I Can See Clearly Now


Until this year, I’ve spent my life taking my eyes for granted.
In my thirties I had laser surgery to go from Coke-bottle glasses to no glasses.
I had both eyes done at the same time. After promising the receptionist that I was on my way home to rest, I returned to the office and watched with amazement as I saw further and further into the Prairie vista as the day went on.
(That was in the distant past when people had window offices on high floors!)
After years of problem-free vision, a few years ago, I had something called mono vision laser surgery to allow me to continue to see far with one eye, keeping the other eye for reading. The brain quickly adapts and once again, I was soon seeing well for both long distance and reading.
Then 2020 hit and in late January, Andrew and I went to a walk in clinic, me with a swollen right eye. I had something called a “chalazion”.
Ok, whatever…please give me some medicine.
The medicine didn’t work and not only did the chalazion get worse but I developed a stye in the same eye.
Ok, this is frustrating!
It went on for weeks but if there is anything more boring than hearing about someone’s minor ailment, I don’t know what it is, so I will fast forward to sometime in late February when at the emergency clinic at Toronto Western a very nice doctor took some sort of needle to the stye and that was that.
My eye quickly healed.
I was grateful for a short time and then I forgot about how very nice it is to have eyes that work and don’t hurt.
Months passed, with other things to get worked up about – not sure if you’ve heard, but there is a pandemic underway.
And then, last week, I woke up with searing pain to my left eye.
Great, just what I need! 
Later that day, the eye doctor told me I had a “corneal abrasion” that somehow had happened in the night because, apparently, I have dry eyes.
She gave me an assortment of drops and remedies and now, a week later, my eyes are perfect.
I am supremely grateful. Again. You may guess what I want to share about last week.
In the midst of the discomfort and frustration of having an eye that really hurt, the rather big and difficult things going on at PGB really didn’t matter. Well, sure, they did matter and I will share more about them in a later post, but several times in the week I thought, “Compared to how my eye hurts, this [fill in the blank] is not so bad.”
My question is: how come it is so hard to remember to have appropriate perspective when I am feeling my usual healthy, high energy self? Why does it take a sharp thud to earth, to remember that I don’t have to always be in high gear, striving to solve the next thing, as put so wonderfully by Mary Oliver in “Wild Geese”:


Perspective. These days, it really is everything. I wish us all plenty of it as this unusual year unfolds.

About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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