This evening, I’d like to begin with a positive reflection upon the day that has already passed.

Yesterday was the day in which I would have to step in to and optician’s practice for the first time in three, if not four, years. This was all thanks to an appointment I had made a couple of days earlier – and I’m practising to remind myself, maybe even add a little praise, that I did that successfully by myself.

As the working day drew to a close, I was left with only fifteen-minutes to head a few miles across the town, find a parking space and then to continue on foot, which would take a good five-minutes at the best of times… It was beginning to feel as though taking the next appointment (twenty-five minutes later) would’ve been the wiser option, even with all the anxious waiting around and clock watching.

Within the final hour at work, my stomach had begun to growl, urging me to head straight home to the comfort and security of my own toilet. As if to warn me that ignoring these scenes would only lead to great social discomfort and embarrassment during the appointment. As I left my car with less than ten-minutes to spare, I realised I might have time to drop in and sit down in the public loos, which were along the way… Somehow, I missed the large block of toilets.

It was only on the way back to my car later that I would realise I’d taken the left-hand lane from the car park, where the toilets would’ve been to my left had I taken the almost-parallel right-hand path. I’m not sure how the chapel would’ve responded had I walked in, asking to use their facilities!

I arrived at my appointment with several minutes to spare. I was not simply on-time but early!

I was able to walk up to the counter, look the woman in the eye and tell her my name, the reason I was there and the time of my appointment. Within seconds, I was guided in to a chair and she was taking down my details (as I’d not registered with this company before).

Upstairs in the optometrist’s chair, I found myself beginning to relax. Was it the darkness? The fact there was only one other person present? Comfort of the large height-adjustable chair?!

While I still found myself having to suppress impromptu laughter during certain stages of the sight test [I don’t know why it’s always so funny to me…], I was also able to engage in conversation a little bit. Instead of simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, I was able to talk and share briefly on the personal activities and interests for which I do require my glasses. Again, this was more than a list-like reel of subjects.

After the examination, I returned to the ground floor to have a look at the range of new frames [my current ones have been wonky for some time]. Again, I felt more relaxed than I had done when I first stepped in to the store.

I must’ve spent a good twenty-minutes walking around, looking at all the different range of frames and price brackets. I felt anxious about so many things in that time. Yet I found the courage to try on frames that looked appealing to me (there weren’t too many that I liked) and look at myself in the mirror.

Each time an anxiety rose, I chose to face up to and question it. There were certain mirrors that I found to be more secluded from the staff than others. Plus, so late in the day, I had the majority of the space to myself, with only one other customer to be seen.

I thought to myself of how the staff working here must be used to seeing people awkwardly fiddling with their many frames. Although their duties require them to keep customer service at heart, they’re unlikely to be watching anyone customer too closely. Through that, I was able to allow myself the time to contemplate before deciding.

It must’ve taken a good twenty-minutes, if not more and I did end up backtracking over frames I’d already viewed. But what is important is that I allowed myself the time, I made a decision and I came away from the appointment with everything I had hoped for in advance.

Now, I have a few other challenges to face with hurdles to overcome. In the mean time, I thank you for reading.

Please, feel free to share your thoughts.

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