This is the first post of a baker's dozen run (13) to celebrate my 100,000th hit. Be sure to check back daily for lots of good information on Parkinson's, as well as other positive posts!
I encourage you to follow my blog at THIS FACEBOOK PAGE as well as to FOLLOW this blog via staying in my Google Circle.
1. Last weekend, I moved to my next major goal in my writing / advocacy dream. Prior to Parkinson’s, I wrote my first books. They were supernatural stories, and I continue to write in the series they are a part of. As Parkinson’s began, I created this website. Nearly a year and a half into the process, I was picked up to write by the awesome folks HERE. Now, I have topped 100,000 views on my blog. Many of you are repeat visitors (THANK YOU!). Some of you are real life family and friends (THANK YOU!). Others swing by now and again or once and done (THANK YOU!). Not everyone gets my style or my references or viewpoints, but they still experienced them. Here, I try to keep my voice unique (though I am influenced by writers like Chuck Klosterman (I recommend Fargo Rock City and Killing Yourself to Live) and other personal reflection types who express ideologies from the personal / pop culture worlds, as opposed to the average health blogger).
I don't want to write things that don't have pizzazz or heart in them. It's my belief that you don't want to read that either. Anyone can (or at least should be able to say, "I have condition X." The question becomes, "How do you leave a bit of yourself out there for someone to feel and get?" If we can do that, then we haven't lost our true self, which our conditions try to take.
Kevin Hart, one of my favorite comedians, talked about the difference between a momentarily funny show and a show that stays with the audience. He had to learn the difference. Getting there is my goal, too.
In the end, all of you give and gave me the opportunity to make a difference. I am humbled.
2. From September 27, 2016, to today, June 14, 2018, I have witnessed the strength of others to grow in spite of tough times. I speak of this with regard to how my family and friends have responded to me having an incurable, progressively degenerative neurological disorder. Not only do they help push me to keep fighting, but they listen to me talk about serious medical side effects like a teenager might talk about an iPhone. Sometimes, that’s big and scary, but it’s amazing what people can do when the chips are down, and personal connection (love / friendship / coworker) are in the game. Mad props to all of you.
If you have people like this, thank them, too!
3. My friend Neil who operates A Taste for the Woods once made a quote to me regarding providing meaning and purpose to openly share our ideas everywhere we can. If it offers value, we should share this. I agree. He also talked about refraining from politics, which is often difficult, but I have “mostly” chosen to do this.
While many of us Parkies and our caregivers are impacted by the need for a solid healthcare option that doesn’t leave us and our families bankrupt, a clean natural world to explore and play in (be it national or city parks), and the right to a decent education for everyone, we all have different ideas about what that is. To me, I may see how politics and leaders have usurped these ideas to play partisan politics for empty causes, but I see them as basic human rights worth fighting for. Many of you do, too. Here, I may mention my feelings and leanings (a sensible middle compromise - I'm a John McCain guy), and I may not support your guy or gal, but in the end, I still respect you. Blind obedience is scary. Blind hatred is really scary, too.
With that, the news seems to be operating on a full-on incessant attack on 1 guy over and over. While I agree with many of those points (I don't support said person), I’ve reached a point where I no longer care to listen to the same attack journalism every day. For that matter, I now avoid lots of the news. There has to be a feeling that these writers care about something, not just hate everything. Because of this rabid, day in / day out hate-filled rampage, the responding day in / day out love fest creates an even bigger partisan divide.
Oh, and it turns the hate media into Chicken Little, hurting their causes.
My advice: be bigger than this in your politics.
For that reason, I am choosing to be 95% political free unless something comes to take one of those 3 things from all of us. I’d like to think operating from that principle is what most of you want from this blog.
5. This website is about being the things that make me who I am. These include hiking, travel, music, movies, family, literature, supernatural, food, baseball, my past, and the people who make me who I am. While this centers around my need to not be Parkinson’s 24/7 (let alone any time I don't have to be), but rather to just keep being Dan (something my wife does a good job of reminding me of). I know these interests don’t always appeal to everyone, but it is part of me expressing me. I encourage people to start their own blogs / vlogs and take back themselves from Parkinson’s. People first lives are everything. I'm glad you've chosen to be a part of mine.
So yes, I'm a Berks County Boy...
But I'm living in Lancaster County, smack dab in the middle of Amish Paradise.
6. In our lives, we’d like to all be so cool and committed that we don’t need advertising (like the band Fugazi, who rock). Is this a realistic possibility? Right now, like my own form of Oprah’s Favorite Things, I shill for things I like because I like them. However, I’m not paid 1 cent by anyone (unless you include my swag from Toyota). In an ideal world, I’d like sponsorship (a future goal), as well as the opportunity to go places and speak (something sponsorship could achieve). I’d like to write a Parkinson’s book of how I found meaning and share it with others. Nevertheless, like Tom Petty sang with regard to “How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free,” saying this openly is a big risky move for any blog to make. Over the next 100,000 hits, I’d like to make the next wave of this education and advocacy a reality. In the meantime, this blog will continue to improve beyond personal portfolio / advocacy to next level life's work efforts.
And you'll still get it for free
7. If you'd like to be a part of a brand new video that my cousin David and I are working on, I'm looking for people to state the following quote ("I am here to live out loud") in some special place, where they can record it on video. Saturday night, I gave the first at Independence Hall in Philly.
My wife gave the second at the Chinese Lantern Festival.
Please private message me for more information on this opportunity. Also, please note that it will be for the World Parkinson Congress video contest.