Parkinson’s: Another Day

“Step by step, moment by moment, we live through another day.” Anne McCaffrey

I just try to understand that tomorrow is another day.” Bob Dylan

Introduction: The singer-songwriter James Taylor and I have some common bonds. Although James Taylor was born in Boston, MA, he grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His father, Dr. Isaac Taylor, was the Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1964-1971. Several years later, in 1982, I began my postdoctoral fellowship at UNC-CH in the School of Medicine, and I have now lived in Chapel Hill for ~40 years. Interestingly, my office is currently located in the building that carries his father’s name, Issac Taylor Hall. Thus, many thousands of people live in Chapel Hill and work at UNC-CH who can make this same claim of commonality to James Taylor.

“The secret of my success is that I always managed to live to fly another day.” Chuck Yeager

James Taylor, the Singer-Songwriter: Taylor has had a long and successful career, numerous hits, and albums. I have most of his older albums (OK, CDs), and they all follow the same trend of his melodies being direct and straightforward, and his lyrics meaningful and sometimes very moving. The song “Another Day” seems typical of James Taylor. Here is one of the nice and moving passages, where he sings, “Another day, / another chance / That we may finally find our way. / Another day, the sun has begun / To melt all our fear away. / Another day, another day.” According to Songfacts, Taylor said in a Reddit AMA interview: “‘… It definitely illustrates coming out of a very trying time. And was helpful to me, too.” (Click here).

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” Stephen Hawking

Another Day for Those with Parkinson’sWithout sounding bitter or unthankful, there are aspects to life with Parkinson’s that occasionally you just want to get through to another day. Currently, there is the unknown of COVID-19 infection that Parkinson’s brings with one to either increase the risk of getting the viral infection or worsen the outcome. And the usual knowledge that Parkinson’s is considered both chronic and progressing. From this perspective, daily life can sometimes require the strength of stability, the courage of will, and the wits to know that, yes, another day will follow the current one, just keep the present steady course. So the words from James Taylor serve to steady one’s nerves and solidify our stance for life, “Another night has gone, / life goes on, / Another dawn is breaking. / Turn and face the sun, / One by one, / The world outside is waking.”

“Sure, good things can go badly wrong. Nevertheless, there’s always another day.” Joanna Lumley.

Mindfulness of the Present Moment Versus the Promise of Tomorrow: It is always easier to say this, write it out, but in reality, staying in the present moment is just better than fretting about what has just happened and trying to anticipate what is going to happen next. Or in other words, “Taking life as it comes, mindful to remain in the present moment is so vital to thriving (and living) with Parkinson’s.” (Frank C. Church) However, looking at it from the song’s perspective, another day is also a good thing, “Morning light has driven away all / The shadows that hide your way. / And night has given away to / The promise of another day.” (James Taylor) Thus, the key is to keep going, trying your best to stay ahead of your disorder, doing whatever you can to respect your own priorities over the burden named Parkinson’s that lives within us.

Lyrics to Another Day by James Taylor
Wake up Suzy, put your shoes on,
Walk with me into this light, oh,
Finally this morning,
I’m feeling whole again,
It was a hell of a night.
Just to be with you by my side,
Just to have you near in my sight.
Just to walk a while in this light,
Just to know that life goes on.

Wake up Suzy, put your shoes on,
Walk with me into this light.

Another night has gone,
Life goes on,
Another dawn is breaking.
Turn and face the sun,
One by one,
The world outside is waking.
Morning light has driven away all
The shadows that hide your way.
And night has given away to
The promise of another day.

Another day, another chance
That we may finally find our way.
Another day, the sun has begun
To melt all our fears away.
Another day, another day.

Oh, wake up Suzy, put your shoes on,
Walk with me into this light.

Writer/s: BLUEY ROBINSON, JAMES TADGELL, JONATHAN JAMES CLARE, TRE JEAN-MARIE, VANYA TAYLOR
Publisher: BMG Rights Management, Songtrust Ave, Spirit Music Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

“Make treating yourself a priority and always remember your life is happening now. Don’t put off all your dreams and pleasures to another day. In any balanced personal definition of success there has to be a powerful element of living life in the present.” Mireille Guiliano

Cover Photo Image by RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ from Pixabay

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