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Procrastination and Other Demons

procrastination

It was one of those ugly days. My Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms were maxing out. The viral infection I had picked up made it hard to breathe. My partner was at an appointment, and I had no shoulder to lean on. I was unmotivated to do anything that required more thought than needed to boil an egg.

And it was column deadline day.

Feeling like I can’t write the column and being unable to write are very different things. Sorting out the hesitation to engage in motor action from apathy is complex with PD. Like most PD symptoms, there is not a “one size fits all.” Taking the time to determine the differences helps me avoid the cyclic trap of feeling as if I can’t engage.

I work on this every day, always trying to show up where I am needed. Because I do, people comment on how good I look.

“You are an inspiration to us all,” is said as a compliment. I nod and smile, not knowing how to respond. I look at my life and see those things that I try to do. It takes physical and mental effort, and sometimes what I want to do is difficult to achieve. “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration,” Thomas Edison said.

Procrastination prevents people from turning vision into reality.

The wellness map is folded on my dresser, and sanctuary is just beyond the drawn curtains. There are days when I don’t have the energy for them. It’s not procrastination. Fatigue and pain add to an ugly day, making it difficult to accomplish tasks. I work on letting go of the voice that says, “You’re a bad person because you are not getting things done.” I replenish my thoughts with the voice that says, “Let it go. You will have better days.”

I also have lucid moments, and those are precious to me. I give myself permission to treat the difficult days with as much reverence as I give to the good moments. I also know that my wellness map used with sanctuary will decrease the number of bad days and increase the frequency of lucid moments. It opens the possibility for well-being moments.

I know I should get off the sofa and engage, but there are times when I’d rather put it off until tomorrow. I’d rather do something tied to more immediate gratification. This is procrastination. It can become a habit as easily indulged as eating chocolate or surfing through cable television.

We justify “putting off today what we can do tomorrow.”

“It’s too hard.”

“My emotions are blocking progress.”

“I want to avoid the pain of doing this.”

“I need comfort, not to take risks.”

The most common cause is a somnolence of mind induced by procrastination. Finding the passion, purpose, and meaning to act is incompatible with procrastination. Those who procrastinate are filled with ideas of how the world should be, yet leave the fire in the belly without fuel.

Maybe next time someone will say, “You’re a perspiration to us all.”

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Procrastination and Other Demons appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Making Meaning of It All

well-being

Wellness map in hand, I pass through the fog of conflict that is my life and agree to enter sanctuary. I surrender myself to experiences of bliss and well-being.

Caressed by calmness, the fog has lifted. Like a crisp fall day, the colors are vibrant and the view breathtaking. In the distance is something not seen before. This is the destination toward which I must strive. It beckons to me, constantly whispering in my ear, “Come to me and discover what you need.”

It’s all making sense.

Our brains are wired to make connections. Not just neural ones, but associative ones. When we have a new experience, we associate it with memories of similar events. The further the new experience is from the known, the more difficult the association.

An experience that supports our well-being can be so different from any in our history that an association is difficult. It is so difficult that we procrastinate. “I can’t make sense of this, so I’m not going to do anything about it until I can.” It’s a cautious approach I’ve taken many times in my life. Eventually, I get splinters from sitting on the fence too long.

Greek philosopher Epicurus believed that happiness comprises friendship, freedom from everyday life and politics, and time and space to think things through. Epicurus would not advise spending money as temporary relief for a bad day. He would suggest taking time to reflect and contemplate.

Socrates had a different stance, as evidenced by his dictum: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates believed you should review and examine every aspect of your life to get the best out of it. A life bereft of meaning and purpose lacks action guided by that purpose. Meaning and purpose are part of a healthy self-concept.

Making sense of a well-being moment can be challenging. They are often scarce, and we have little experience with them. But well-being moments always come with useful information. Without that, they are just “feel-good” moments.

Taking that information and turning it into wisdom for a lifetime requires wrestling with it, using it, and integrating it into life — use it or lose it. It helps to have an experienced guide. Teachers of mystic traditions suggest mentoring in a sanctuary as one way to assist in the meaning-making process.

How we make sense of everything is vital to our movement forward, against the challenges, the setbacks, and the frailty that we encounter. Making sense of it gives us meaning and purpose throughout our journey with Parkinson’s disease, and the rest of our lives.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Making Meaning of It All appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Making People Laugh In Spite of Life’s Circumstances

Lee Ridley, humor

Sherri Journeying Through

Everywhere you turn these days there is so much negativity. It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that there are some encouraging stories out there. These are stories of people who have fought fear while battling their diseases and are winning the battle. People who have taken their negative circumstances and responded in such a positive way that they’ve brought hope to others. People who have been the brunt of jokes because of their disabilities and who have become an inspiration for others.

One such man has become an inspiration to others around the globe. His name is Lee Ridley. Some readers may be familiar with him, as he was the latest winner of “Britain’s Got Talent.” The stand-up comedian is also known by his stage name, “The Lost Voice Guy.” What makes Lee unique in winning the final spot is that he has cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture, and he is mute. Diagnosed as an infant, he uses Lightwriter, a speech-generating device that enables him to speak to his audience.

Lee has worked in several positions where he has been able to use his master’s degree in online journalism and his undergraduate degree in journalism.

While I watched the final show of “Britain’s Got Talent,” I was laughing out loud at his act, and when he won, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen such a winsome smile come across anyone’s face as the smile that came across Lee Ridley’s face at that moment.

As a young boy, it’s likely that he had to fight off smirks and scoffing, teasing and taunting, and then through the teen years he may have been the brunt of immature jesting and joking. He had to learn to buck up, tighten his bootstraps, and keep moving forward. The young man he has become has undeniably made a difference in his world and the world as a whole.

Where so many would have resorted to self-pity, he looked for a purpose. Where others might have felt consumed by darkness, he found light and moved toward it. He refused to give up, or give in, and he did it by taking his imperfections and using them to make the rest of the world laugh. And if laughter is indeed the best medicine, Lee Ridley is healing people everywhere, one joke at a time.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s Disease. 

The post Making People Laugh In Spite of Life’s Circumstances appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today

Despite Parkinson’s, I’ve Found Purpose in My Little Boy in Blue

purpose

Sherri Journeying Through

It feels like I have no purpose.

Ideas climb inside my head and instead of taking root so that I can grasp them and hold them captive in hopes of putting pen to paper, they disappear like dead leaves lying on the ground; crisp, full of beauty, blown away by the first good gust of wind that breezes through my mind.

Which happens more than I’d like.

It’s frustrating.

When my meds kick in and my fingers obey ME (and not the dopamine-deficient brain inside of my head), my mind can still become distracted, previous thoughts shoved aside, waiting for another aforementioned gust of wind.

After the wind dies down and I remember I was telling myself I have no purpose, the back door opens to the sounds of a little boy in rubber boots and a boy-blue raincoat.

He’s ready to go play. And jump in puddles. And make brownies. And clean the shower with his own spray bottle. And have a stuffed animal pillow fight. And look for acorns and watch the squirrel take the acorns we leave for him atop the fence. And “Hi-Yah” plastic bucket towers. And watch “Special Agent OSO.”

(Courtesy of Sherri Woodbridge)

And suddenly I realize just how much purpose I have. And somehow, I can do it — care for this little grandson of mine — with or without this little monster that lurks inside and insists that no one wants to bother with me anymore, for I can be a bother, a burden.

I can’t do this, and I can’t do that, and it’s … frustrating.

So very frustrating.

I must repeat words. Constantly.

I must go slowly. With everything.

Or so it seems.

I can’t busy myself with the many wonderful chores or talents or projects that my friends can.

But you know what? It’s OK. Those things are no longer my purpose. And while sometimes I long for the previous pleasures of painting, leading children’s choirs and women’s groups, driving on field trips, teaching Bible studies, and more, I do have a purpose. A most wonderful purpose.

That little boy in blue.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s Disease. 

The post Despite Parkinson’s, I’ve Found Purpose in My Little Boy in Blue appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today