How To See In The Dark, or Move Past Your Limitations

A Slice of AnnyWorld:

Imagine that the sun set one day and never rose again.  That your nights took over your days, kind of like winter in Alaska. (Though they do have a couple hours of light each day.)  That you had to relearn how to do everything you took for granted before like brushing your teeth, or going to the grocery store.  This is what happened to my buddy, writer Beth Finke, the day her eyes stopped working.

What I admire about Beth is the way she uses her imagination to see in the dark. For example, putting toothpaste on a toothbrush when you can’t see it is impossible. (Try it. I have and can’t do it.) So Beth just squirts the paste in her mouth, and then brushes her teeth. Sounds simple, but not sure I would’ve thought of it.

Besides being a writer herself, Beth teaches  memoir-writing courses for senior citizens. Because Beth wants everyone to be able to read their assignments and get critiqued in every class, she limits their in-class reading to 500 words and five minutes.

Humans being what they are, her students would set the timer to ten minutes or whatever to increase their moment in the sun.  Beth caught on to what they were doing and put rubber cement on the ‘five’ so she always knew where it was on the timer.

Still, sometimes the people who read at the beginning would get more critique time.  She noticed some students would always sit next to her in order to go first.

To fix that problem she decided to give each of them a braille Scrabble letter so they’d go in alphabetical order, instead of by where they sat. Again she picked up on people grabbing the beginning letters of the alphabet to try to get more time, so now she often starts with ‘z’ or some other letter to discourage that behavior.

Because of her ingenuity, as well as her wisdom, Beth’s classes always fill up.

For more ideas on how to see in the dark, and overcome your own limitations, check out Beth’s Safe and Sound Blog.

How have you used your imagination to overcome your limitations?
Share with me via a comment on my blog, or a post on my Facebook page.

Purple Passion of the Fortnight

Purple Passion of the Fortnight


Destination of the Fortnight: Chicago, setting for Beth’s adventures


Posted in EmpowerGirlsOfAllAges, Imagination, Inspired Creativity and tagged , , by with 4 comments.


  • Beth says:

    What a thrill to be in AnnyWorld! I’ll be linking to this from my own blog later today, thank you so much for writing it. You make me feel good.

    • anny says:

      Beth, this post has moved many to write to me and tell me that they find you as inspiring as I do. Thanks for being a part of my world.

  • Judy Jensen says:

    Anny, I can certainly relate to living a new life within my limitations. A stroke five years ago left me partially paralyzed on my left side, and caused me to decide to retire completely from work. I missed the theater, concerts, opera, and arts events I enjoyed with friends in Chicago (it was just too much effort). Instead, I moved to a new community with more opportunity for socializing near home, joined a church, got on Facebook, and telephone back and forth daily with one of my friends. I still enjoy Netflix selections and a classical music radio station, as well as PBS TV. I have a prettier and larger condo in which to entertain friends, and I have learned to “take it easy” and enjoy my greater free time.

    • anny says:

      Judith, had no idea you’d had a stroke. So sorry to hear that, but am happy you found a way to craft a life you enjoy, and appreciate your sharing how you did that with me and AnnyWorld.

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