“We are each on our own journey. Each of us is on our very own adventure; encountering all kinds of challenges, and the choices we make on that adventure will shape us as we go; these choices will stretch us, test us and push us to our limit; and our adventure will make us stronger then we ever know we could be.” Aamnah Akram
Hope: It matters that we remain hopeful because life frequently takes a positive twist at a moment’s notice. We are at a turning point for major advances in treating and understanding Parkinson’s. My hope is further fueled every day from reading blogs and news releases about this disorder. We must stay the course, treat our symptoms proactively, and use this hope to try to stymie the expected Parkinson’s progression.
“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson
Adversity: The road ahead will not get easier; however, no matter how difficult the future becomes, we can meet it headlong to accept the challenge. We will learn much about ourselves as we experience adversity, and we can still thrive and live better from its aftermath. Keep active mentally and emotionally, and stay physically strong as we’re able. This new-life force will ease our travels through the adversity.
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we truly are.” Arthur Golden
Awake each morning: Each new day renews our life, our contract to keep living. Strive to live-forward, and always remember that we’re still in the driver’s seat of our world. Live decisively even as we accept the problems from Parkinson’s. Most definitely stay you, each and every (future) day in your life.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius
Joy: Remind yourself on a daily basis what brings you happiness. Whatever it is, find that place, and go there each and every day. It may be athletic endeavors, work, bird watching, morning coffee, sunrise/sunset, reading a book/newspaper, loving your grandchildren; what matters most is that it makes you happy.
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joseph Campbell
Strength and courage: We need strength, courage and confidence to live with Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, our symptoms may vary somewhat each day but Parkinson’s will never take a vacation. Don’t give in to the wickedness that lurks with Parkinson’s. Our daily experiences will allow us to gain momentum, and we will be ready to face the changes brought on by Parkinson’s.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Hope and love: Use hope and love to provide answers and relief, especially when your confidence diminishes. In these difficult moments, that’s when you count on the people you love to come to your aide. Through their support and love, they will enable you to restore your hope in the future.
“No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.” George Chakiris
Mindfulness, contentment, and gratitude: “Embracing mindfulness helps you stay centered on the current moment, contentment allows you to be less worried about what’s missing, and it’s always important to remind yourself to be grateful.” (https://journeywithparkinsons.com/2015/05/18/contentment-gratitude-and-mindfulness/ ) Changing your mindset to incorporate all three into your daily life will release your stress, rejuvenate your heart, and clearly make your day more manageable.
“People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Hope resides within the adversity of Parkinson’s: With or without Parkinson’s, we will have good and bad mornings, afternoons, and/or evenings. Life happens. For me, my daily life includes many simple goals: staying ‘big’ in my “LSVT BIG” PT exercise program (and keeping my PT’s happy); smoothly shifting the 6 gears of my car (yes, it has a clutch); planning several new medical school lectures for the fall; cleaner razor shave-face; hitting a golf ball better; being more mindful; folding clean clothes sooner; and sleeping better/longer. You get it, a sampling of my daily list of things to accomplish. We each have our own meaningful list and daily goals to achieve. This is the day-to-day strength we require, our need for hope and courage to manage the annoying routine-life adversities from Parkinson’s.
However, I truly believe that our current-future life with Parkinson’s will rely on hope, strength, courage, joy and love outweighing the adversity and challenges ahead. It is crucial to stay focused on each day from start to finish. Certainly, our life-barometer may occasionally vary, try to stay firmly committed to a positive life.
Always remember, your life matters now with Parkinson’s as much as it did before Parkinson’s. Stay hopeful as you navigate adversity, stay you in spite of your Parkinson’s.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” Helen Keller
*Cover Picture Credit: http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-kkSZ2wZ/A by Trey Ratcliff