Get out of your way!

The intention in the headline is intentional. It’s easy to stand in your own path, even though you’re just you. We often block our own paths without even knowing it, because we’re stuck inside of ourselves and can’t see above, around or beyond the us we are.

Are you picking up what I’m laying down? Maybe I should get up so I can be more clear.

My favorite book of all time is “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster. It’s absolutely jam-packed with puns, silliness and word-bending nonsense that has delighted me ever since the first time I read it in third grade. How many times have I read it since? I just completed my 39th run through. That’s not absurd - that’s accurate. Or maybe it’s both.

Why go back to the well so many times? When you have a constant in your life that works, it’s wonderful to return to it. The funny thing is, though the words haven’t changed - Juster has never done an update or a revision, that so and so seemed to get it right the first time (where’s the jealousy emoji?). But what I see in it changes based on who I am when I read it. Point of view is what I’m pointing at here.

There’s one particular character named Alec Bings. He’s a boy who lives, literally, at least three feet off the ground because, where he comes from, people are born in the air at there tallest height and their feet grow down to the ground as they become adults. Weird? Depends on how you look at it, Alec would say.

In our own lives, as people affected by Parkinson’s, we have perspectives that are shaped by our challenges. Whether you have it, are a care partner for a PWP or are a service provider, your point of view is shaped, in part, by the way you perceive PD. Is it a handicap? A blessing? A curse? A lesson? A shapeshifter?

As my good friend Cidney Donahoo oft says, if you’ve met one Person With Parkinson’s, you’ve met one person with Parkinson’s. Now that I think of it, she sounds like she good be from the Bing family tree. And they’re right. What we have is shaped by how we think of it.

So check in, with a friend, your journal, a therapist or anyone else who can provide you a clean look at you and see if you can discover your point of view. You might find yourself blocking yourself from the self you want yourself to be, which, frankly, is pretty selfish of you. At least part of you.

— written by Robert Cochrane

Parkinson's Place