How to Kill Time Without Injuring Yourself

When you begin to lose your eyesight, life demands that you re-evaluate your skills, your strengths, and your limitations so you can charge back into life, without fear of injuring yourself.

If, as in the words of John Archibald Wheeler, “Time is what prevents everything from happening at once,” then we can be grateful to take more notice of time and how to utilize every minute to our advantage.

What I have noticed over time as a person with progressive low vision is that my friends who are blind or visually-impaired are all keen observers of life.

We notice things not from our eyes but from our senses, not from visual cues but from a sheer necessity to be practical and highly organized in order to survive in a visual world.

You could say that people who can’t see can still observe life and notice things by reflecting on insights. The fact is that a ‘simple’ visual task takes more time for the blind to achieve.

As one example, when getting around independently, with a white cane or dog guide, the person with low vision never rushes from point A to point B. They learn to observe every second they are away from home – like listening to the pattern of the traffic movement at the pedestrian crossing so that they can step out at the correct time.

With awareness and with practice (and over time), what is learned as a new skill is responding to the sequence of traffic: which lane goes first, which direction are the cars moving, which flow of traffic is followed by the audio beeps for pedestrians?

It’s All about Time

An English proverb warns, hasty climbers have sudden falls, so if you have low vision and your sight can’t dart about from one object to another, neither can you afford to do so.​​

Those who understand this concept also know that the kindest thing to do is allow more time for everything.

If you feel rushed, you are more likely to encourage the seeds of frustration and anger.

The solution?

Try to remember at these times, when a task that you think should be much easier to do and should not take this much time, that you are being tested for patience and this is one of the most challenging aspects of learning new skills with progressive low vision.

In a previous article, Taking Charge as CEO of Your Life, I offer ways to manage frustration and how to turn situations around so they work in your favor. Believe me, I also deal with frustration on a daily basis as my sight fades too.

Another solution to ‘time management’ is to let your family and friends know you need consideration in having more time to get your task done so they don’t rush you and can understand this simple fact without it having to become a problem for them too.

The fact is we all have 24 hours in every day. The clever thing is being a Master of your time: by knowing time intimately!

The Lover of Time is:

  • Super-organized, aware of time restraints
  • Respectful of  the  extra time required, working smarter not harder
  • Kind to self and others as a realistic time manager
  • Committed to completing tasks yet flexible to move deadlines if need be
  • Not seduced by delicious distraction

So – if you are blind or visually-impaired, let’s all lead the way and show our sighted friends   these 9 ways to spend time that won’t kill anyone!

  1. Offer to give a talk to a local group and share lived experiences
  2. Be the travel researcher in your family and find interesting places to visit together
  3. Take up a new hobby like cooking, gardening, dancing, writing or blogging
  4. Volunteer your time to a not-for-profit organization
  5. Start a ‘walking-talking’ group in your neighborhood and get to know the locals
  6. Learn a new skill in something you really want to master (eg: a foreign language)
  7. Organize craft days with your children or grandchildren and make craft gifts together
  8. Dress up rooms in your house with each changing season
  9. Take time to play your favorite music, dance because no one is watching you, sing because you can…..and laugh because you have time to do so!

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