I was caught off guard recently. A happy occasion led to a revealing picture. Last week, my godson was awarded a Medal of Valor for his heroism as a Detroit police officer. I hopped a plane and joined family members attending the ceremony. Lots of photos were taken by each of us, but one taken by a professional photographer outside the ballroom grabbed my attention.
While it was a lovely memento, I couldn’t help but notice that I looked rather strange. My neck was stretched out awkwardly and my head was leaned back. Everyone else was squarely facing the camera, but I seemed to be straining up with my chin stuck out. Why was I standing like that?
Once I got back home, I put it together. I’ve been wearing progressive lenses for long time but for the past six years I’ve sat in front of my computer for hours at a time. I teach college classes online and going through email messages, discussion posts, and assignments all day, I’d gotten into the habit of tilting my head back in order to find the right spot where I could see the computer screen clearly. Apparently I had been keeping up that position even when not sitting at my computer.
A few months ago I bought my first pair of computer glasses and was thrilled that I could see the entire screen clearly no matter which way I moved my head. That should give my neck some much-needed relief and allow me to look straight ahead. But apparently old habits die hard. Even though it’s no longer necessary, and even when I am not in front of a computer, I still was leaning my head back.
That’s how I came to be standing with my head in a strange position in that photograph. Honestly, I look like a crazy woman. But until I saw the picture, I wasn’t aware of what I’d been doing. Now I must teach myself to stand tall without tossing my head back. I’m going to have to unlearn the contortionist pose adopted to view a computer screen through progressive lenses. Oh, the adjustments (and un-adjustments) we must make as we age!