of us and we loose track of what it is all about. For those with faith it is of course about the true religious meaning of Christmas. For others Christmas has come to be about enjoying good company and nice food. Whichever camp you are in, and the camps might not be exclusive, Christmas ideally is not about stress.
Yes, I choose to view my sight loss as a gift, but at times it feels like a gift that is hard to unwrap. Christmas time seems a good opportunity to reflect and unwrap a little more with a glass of mulled wine.
Maybe our reflections should be on the gifts we won’t be putting on our list to Father Christmas? Perhaps we are already blessed with gifts which we loose sight of at times (no pun intended!) These things might be faith, family, friends and dare I say it….sight loss. I hope you enjoy the things you give, receive and share this Christmas and the things you are fortunate to currently be blessed with. Take a moment to think outside the gift box and put a great big bow on whatever you come up with!