My daughter, Claire, tells me I have old eyes.

That can’t be true because they are the same age as the rest of me, so if my eyes are old that would mean … oh, crap. I’m getting old.

I don’t believe it.

I think writing has just gotten smaller and my arms shorter.

I am having more and more problems reading the fine print on things.

The other day, I was trying to read instructions, and I did something I never thought about having to do; something people with old eyes have to do, but not me, right?

I had to make a photo copy of the instructions and enlarge them, so I could read them without having to hold them at arm’s length and guess at the words.

Yes, I could read the instructions much better, but it sure was humbling.

Trying to read the labels on bottles is almost futile. The words are too small, and I can’t even guess what the ingredients are.

I don’t feel old. I never feel old, I never think of myself as old, but all these tiny words on things is getting to me.

Maybe this is all part of some large conspiracy to make people like me feel old. I don’t know why, but there must be some other reason other than my eyes and the rest of me are getting old.

Fifty-six is not old. It means I’m getting older, and for that I am thankful. After all, that is the goal: longevity.

Everyone wants to live a long, healthy life. That is what everyone hopes for themselves and their loved ones.

I’m not coming from the best gene pool. There were a lot of bad tickers on my dad’s side of the family.

That is why I exercise, and Thanksgiving dinner aside, eat healthier that I used to.

But is there an exercise for your eyes? There must be.

I have worn glasses and then contact lenses for years, and my last exam only indicated a minor correction in one eye.

What will the next exam reveal? I’m a little nervous.

My parents wore glasses, my wife and kids wear contacts, so maybe it’s just one of those things that run in a family, like height or hair color.

I first got glasses in middle school, and I remember thinking that was kind of cool. I don’t know why, but I was OK with it because I could see better.

Getting contacts was even better because I was tired of wearing glasses.

I’ve been in contacts for years, and now have mono vision, meaning one contact lens is stronger than the other. The glasses I occasionally wear are bifocals, something I used to believe was just for people who were old, but that can’t be true.

I guess getting older does come with a few concessions, which in my case is that my eyes are not as sharp as they once were.

I will adjust and earn to live with it. Maybe my next eye exam can help improve my vision. If not. I guess I'll be making more photocopies.


Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.