Simple Pleasures; The Gift

Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures.

A chill is in the air; cozy sweatshirts and soft sweaters are beckoning me, the warmth of hot cocoa entices me and the big, overstuffed chair in the corner of my studio invites me to curl up with a good book. It doesn’t get much better then this.

Life’s simplest joys, have always spoken the loudest to me; which is probably why this turn in the weather has more then invigorated me.. the cool breezes, are a welcome breath of fresh air that seem to be blowing all sorts of good things my way. I received an all too short visit from a dear friend last week, and while we were chatting she mentioned Richard Paul Evans new book: The Gift.

You see, I haven’t made the time to stay on top of book releases or to even delve into them for that matter. I once was an avid reader, but the luxury of free time has escaped me in recent years. I have this time consuming habit, of reading books in one sitting – I simply cannot tolerate waiting for the end. I need to know what happens, to stay immersed in the setting, to escape reality, without interruption. That obsessive trait of mine, is what has kept me from losing myself in the many inspiring worlds fiction offers these last few years.

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I was born with Tourette’s syndrome. If you’re like most people, you’re not sure what Tourette’s is but suspect it has something to do with shouting obscenities in public. You’d be about ten percent right.” – Richard Paul Evans, The Gift

Where were we? Ah yes, The Gift. This just may be the book, that inspires me to once again make the time to read. I have always enjoyed novels by Richard Paul Evans; they are quick, uplifting, and often touching reads. They leave me wanting to be a better person, live a happier life, and remind me to appreciate the small things I often overlook. They tend to show the power we have, to influence one anothers lives for the better. A welcome change of pace, from the often cynical outlook we take on… But this particular book — really speaks to me… in it “Richard Paul Evans shares with the world that he, like his book’s protagonist, also has Tourette’s Syndrome.”

I LOVE that! As a woman living with Tourette’s I instantly relate; and once I found the first chapter online, I found myself ordering it…. These excerpts, in particular… really spoke to me. The slight shift in my attitude as a result, has already started a creative frenzy in my brain.

“My last tic was in my hands, and even though it hurt, I still preferred it to a facial tic, because you can’t hide your face in your pocket.”

“People sometimes ask if my tics are painful. I invite them to try this experiment: blink sixty times in one minute and see how your eyes feel. Now do that for sixteen hours straight. I remember, as a boy, holding my face at night because I couldn’t stop it from moving, and it hurt. “

But more painful than the physical hurts were the social ones, like sitting alone in the school cafeteria, because no one wants to sit by someone making funny noises. The panicked look on a girl’s face when your own face is doing gymnastics as you ask her out. (Tics are usually exacerbated by anxiety, and if asking a girl out doesn’t make you anxious, what does?) Or being surrounded by every kid at summer camp, because they want to see what the freak will do next. There’s a reason I learned to keep to myself.

Not surprisingly, I read a lot. Books are the most tolerant of friends.

I cannot wait to see what this little gem of a book has in store. Already, I am reminded of how far I have come since being a child. I learned to trust in people, to stop trying to fit in. I learned to use the unacceptance i received, to accept others unconditionally. I am still a bit socially awkward at times, I still beat to the tune of my own drummer — but these are things I have come to treasure in myself; well, most days anyway. These are just some of the things, that make me – well, me.

How have you grown? What passions have you forgotten? What things make you – well, you?

Take a few moments to think on that today; shift your persepective – and see what creative juices start flowing through your mind too.


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7 Responses

  1. Hey Chrysti… I love your blog. I guess we are very much like minded.
    Please do check out my blog as well and let me know what you think.

  2. Beautiful work :)

  3. Wow. I find myself seeking out books where the main character isn’t in sync with his surroundings — I think because my son has a form of autism. He’s quite imaginative and social, but doesn’t always understand (or possibly care for) the social norms, so some of our interactions are a little on the bizarre side.

  4. Great post! Thank you for this very personal insight. I thought you were an amazing woman BEFORE I read this and now I KNOW that you are! You’ve inspired me to get back to my journal and ponder what makes me, ME and what passions I’ve forgotten….. thanks, friend! – vicki xo

  5. I have never heard of this book. I will have to get it! My son (now grown!) has Tourette’s. Whew! That is one hard way for any kid to have to grow up. He was lucky. Somehow he learned to control it pretty well – except of course when he got anxious, or scared, or was tired – and almost never when he was home and it was safe to tic away and squawk.
    My son’s neurologist said that I, as his mother, had one of the genes for Tourettes and pointed out many of MY obsessive gestures and obsessions.
    I too leave projects undone and then return who knows when to finish – but always because i am suddenly compelled….and most of my artwork is overwrought (in my mind) full of meaning and significance – even though not planned that way.
    ok. i’m rambling.
    you have a terrific and thought provoking blog.

  6. Thanks for the tip on the book, Chrysti, and for sharing the exerpts and your own reactions. Most of us so much for granted, and reading about what it’s like to live with a condition like this-not to mention rise above the difficulties, is inspiring. I find having a “thoughtful” blog does help slow one down and appreciate the little things.

  7. Just wanted to thank you for a book that sounds good,and being honest with your problem online. Your art is always fab even though I can’t respond often to everyone. It is a comfort for you to find a book that relates to a particular dilema, I just found HSP books for mine.

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