Think / Able - and Check out My Parkinson's Facebook Page

Think / Able - and Check out My Parkinson's Facebook Page
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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Ten for Tuesday - Things that Make Me Happy

I was recently asked how I can believe that the best days are to come, considering I have Parkinson's and so do many of the people I'm telling that to. I think that's a fair question.

This was my reply:

If I don't believe that, I think about aspiration pneumonia killing me, losing my cognitive function, my wife caring for me 24 7, family sadness, not driving, not working, and loss of hobbies. However, even if those things scare me, I do believe educating, advocating, inspiring, and empowering will change other people for the better . It's about me, but it's more about the next generation being curable.

I'm saddened by all who feel the pain of this, which you describe . Keep fighting and think of the new normal's victories now and to come as your motivation. You're a great person... positive energy and thoughts to you.

This is my feeling 2 days later:

Just like a week ago when I wrote this POST about simple and under-appreciated pleasures, I'm deciding to make my 10 things that make me happy a regular column every Tuesday. I encourage you to do the same.

I also encourage you to compile a list of things that you value. Here are 200 of mine from an OLDER POST.

Obviously, winning at the casino would be the bomb diggity (as the kids say), but I'm keeping it simpler.

1. Family Pride. Muffet McGraw won her 2nd NCAAW's basketball championship after buzzer beating UCONN and Mississippi State. By the way, she's not only Notre Dame's coach, but she's family (my mom's cousin). Mad love to the Notre Dame girls... more ACL injuries than losses on the season.

2. Otis Redding... that voice... whether on its own or mixed with Jay-Z and Kanye West. So much talent lost so young. "Lookin' like wealth... I'm about to call the paparazzi on myself."

3. Breathing help... whether it's supplemental inhalers (Ventolin or Breo), a cool-air humidifier, or a lung reverberator, it loosens up the allergy nastiness and helps me stay out of the hospital.

4. A freshly made bed to crawl into at night. I can't overstate the joy of this!

5. A brand new daypack with lots of room for water (the Camelbak HAWG), which is just waiting to be used when the rain breaks. All that water space (at least 2 100-ounce bags) helps defeat hyperhidrosis on those long, hot hikes.

6. When the kid who is the persona for your action / adventure hero (CJ, who is the model for Colin Jameson) holds the book he stars in for the first time. It's going to be a couple years before he can read something that thick, though. Nevertheless, more humble joy!

7. My Olympus Tough camera. We take digital pictures and delete what we don't like. We don't pay to develop pictures if they don't come out. Additionally, this one is waterproof, freeze proof, and crush proof... perfect for my 4-year old nephew Dylan to take pictures.

8. My Sony Walkman. Remember when we had to buy CDs, tapes, and albums, and then we had a hard time compiling favorite songs, storing them, or wondering what to do with all the cruddy songs we didn't like? I know the hipsters love vinyl. As for me, gimme digital music and the ability to carry over 3,000 songs in multiple playlists.

9. My wife's artwork. I'm a big celebrator of what others do. I live vicariously through it. Here are some recent examples...

10. A typed list I can use to keep myself in order... it's all good.

So what thinks you about your list? In the end, my items reflect any day I'm at 98.6°. Whether it's to see spring's flowers, go to Primanti Brothers, go hiking, meet with students to help them learn / do a disability interview, get artwork from my niece Amanda, or just celebrate all I can still do, it's all good. I hope you feel the same about wherever you are in life.

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