The solution is always out there!
21st Feb 2019
Hi everyone! Welcome to the Beyond Vision website, this blog sits really well with what this website advocates. Adaptivity is a very important part of living a limitless life with sight loss. As our vision fails us and begins to become a mere memory, we need to call open our other skills. An adaptive mindset is one of the best skills you can open up to. I remember way back when I was stuck in a very old and limiting belief pattern, this would just keep me in a really unaccepting place, adjusting to change was never really my strong suit! I was very one dimensional with the way I used to think of things, I believed that if you didn’t do things in the same way as you used to be able to do them, or indeed how you had been taught to, then you no longer feel you can do that particular thing. The problem with that sort of attitude is that it just increases the LOSS factor with sight loss. Having to continually give up the things you used to be able to do is very depleting and just makes living with sight loss even harder.
When I finally woke up through my self development work I realised that the only thing that was stopping me from continuing with the things I enjoyed was me, not the sight loss. There is always solutions to be found, you just have to change the way you think about how you can do things. With an adaptive mind you will learn to accept that although you may not be able to do things in the same way as you used to, there are others ways, for example, I have been a runner for most of my adult life, I enjoyed long distance road running, I never was competitive with this, it was always about personal fitness. However, as the years went on and my sight loss progressed, it was becoming more obvious that road running was no longer a safe option for me. I was having more injuries due to tripping and falling up curbs, crossing roads was also a danger and I would run into obstacles. I finally bit the bullet and bought a treadmill. I struggled initially accepting that I could no longer road run independently, however as my mindset changed I began to open up and be thankful for the treadmill, this machine was not my enemy, it was my ally, I soon realised that I could still run long distances and keep myself fit by using my treadmill. There is also buddy running services available, this is where you run with a sighted guide, usually you are holding a tag to attaching you to your runner. So that is another solution too.
Another very recent example of finding adaptive solutions is when I was parted from my beloved MacBook, it had to go away for repair, I had just committed a month to writing some more of my book, I also had the Captivating Magazine article to write as well. My Mac is my most accessible piece of technology, in fact I am writing this on the Mac right now!
It was 2 of my VI friends from the States that suggested a way of adapting that I hadn’t thought of. I have an iPad, the first friend suggested getting a bluetooth keyboard that I could pair up with my iPad, my other friend suggested using voice memos on my iPhone to dictate what I wanted to write. Both of these were excellent solutions, they helped me to think out of the box. I bought a small bluetooth keyboard, in fact it was about the same size key layout as my MacBook keyboard, this made it even easier to transition to, I had the voice over on my iPad and pages, which was the programme I was used to writing on. This was the perfect little set up and turned my iPad into a mini laptop. I was Able to carry on with my writing work until I was reunited with my MacBook.
So, there are 2 examples of practical solutions that enable us to navigate through sight loss in a much more positive manner. I now see my adversity challenges as lessons to find more adaptive solutions and open to all possibilities. Embrace the new way of doing things and let go of the old ways, this will allow you to continue living the life you want to live.