One big thing I’ve become very aware of since having Mr P is the need to be more grateful for the good things in my life…. All sorts of things like friends and family, all the small victories, everything that makes my life manageable and good.
One of the ‘in charge people’ fromthe wonderful PD FB page I belong to challenged us in December to think and write about what we were grateful for in 2016. I found that doing this activity really was worthwhile and I enjoyed the feelings of positivity and gratitude it brought. So much so, that I followed Angela’s advice and find time daily to sit and ask myself … “What are three things I am grateful for today?” Some times I write in my ‘gratitude journal’ and other times I just keep them in my head. I find that I am now looking for the positives more and not concentrating on the negatives so much. This is important for everybody, of course….not just those of us visited by Mr P. But as a very common symptom of PD is depression, it is a good way to stop those negative thoughts that invade out heads at times.
Here is what I wrote for Angela’ challenge:
This ‘challenge’ comes at a good time for me. I was struggling to write a list of things because every time I sat down to write, the family dramas that have taken up much of my time and energy the second half of this year (there have been days in the past month that I have felt like curling up into a little ball and hiding from the world) would poke their unwanted thoughts into my head. But then the realisation hit me…. Why was I writing this? Because I had been asked by a wonderful, supportive person from a fantastic FB group that I had stumbled across during one of my ‘can’t sleep’ moments. Yay! The first thing to be grateful for! Well, the first few things actually…. This group has made a difference to me as the posts are so ‘real’ – from providing thought provoking moments , to laughs and the odd tear – not to mention the smiles that Dave’s beautiful morning photos bring.
And then I thought- I’d better be grateful for the insomnia that comes with PD , because it has enabled me to become more proficient at surfing the net and especially helping my vocabulary . I have been playing Wordfeud when every known cure for ‘can’t bloody sleep again syndrome’ has failed but this has enabled me to strike up friendships with people from England, Denmark, Ireland, India and Sweden. Of course I have also met some drongos but at the stroke of a key ( or a few strokes if my meds have worn off) I can send them into cyberspace with ease .
Then there’s the, one time annoying, need for my body to want to wake up at 4.45 precisely every day for the past 6 months. Do you know that there’s a whole lot happening at that time of the day? Who knew? There are beautiful bird songs radiating from the trees and the most amazing colours lighting up the sky as a new day dawns. Then there are those few awesome minutes when you lie there and your body is completely still and ‘normal’ and for that moment you forget that you have Parkinson’s.
But I digress,
As soon as I started thinking positively, my list became easier to write.
Some great things happened in 2016 and I have a lot to be grateful for.
After months of negotiation and hard work from the wonderful people at Parkinson’s WA they started a Dance for Parkinson’s class in my town. This has been a lot of fun and I have met some lovely people and found that my ‘two left feet’ aren’t so bad after all. Speaking of left feet – I have discovered this year that I can do a lot with my left hand that I couldn’t do before! I can type , stir, mix, pour and clean my teeth with it! Still gotta keep practising my writing tho😜
I finished writing my children’s book with my two granddaughters. It is a child’s introduction to Parkinson’s . Called “Bobblehead Nanna” ( thanks kids!) it gave me an opportunity to talk frankly with my grandkids about what was happening to me and it was a beautiful experience.
I am grateful for my supportive family… My daughter Tash and my son Josh, and their partners, who keep me smiling . My three beautiful grandkids who are, of course, the best. My mum and two sisters who are always there when I need help. And my lovely man, Mick, whom I met two years ago and he’s still here supporting me and making me value myself as a woman who can still be attractive and womanly ( hard to put into words but you know what I mean).
I am grateful for all the support I received when I participated in the WA ‘Walk in the Park’ this year. I raised just over $2100 and my family and friends had a lot of fun walking around Perry Lakes.
I have my ‘earth angel’ Heather, my wonderful Parkinson’s nurse whose support and knowledge is priceless.
This year I also got the ‘creative bug’ and started making fairy houses and fairy night lights which have brought me a lot of pleasure and I have been able to sell some to start my fundraising for next year’s walk. It is really heartwarming to see the look of excitement and surprise as kids ( both little and big) explore these houses and jars and uncover hidden fairies and other surprises.
I started my Facebook page BobbleHead Nanna where I can talk about PD related stuff with those that may be interested and also share the things I make and sell.
So it seems that I am incredibly lucky in my life. I have a great support network, I have a life changing but not life ending condition and look forward to 2017 with positive thoughts.
cheers, have a great day whatever you’re doing and remember to find time to think about adding to your ‘grateful list’