In order to welcome in the New Year, I thought I’d post a blog all about 20/20 vision and I’ll admit it’s not in the fist rank of original ideas. Quite possibly you’ll read other, better-written things using 20/20 vision as a way of interpreting the events of 2020. Or not, depending on whose eyes the writer is seeing those events through.
Anyway I thought it incumbent upon me to first discover what is meant by 20/20 vision, because like most people I’m familiar with the term, yet have only a vague idea of what it actually means. So I did some googling. It’s to do with visual acuity.
No, me neither.
According to the font of all human knowledge for the lazy, Wikipedia,
Visual acuity (VA) commonly refers to the clarity of vision. Visual acuity is dependent on optical and neural factors, i.e., (i) the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye, (ii) the health and functioning of the retina, and (iii) the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain.
There’s loads more, detailed and quite frankly time consuming more to read. Not that my time is so precious, you understand, but it was the last five words of the opening paragraph that resonated. ‘Interpretative faculty of the brain’ neatly sums up one of the challenges I face following my brain injury; for if the way one correctly sees the world is in part dependant on a healthy brain, then it follows that a damaged brain is not best equipped to do this.
I’ve been considering this for nearly a week now, looking at some of my decisions after the brain injury through the prism of this new information. Following the brain injury, the doctors were, in all fairness to them, remarkably honest about their lack of knowledge about how exactly my brain injury would affect me. But one thing no-one ever even mentioned was my its effect on my mood, and if the way I interpret events is flawed, then might this not have consequences on my mood? Might they both create and reinforce the other in a circle of negativity. By no stretch of the imagination have I been Mr. Jolly since the brain injury, but equally I wasn’t always before it either.
It was just never this long lasting, seemingly continuous and all pervasive before. I know that it seems odd when its written down, but I can’t remember what it feels like to feel calm, relaxed or at ease with oneself. I mean I know I must have felt that, I just don’t know how it felt, and worse still, being resigned to never feeling that way again. I hasten to add that I’m not in a state of perpetual anxiety all the time, but more that….okay, here goes. You know the feeling you have when you’ve said to yourself you need to remember to do something but you forget what it was, but know you’ve forgotten what it was? It’s a bit like that. All the time.
So if my interpretive faculty is flawed, and I know it, it seems wholly sensible that I factor this in from now on, and so for 2020 I’ve resolved to try and be less previous me about things and more, well, more.
Well it makes sense to me and that’s the main thing, but how long it lasts for is another. But thankfully, if you’re reading this on New Years Day morning that is, I’ll be paying the price for being champagne-tastic last night so my resolve once I’m awake and had some tea…