Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things.
Those unforgettable lyrics, penned in 1965 by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the Sound of Music, list a plethora of items and experiences that house an instantly recognized feeling: joy. It’s as essential to one’s well being as food and shelter, and it can come to us through large gestures or seemingly insignificant objects.
We may be somewhat removed from the era of syrupy musicals, but the lyrics in this iconic song still feel relevant. Looking to the small joys and easy moments of happiness in our everyday lives is one of the most important things we can do for our self care. Recognizing the objects we associate with happiness, growth, change, and sadness move are also essential; these talismans tell us about ourselves, our personal timeline, and our relationship to the world around us.
Speaking of our relationship to the world around us, we can’t figure that out without understanding how we’re perceived by other people around us (we’re not saying you necessarily need to care, but it helps to know, right?). How we present ourselves affects the impact we have on other people, their reception to our ideas, and their interactions with us. This self-presentation (or curation if it’s something you’re carefully assembling) extends from your personal hygiene to your clothes to…your eyewear. It’s the frames to the windows to your soul. It’s going to have an impact, whether you intend it or not.
As a lifelong glasses wearer, I can look to a long history of school pictures depicting every version of myself through time. My pre-teens round spectacles take me to 8th grade, when I lived up to the perception of being “bookish” by perfectly acting and looking the part. In the years when I discovered my love of theater, film, and the performing arts, I happily wore oversized bone white glasses with tinted lenses. This look was full of drama and said, “Look at me and see me!” My early adulthood was a parade of glasses that were hardly discernible on my face, with rimless glasses and the thinnest of temples. Pretending your glasses are invisible: the young professional look of the 90’s.
Throughout the many iterations and looks, I know that my eyewear perfectly matched my emotions and my relationship to them at those times. Being an ECP (Eye Care Professional), it is my job to bring my awareness of this relationship to my clients and customers. How can you reflect your views of yourself and the world around you in your eyewear? When I am confronted with, “they’re just glasses,” I cringe. I’m baffled by this position. Especially when the person in front of me has clearly taken time to choose the “right” clothes, hair, shoes, or bag with very little attention to the most visible thing on their person. The very first thing other people see on their face is often the most neglected accessory. If, after a conversation with someone, it becomes evident that their glasses in no way fit their personality, it is my mission to resolve this dichotomy. Shouldn’t the accessory that helps you see help you communicate how you want to be seen? Why would you want to feel anything less than clear and confident when putting on your glasses? You don’t purposefully choose clothes that don’t fit in a style you hate to wear out in the world. Shouldn’t your face and your eyes get the best treatment possible?
We spend a great deal of energy, money, and time to identify and hone what brings us fulfillment and happiness. We make conscious decisions to seek out joy that helps to support our efforts of self care and preservation. There are towering industries devoted to caring for one’s self via massages and face masks and exercise, and we willfully click on all their social media ads. Despite all of the careful curation of joy, many miss one of the easiest things we can do for our happiness: choosing a pair of glasses that reflects who we are. It should be our goal to have a positive emotion when wearing them. We should be reminded of the feeling everytime we pass a mirror. It should be reinforced when we catch a glance of ourselves as we pass by a window or take a selfie. They can – and indeed, should – be a source of joy.
Throughout the years, I have witnessed the power of proper eyewear styling and the results it brings for the wearer. Standing a bit taller. Smiling a bit broader. A self confidence shining through. This may seem unrelated to something as “small” as one’s eyeglasses, but I believe it is directly attributed to that stance and smile. For me, it is inextricably linked to a positive outlook. A simple choice that supports a healthy perspective and truly supports self care.
Just as a few lines from an old musical that plucks at the heart, filling us with joy and fond memories, so should a drawer of old eyewear waiting to be donated for another person to experience the same joys they brought to you. Find your joy, pass it on, and show your true self to the world.