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Don't you hate it when circumstances beyond your control force you into thrashing about either mentally or physically (or both) in an effort to find some way out of a current bad situation?
I'm in just such a pickle today.
My health has been steadily deteriorating for 20 years or so already. But when actual blindness seems imminent, that's pretty much where I personally get to feeling somewhat alarmed.
For there's not much worse which can happen to a man than to feel like he might become helpless, and unable to take care of himself and family-- or even work at all anymore.
I guess it'd be slightly better if I were rich, and didn't have to worry about paying my bills once I can no longer earn a living. But of course I'm not rich...!
To see some details of my worst problems at the moment, you can read My first cataract operation and My first cataract operation follow-up: blow out.
I'd managed to squeak by over past decades via mostly self-employment, which helped some in regards to what forms of incapacitation my health problems inflicted upon me in the later years.
The emergence of the internet has helped somewhat in this regard as well. Allowing me to minimize some medical expenses and mitigate some problems via my own online research. Plus make a little more money too.
Unfortunately, no matter what I've done, I've never managed to do more than merely scrape by. Yes, a few times I enjoyed some brief spikes in income. But knowing my life the way I do, I socked it all away into savings for the lean times. For lean times have always made up 99.99% of my days. From my teenage days up through the present.
And all of that happened when I could more or less function like a normal healthy person at least eight hours a day, seven days a week.
That's all changed now. Hopefully not for the rest of my life; I do aspire to returning at least to the level of work capacity I possessed only a couple months ago, before my first cataract operation. But it could also be that I'm now headed into a steady decline from which there is no escape. This prognosis comes from my eye doctor.
I'm doing everything I can in daily life to be as healthy as possible-- despite my doc insisting that diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle won't help me one iota in regards to my eyes.
I'm legally blind in my left eye now, due to the cataract. Only days before the blood vessel burst in my right eye, my doc was giving me the go ahead to get surgery for my left eye too. I've delayed that operation at the moment, to see what a retinal specialist has to say about my right eye in a few days.
I've been forced to thrash around in regards to major life decisions before of course, like most everyone else. The first several times (in your youth) are maybe the worst. After a while you tend to take such things more in stride-- although they never cease to be stress-filled, and possibly downright painful.
Often it seems it'd be very helpful if the universe would give you a clear sign of what new direction to take, when that next proverbial fork in the road shows itself. But that seems to almost never happen. That is, you DON'T get an interesting new job offer on the heels of losing your current job. You DON'T meet someone capable of distracting you from the recent loss of your significant other. You DON'T have a ‘eureka' moment of a great new idea to replace your latest entrepreneurial experiment, when it lands with a thud.
No, usually you can do little more than flop around helplessly like a fish out of water, while you desperately try to figure out what to do next.
In my own case of the moment, I've been trying to re-evaluate everything I've done over the past several years. Trying to figure out either a new direction or set of new priorities, which might help me better adapt to my changing circumstances.
But I keep coming up short. For how will I do anything at all if I'm blind?
So I've basically dismissed that scenario, and focused on one where I retain some useful level of eyesight, even if much diminished from what I have even at present (agh!).
But there too I'm at a loss. If my vision requires a drastic curtailment of my online writing and artistry, the logical alternative would be to move to working offline instead.
But there too my diminished vision presents big problems. Maybe even bigger problems offline than online. For offline work would require me to travel more, for one thing. And traveling isn't recommended for the vision-impaired.
Plus, my vision problems would impede pretty much any type of job I'd otherwise be qualified for.
Then there's my other health problems. Being semi-blind makes it tougher to deal with just about every aspect of life and work. And traveling merely multiplies the difficulties involved.
So maybe I should continue working online?
Unfortunately, I was barely making it that way even when I could see better than now, and put in 8-14 hour days, six to seven days a week.
How will I make it if I can only output a fraction of that now?
One option would be to focus more on the revenue-generating aspects of my site. The most popular ones, that is.
But I've been trying to determine that for years now, to little effect.
The truth is, virtually no pages on my site have ever stood out from the rest as being significantly more popular than the others. They all tend to be about the same. Especially over the long term, traffic-wise.
I've made tremendous efforts to change that fact. But nothing I do seems to affect it.
So there's definitely no clear indication there as to what to focus my reduced resources on. Agh!
One of the things I did in recent years was a lot of wild online experimentation. Or at least it seemed wild to me. Like divulging lots of real-life auto-biographical stuff in my supercar stories -- as well as hazardous road war gear inventions-- some of which could theoretically cause me problems with the law. Yikes!
I also wrote up some real-life hacking stuff-- but took it offline again after 9-11-01, when scary laws started getting passed by Bush and Congress in regards to such things.
I've made some stabs at creating all new models of e-commerce for authors like myself online. But as experienced entrepreneurs know, creating all-new models is the very opposite of what 99% of successful entrepreneurs do: you're supposed to be a copy-cat of models already proven successful, instead.
However, not possessing any of the things necessary to be successful as a copy-cat, I've tried being original anyway.
I've experimented in other risky ways as well. But so far nothing has caught fire in terms of web traffic.
So even at this juncture, when I could really use some indication of what to focus my remaining capabilities upon, I'm coming up empty.
Therefore, at present, I seem to have no other alternative but to simply continue doing what I have been-- only at a much slower pace. And continue to keep my eye out for news on the net of any new opportunities which might show themselves.
And hope I don't go completely blind, before medical science (and my dwindling funds) can offer me a remedy.