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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

Release and Receive - my 2017 resolutions

Terri Reinhart

Mo was reading the last blog post and concentrating. I knew as soon as she finished, she'd be right there with her opinion about what MY resolutions should be. I was ready for her. I already had my resolutions worked out. She wasn't going to tell me what to do.

Mo:  Okay already, go for it.

Me: I will release my expectations of what each day is going to be; what I will get done and where I might go. As a caregiver, my plans are so often changed by one phone call. As someone with a chronic health challenge, I never know exactly how I'll feel. I won't stop making plans to do things, but I will release the expectation that it will go the way I plan.

Mo: Not bad... continue.

Me: I will work on truly enjoying what I  must do: Enjoying my dad's humor when I take him to the grocery store; relishing the stories my grandchildren tell me in the car and the creations they build all over the house; appreciating the extra space and tidiness of my parents' apartment while I clean and put away their things.

Mo: Good so far. Maybe one more to release and one more to receive. That will be enough for this year.

Me: I will release my expectations of what my body can do and how much I can accomplish other than what I must do. I have so wanted to volunteer and give back to the many people and organizations which have been so generous to us and others. Last time I tried, I was so exhausted, I think I hallucinated - just a little.

Mo: We won't go into the hallucination thing. Someone might get the wrong idea about me.

Me: Thanks, Mo. We won't mention it. Anyway, I will work on releasing these expectations again and again and again. And I will receive joy from working on aging courageously - not giving up, not stopping, but not trying to be young, either. It sort of all goes together, releasing expectations of who I thought I was and receiving joy in who I am.

Mo: Yes! I know you have plenty of role models in this category:  your grandmother "Gram" Leota Myers, your mother-in-law Natalie Reinhart, your yoga teachers Paul and Caroline Zeiger..

Me: And my dad. And even though we lost so many celebrities last year, we still have Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Carter, Bob Newhart, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Leslie Caron, William Goldman, Dan Rather, Dick Van Dyke. I remember being told to enjoy my high school years because they were the best years of my life. I was pretty bummed hearing that at the time. We can't become conditioned to thinking just horrible stuff about getting older.

Mo: Gotcha, now while you're releasing your expectations about what your body can and can't do, there's one more resolution for you. How about giving up peanut butter? I'm sure Chris would appreciate it.

Me: Already there, Mo. I'm thankful I have a husband who knows how to do the Heimlich maneuver when I am eating on the run and choke on a peanut butter sandwich. I think he'll live longer if I don't stress him out like that any more than absolutely necessary. Peanut butter is history. Now Mo, what are your resolutions?

Mo: Releasing the cork on this bottle of wine and receiving a glass to pour it into. Payment for my services! Cheers!