I was out with my husband today having a coffee in a local cafe. We were talking about a new project that I am working on. He turned to me and said, ‘You know, since you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s you seem to have more positivity and purpose in life.’ I had to agree he is absolutely correct!
I think perhaps when life is going smoothly and there are no new and significant challenges, that we can become complacent in life. We can roll along with our lives, not having to think too much about how and why we do things. Perhaps we go through our lives floating along with a lack of mindfulness, as everything may be quite ordered and ordinary.
Then along comes a diagnosis like Parkinson’s and our ‘normal’ ‘ordinary’ lives are suddenly thrown into disorder and chaos. For me, this diagnosis momentarily pulled me up short with the relative shock that confirmation of Parkinson’s brought with it. When I say ‘relative shock’ it is because I always felt that I would one day be diagnosed with it. I can’t logically explain why, but it was like a sixth sense that this would be my path.
But I digress…
As those of you who have followed this Blog for a while, will know by now, I have often referred to Parkinson’s as a gift. Strange as it may seem, it has given me so much and made me grateful for what I have in my life and for the people I share my life with.
It has indeed sharpened my focus and I have achieved more than I would have thought possible. My newfound purposefulness is a strong force within me and I live, not just in the moment, but with a determination to make the rest of my life count. To leave a legacy that means something and will carry on when I am no longer here.
Parkies has gifted me:
- A heightened ability with words, especially poetry.
- A determination to spend more time with my grandchildren.
- This Blog, which means so much to me and which, I hope, helps others with this condition.
- The ability to start a new project – which I never would have thought of pre-diagnosis – which will help children whose parents have suffered a significant health event.
- The completion of a project to change legislation which will benefit thousands of people in New Zealand.
- The confidence to share my story with Parkinson’s organisations here and overseas, with a view to helping others who can read about and identify what I have experienced and continue to experience.
- A determination to make the most of the years ahead, both for myself and for my husband.
- A sense of positivity about what I can do, which benefits not just myself but my husband too.
- A mindset which – for the most part – allows me to focus on the here and now, more than the future and relishing every moment I am given.
I wonder what positive ‘gifts’ Parkies has given to my followers? I would love to hear how others feel they have ‘benefitted’ from having this condition.
If we can focus on those positives and achieve so much more than we might have dared to imagine, then in the future we can look back on a life well lived.
A life of ‘Parkies, Positivity and Purpose’.