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I spent the day yesterday as a cock-eyed optimist. The optimist part was deliberate. The cock-eyed part was not.

I wear different contacts in my left and right eyes. My right eye is corrected for distance. My left eye does the heavy lifting up close. Yesterday morning I switched lenses. Oops.

Now, I’ve done this before. The little packages of disposable lens all look the same – particularly when I don’t have my glasses on. If I squint, I can see the 3.50 power that goes in the left eye and deduce that the remaining 1.25 goes in the right. But yesterday, I was rushing to get started on work, and I didn’t bother to squint. So I slapped the wrong lens in the wrong eye. And I didn’t notice my mistake for a quite long time.

Well, that’s not true. I knew at once my eyes felt strange. But I attributed it to dry-eye because I’d spent a long day the day before at the computer writing a brief, but complicated, brief for the California Supreme Court. (Yes, I did just use the world “brief” twice in the same sentence, once as a adjective and once as a verb.) So to counteract my “dry eye,” I grabbed the bottled water and started drinking. Pretty soon, I was counting the birds on the wall paper in the bathroom and wondering why my eyes still felt weird.

It was not until I walked into FedEx to leave my brief to be copied and bound around two p.m. that I realized my distance eye wasn’t working and my near eye wasn’t reading fine print. It felt weird, and the world looked weird, too. All at once too bright and too sharp but oddly fuzzy around the edges.

I was supposed to go to Costco for a major munch through of food samples and to buy household must-haves such as gigantic packages of paper towel and plastic wrap, but I dashed home and relieved my eyes of their cock-eyedness. Whew! Just in time, the world came back into focus when I switched the lenses.

This morning, I was super careful to get the proper lens in the proper eye. But I thought about yesterday. How many times in my life have I rushed to the conclusion I understood something, when in fact, I didn’t have all the information? How many times have I thought a situation was in focus when it wasn’t? Probably not often. I’m pretty cautious when it comes to drawing conclusions because of my professional training. But my eye experience yesterday reminded me that sometimes the universe is telling me to slow down and listen, something needs attention. Next time, I won’t wait all day to rearrange my contacts. And the next time my intuition says listen, I will.

The usual suspects.

The usual suspects.

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