Be happy, be healthy, and be lucky

“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.” Richelle Goodrich

Classic Rock Band: “The Who” are on their 50th anniversary tour.  Unlike some of their peers (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles), Pete Townsend (guitar) and Roger Daltrey (vocals) have never been considered to be great musicians.  However, see the Who in concert and you will remember it always because it’s that great of a concert.  This week, they played in Raleigh, NC, and at the end, Daltrey bid the crowd farewell with, “Be happy, be healthy and be lucky!”  Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/on-the-beat-blog/article19219194.html#storylink=cpy

WhoHow does this quote relate to me with Parkinson’s?
It’s true that all three components of the quote contribute to a good life.
How do I compare myself to the rock band, The Who?
We’ve both been through a lot over the years, and while we’re both far from great (at music and science, respectively) we have  achieved a lot (clearly on a very different scale).

Be happy:
Life is fuller, better, and more complete when you’re happy.
Life is easier, better able to navigate and to see the future when you smile.
Yes, my life is complicated by Parkinson’s; I’m still able to work on science and teach, to love others, to play golf, and to cherish my friends and family.
I’m happy.

Be healthy:
I do consider myself healthy, the last three years have been frustrating dealing with issues related to my Parkinson’s.
Now on appropriate therapy and management, I’m doing a lot better.
Healthy is a matter of attitude, determination, leading to a focus of life events.
To remain healthy takes effort, we all have our ups and downs, but we rebound and return to the healthy person, that’s the hope, right?
Although I’ve got Parkinson’s, I’m still healthy.

Be lucky:
There’s an old sport adage that ‘it’s better to be lucky than to be good’.
In my life, I have truly been lucky in many things.
I’ve been blessed with an amazing academic career.
Have had the most talented students and post-doctoral fellows train in my research group.
My research has been funded by the NIH, American Heart Assoc, Komen for the Cure and other agencies.
Luck (taking advantage of the scientific observations), combined with hard work and determination, led to these funding situations.
I have had the great fortune to have received several University-wide teaching awards.
Health wise, I still consider myself lucky, because it could’ve been ALS, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s or some other terminal disorder.
I’m lucky.

Be hopeful:
Be happy, be healthy and be lucky.
if I add be hopeful, this becomes a life mantra for someone with Parkinson’s, or anyone that is fully engaged and loving their life.
To remain hopeful means I must stay happy, to fuel the fire of life.
To remain hopeful means I must stay healthy, live the right life, eat the right food, get enough sleep, exercise all the time, stay engaged, and I’ll be better.
To remain hopeful means I must stay lucky, a cure for Parkinson’s may happen tomorrow.
And to be aware that it may not happen within my lifetime, but I can hopefully contribute to help others in the future.

Be happy, be healthy, be lucky, and be hopeful!

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Abraham Lincoln

*Cover photo credit; http://www.peency.com/images/2015/01/19/riviere-jungle.jpg

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