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YP Perspective: Keeping Things in Focus

Posted by: Pulse Young Professionals on Monday, March 16, 2015
At the beginning of February, I went to the optometrist for a general, recommended check-up. They did some testing and asked some questions, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. My optometrist is a great communicator and I generally also consider communication to be one of my strengths; however, it took me until I was sitting in a chair being asked which type of frames I wanted to realize that my era of having perfect, unaided 20/15 vision was over. I had begun noticing subtle changes in my vision after a few months of working  around 40 hours a week primarily on the computer so I had done some research and made some changes to my work habits. I still didn't think I would need glasses. There's nothing wrong with glasses, but I just thought that I had a little while longer before I’d need to worry about (and pay for) another thing. Since apparently I had become nearsighted while continuing my ongoing struggle with putting in eye drops, now I have "hipster" glasses. Despite my reluctance, putting on the new glasses for the first time to watch “Wicked” from the Peace Center balcony was amazing: the difference in clarity was like the contrast between late afternoon and sunset lighting. How much had I been missing because my eyes weren't focusing properly? Despite my naïve understanding of how vision works, I couldn't help but wonder if the many times I had spent scrolling on my phone had contributed to my new relative inability to see things much further away than my hand. The first week of having glasses for driving and long-distance viewing really made me think about clarity, priorities, perspective and the importance of focus throughout life. My thoughts returned to the recent front page story of the Greenville News about people suffering from painful “text neck”.   I appreciate texting and my iPhone as much as anyone else, but is the convenience worth suffering prolonged physical pain? In which other areas of my life do I need to regain a healthier perspective and potentially change my priorities and actions accordingly? I am still working to figure that out, and perhaps my quest can inspire your own. Some Food for Thought: -Do you pay attention to the people right next to you in a way that reassures them that they are more important than whatever is on your phone? -When you get frustrated about another person's actions, do you step back to consider their point of view and use this insight to steer respectfully towards the best possible outcome? -Choose one thing that you’ve wanted to do for a while. Could you rearrange your schedule to make it happen in 2015? -Do you have a clear understanding of exactly how your role at work supports the company mission? If not, could you start a conversation to gain clarity (and the motivation that often accompanies this type of clarity)? A great perspective re-setter paraphrased from Cameron Diaz: "It's tough getting older, but it sure beats the alternative." About the Author: Jessica Pate is the Executive Assistant to the CEO of American Leprosy Missions (, a nonprofit that works internationally to cure and care for people affected by leprosy. Jessica is a 2013 graduate of Furman University and holds degrees in Communication Studies and Sociology. She loves attending Greenville's many festivals, hiking, running half-marathons, mentoring through Mentor Greenville ( and traveling as much as possible on a twenty-something's budget. Jessica serves as the Blogging Lead and Young Professional Expert for the PULSE marketing committee.


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