There is a sense of relief that comes with the unfolding of a new year. It’s a chance to start fresh and leave behind all of the acquired regrets, hesitations, and struggles from the previous year. As I enter into 2018, I still have the same responsibilities; I continue to study for my board exams and complete my didactic education as an optometry student. What I hope to change in this new year is my attitude toward these same obligations.
One thing we are repeatedly told at the Illinois College of Optometry is that our goal as clinicians is not to get every patient down to 20/20 vision. Instead, we are lectured the phrase ‘20/happy’. Essentially, this means our complex patient base tells us what type of vision they would like to leave our exam room with. As long as our patient is happy, safe, able to get through their day with comfortable vision, and has their entering complaint fulfilled, we have done our job. 20/20 is not a requirement, but rather a goal only some patients can obtain.
I tend to bring that phrase to life in every aspect of my day, especially while in school. Not everything needs to be a perfect. Every day is balanced differently. The majority of some days are focused on family, while others are focused only on my education. I am not always the perfect student, daughter, sister, or girlfriend every single minute of every single day, and that is okay. I get to direct what type of outlook I want to leave each day with. Perfection is not a requirement this year; I am only setting goals that are attainable for me.
My goal for 2018 is to leave each day happy, grateful, and fulfilled with the decisions I make and experiences I am presented with. If I just so happen to strike the 20/20 jackpot one day, that will only increase my positivity- not be the sole source of it. I hope to find a balance I am content with, leaving some things out of focus this year. Keeping to this mantra will only make me better and more level-headed.
The term 20/20 means that a patient can see the same line of letters at 20 feet that a patient with normal vision can see at 20 feet. So, at 20/100, a patient has to be 20 feet away from a line of letters in order for it to be focused, but a patient with normal vision can see that same line of letters perfectly clearly 100 feet away. The point is, no matter where you stand, you need to be content with the clarity of the view when it’s all said and done.
To all of you out there striving for perfection with the light of a new year upon us, it may be more beneficial and efficient to put your focus toward getting to where you are ‘20/happy.’