This is an update on my adjusting to progressive trifocals. After six weeks of valiantly trying to get use to my new lenses, I had to return to my optician's office with my tail, glasses, and pride between my legs. I failed. I couldn't adjust to reading with my state-of-the-art glasses. Believe me, I tried. The incentive to adapt to them was strong. I wanted to be en vogue and to look young again. However, I just couldn't read with them, which defeats the very purpose of having glasses in the first place.

On my way to the optician's office to complain, I saw my eye doctor and told him that the progressive lenses were working regressively when it came to my reading with them. He suggested telling my optician that I wanted to replace the progressive lenses with "flat-35" lenses.

It has now been several weeks since I changed lenses. My adjustment to my new flat-35s is progressing well. This optical experience forced me to compromise. I wanted mod and youngish looking glasses, but the price that I had to pay was too high; I couldn't read. I wasn't willing to pay that price for mere vanity. The new lenses have a small line separating the bifocal from the regular lens. Actually, the line is hardly noticeable, and I can live with it. However, giving into vanity for readability was almost as difficult as adapting to the progressive lenses. I don't understand why compromising was so arduous for me. I have had to adjust to other issues related to aging: for example graying and thinning hair.

While working out on my stationary bike, I recycled within my mind this compromise issue. There I was sweating up a small storm trying to loose ten pounds of baby-fat that somehow settled around my waist over the years. For over a dozen years, I have tried to get back to a 32' waist. In that quest for the Holy Grail of youth, I have peddled more than 30,000 miles vainly attempting to get down to my fighting weight when I wore the clothes of a much younger man. I was again facing another one of those aging issues with which I'm seemingly unable or unwilling to come to terms.

Then it dawned on me. In my counseling practice, I deal with people who are terrible procrastinators. This inability to accomplish tasks on time often doesn't have to do with being lazy. In most cases, procrastination has to do with perfectionists that become overwhelmed with not be able to complete the job perfectly. They don't start the job because they know that it can't be done-perfectly. I talk to these people about working on a task even if it the best they can do is to get to seventy-five percent. After all, finishing three-fourth of the project is still better than accomplishing nothing.

Perhaps, if I practiced what I preached, I could cope with life a little better. In my attempt to be perfectly mod and young, I wound up not being able to read. I have been forced to compromise by not getting the most modern glasses so that I can read. My flat-35s aren't progressive lenses, but I need to be able to read. I half of a loaf is better than no loaf.

There is nothing wrong with trying to be the best you can be, but life doesn't often afford us the opportunity of being perfect when it comes to our looks, projects, grades, or success. Much of life is a compromise. However, compromise has a connotation of playing loose with right and wrong. This article isn't suggesting that you compromise with your moral values. However, I am suggesting that it is better to deal with imperfection than to blindly refuse to compromise while holding out for perfection. Obtaining part of the goal is better than obtaining none of the goal; approximation is better than nothing.

I'm adjusting to my new flat-35s. They aren't exactly what I had wanted, but at least I could read with them. I'm calling this a creative compromise. As for the ten pounds of baby-fat around my middle, I'm thinking about lyposuction if exercise doesn't soon work. If the lyposuction fails, I'll compromise again and settle for a 35' waist.