2016. Another year for the books! I have been busy working on some exciting things for the Parkinson’s community, that I can’t wait to share with you all…. and yes, it does include unicorns eating frozen yogurt. But that has left me little time to blog the last couple of weeks. So please enjoy my post from last year and I am looking forward to a stellar 2017 with you all. Happy New Years!
As 2015 comes to an end, I find myself reflecting. Sitting on my couch in my flannel pajamas, holding a cup of hot tea. I can feel the warmth of my hot beverage radiating through my ceramic unicorn shaped mug (a gift from a dear friend, wink) as the scent chamomile fills the room. There’s a glow coming from my Christmas lights… I just don’t have the heart to take them down although the holiday has passed. Maybe I am hoping to hold onto the happy memories of the family and friends who I connected with during the season. My dog Crash is snuggled up next to me in a soft chenille throw blanket, recovering from our recent festivities.
I can hardly believe that another year has passed. It seems the older you get, the faster time moves. This becomes even more apparent when the reality of Parkinson’s disease is looming over your head. When you don’t know how much time you have left, you try to suck every moment out of every second that passes. I begin to reflect on the past year. My 2015 was crammed with all sorts of memories. I skimmed through my blog posts over the last 12 months. They include stories of life lessons learned. Happy and healthy times. The loss of friends and family. The deterioration of my health. Expanding my Wolfpack. Oh! And let us not forget… receiving awards and basically kicking PD’s ass.
Out of all these experiences, I think of what I would like to focus on for 2016. What New Year’s resolution do I want to make? Maybe trying to reduce my intake of frozen yogurt? Ha! Who am I kidding?! I could try to blog more… try to lose 10 lbs.… put money to my retirement account… prove that unicorns do exist… or better yet, find a cure for Parkinson’s!
Throughout the holiday season, I had the honor of spending time with friends and family. Most of our conversations were about catching up. Where we’ve been? What we have seen? Who did we meet? But this year’s parties and get-togethers felt unusually heavy. Many of my friends are struggling. Whether it be their Parkinson’s disease has progressed quickly, they’re having financial difficulty, their intimate relationships have become strained as PD strips them of who they used to be, or the grief of losing loved ones, I feel their pain.
I have this overwhelming feeling of helplessness. I wish I could take away their pain. Cure them of their disease. What’s even more upsetting is they’re deteriorating from the exact same thing that I have. Which leads me to thoughts such as, “This is what’s going to happen to me.” Now I wouldn’t be the Perky Parkie if I allowed myself to be dragged into the dark side of my mind. That is a hole that’s hard to pull myself out of.
So back to my New Year’s resolution… what do I want to resolve? What in my life do I want to find a solution to? I personally believe in being the best “you” everyday. No need to wait till January 1st to make changes. So that knocks losing 10 lbs off my list. As for the unicorn thing… well that will take time and equipment that I just don’t have. And lastly, I would love to find a cure to Parkinson’s disease, but that is turning out to be extremely difficult, so I will leave that to the scientists.
This leads me to a decision NOT to make a New Year’s resolution, but to instead make a New Year’s promise. The best thing I can do for 2016 is to continue along my same path. I can offer a Kleenex when someone is crying. Be an ear when a friend needs to talk. Give hope to someone who feels like it’s hopeless. Bring a laugh and a smile wherever I go. Continue to connect with other Parkies. Blog about happy, sad, ironic, and plain old goofy moments in my life. Share a hug when someone feels alone. I will acknowledge that I can’t fix everyone’s problems but I can promise I will still be here doing what I do…
May you have a happy and healthy 2016.
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