I used to love reading. Cuddling up on the couch with a good book – I just didn’t think it got much better than that. I soon found out it is the little things in life, like reading and holding an actual book in your hand, that could go away without notice. Leaving me high and dry – what in the world would I do for some valuable “me” time now?
And then I found Audible. I am certain that Audible has been around way longer than when it started to influence my life but I will be forever grateful that I stumbled across it. I don’t have to worry about my eyes skipping around and reading the exact same line 5 times because my MS eyeballs don’t focus. Which is exactly what began to happen to me and so also began my love for Audible books. I can literally plug in my headphones and get lost in a book for hours while simultaneously moving around the house as much as I would like (or wouldn’t like)! The only thing standing in my way is the, often unexpected, narrator’s voice. Sometimes it can be great, most times it is at least tolerable and other times, unfortunately, it will ruin a well-written book in the first five pages. But more times than not, I get lost in an audio book – the story, comedic response, drama or whatever I may find. It has given me back a part of me I thought may be gone forever. Okay, so maybe that is a little more dramatic then I intend, but I really do love having this piece of me back and within an earbud’s reach!
Which also started my love for Rachel Hollis. She is an intelligent, well-rounded and subtly hilarious author. She narrates her own books on Audible, which I feel like makes a huge impact on the way the story is received by the audience. She has such enthusiasm, wit and sarcasm in her writing that completely appeals to the person I am. One of my favorite quotes by her, and there are several, is “someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” I have never had a quote resonate with me the way this one does. Perhaps, its just the timing of it for me as I was going through some difficult MS stuff but I must have really needed to read that at that moment and I have been living that way since. I can remember the times where using my cane, or taking breaks while walking or talking used to have a profound effect on me. I would almost obsess about if I was walking with a slight limp or sounded too nasally when I spoke or I was way more tired than I should be at any point during the day for absolutely no reason to the outside observer. But now, I’ve come to appreciate these little reminders to breath, slow down and start again. The complications and frustrations of not being able to describe how YOU are doing at any given moment and to ensure people really “get it” are really only a teeny, tiny bit, of my entire life. I feel as though I have to constantly ask myself, why do you need people to understand? I am fully aware of my efforts and if I stray from putting out a needed effort, I am only disappointing myself. Period.
So, March is Optimism Month so it has been an opportune time to delve into some of this! I have always believed this is something we could all use more of in our life, optimism. Even with the struggles facing me in the last decade and a half, I have found that there is always something to help make things better. Maybe it’s something as small as hitting every green light while you are driving or a store re-stocking your favorite wine, but there is always something to smile and think positively about! My mom has always said to me that “this too shall pass” and I believe this has made me a more positive and optimistic person.
Every day is a new chance for new beginnings and outcomes and I choose to be hopeful and optimistic!