Sometimes the Answer’s Staring You in the Face

Yesterday I posted all about how distressed I was that I wasn’t reading more. I just didn’t have the time! Something else was going to have to go! I needed to make drastic life changes to make sure I started upping the number of books I read! I really felt upset about it, and so I blogged those frustrations out.

It took all of about two minutes for one of my many wonderful friends to point out the solution: Audiobooks. (Thanks, Nissa! That’s why you’re the president, and I’m the president of vice. Or . . . something.)

I’ve had all sorts of other things I need to get done other than reading, which is why reading hasn’t been getting done. But because I was so set on looking at reading in a “face in front of book, can’t do anything else” light, I missed the great opportunity to multitask. So I went on Overdrive before I left work yesterday, downloaded a book (Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys) and listened to it on my way home and then while I worked on cleaning the house. I’ve now listened to 47 minutes of it.

And there was much rejoicing.

I love me some multi-tasking. I like a clean house, but I hate the time it takes for me to do it. I like having exercised, but I dislike how it takes a chunk out of my life each day. But if I can clean and exercise AND read at the same time? Suddenly I feel like a model of efficiency, and so it becomes a lot easier to do both.

Of course, this all leads me to another thought: that the ability to take advice from others is a learned trait. There’s so many times when we could improve our lives if we just listened to what other people had to say. Of course, the trick is that a fair bit of those other people have no clue what they’re talking about. So it’s not like you can go around listening to everybody, ya know?

I’d like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at taking advice. Or at least listening to advice and then evaluating if it’s advice that’s helpful to me or not. I remember when Denisa and I were expecting TRC. We were really worried about having our first baby. How would we manage it? How could we be sure not to mess things up? There were tons of books written on the subject, tons of opinions expressed to us. A lot of the advice conflicted with other advice.

We came across the Babywise series. Some of our close friends vouched for them. We read them. I remember the books saying essentially, “If you follow this method, you will constantly be told that you were blessed to have such well behaved children”–that people would all attribute it to luck or genetics or whatever. It was basically promising that our kids would be awesome. We both thought it sounded like a good approach, so we stuck to it. It’s worked wonders for us. And yes, many people have told us exactly what the book said they would tell us. Is it because the book was right, or were we really just lucky? Frankly, I don’t really care. I just care that my kids are awesome. 🙂 I do know that following the advice of the book wasn’t always easy, but we did it even when some people said it was stupid–because that’s what we believed we should do.

I don’t know. This post is kind of derailing. But I’ll end up with a cooking analogy. Another friend mentioned that people always tell her how great her cookies are and wonder how she can make them so good. She always says she just follows the recipe. She doesn’t make any substitutions. Doesn’t cut down on the butter or the sugar or the chocolate chips. Just follows the recipe. Sometimes, I think life’s a lot like that, too. Find a recipe, and follow it.

The trick is finding a good recipe.

For today, I’m just happy for my blog, for the powers of the hivemind, and for the fact that I can get back to my reading roots. Thanks everybody!

2 thoughts on “Sometimes the Answer’s Staring You in the Face”

  1. I made a similar realization near the end of last year. I hadn’t been reading nearly enough — I probably read between five and ten books last year (not counting drafts I read in writing group.) So I started downloading audiobooks from It also helped that Amazon Kindle and Audible introduced synching between ebooks and audiobooks, so I could listen while running in the morning and while commuting, and then continue with the same book on my Kindle at lunch. So far this year, I’ve listened to/read more than a book a week.

  2. Yeah–it’s been helping me a ton already. I love the feeling of getting multiple things done at the same time.

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