A Jew of faith, in a preface for a new book, explores b'sameach chelko, "Happy is he who accepts his lot with gladness."
Turning the unalterable into an achievement ...
Have you ever ridden a pendulum or imagined yourself so tiny that you could grasp hold of a metronome while it tick tocks back and forth?
I have and gladly offer these few tips: boredom attributable to motion redundancy may afflict you although the view, if unimpeded by the family pianist, offers anyone who can stay the ride a heightened appreciation for what used to be one's state of normalcy.
Any discomfort due to motion sickness may be treated with a variety of over the counter meds, but please check with your pharmacist first.
Whether by pendulum or metronome, there are two caveats of which one needs be made aware: 1. once on, you can't get off unless you fall off and 2. while one pendulous swing takes you back to a familiar, healthier past, its opposite brings you ever nearer an uncertain future that begins to resemble this morning.
Originally dubbed Shaking Palsy the reality of living with this progressive neurological disorder varies across patients' testimonials. There is at least one opinion, however, held by all of it sufferers:
"Parkinson's Disease 'sux'!"
Parkinson's makes it difficult for the sufferer to connect points a and b by a straight line. To be able to draw a line segment between two points, to "connect the dots" as it were; in other words, to move freely, to grasp, to let go, to open, to close, to write, to speak, to feel at ease in the presence of others.
Self-maintenance skills learned in our childhood become problematic in ways we'd probably never anticipate. Pulling up trousers, buttoning a shirt or tying shoelaces come to mind comprise the very short list.
Try convincing yourself that you'll overcome it, that you simply will not permit it to govern your life, that it'll plateau and all will be okay thereafter. Take your meds on time, listen to your body, overlap dosages, making downtime as short as possible or,even better, not at all. Do all these things, read all the advice books about diet and exercise but, in the end, all that remains is my ability to make decisions that strengthen my resolve to live life as best I can- the only measure over which I exercise complete control without deluding myself that one morning I'll wake up and it'll all be gone.
I must first accept it. I didn't say welcome, but if my goal is to teach others how to live life well despite affliction, I must be able not only to tell but show them. After all, to inspire others, one must be an inspiration.
I am in my thirteenth year of living my life with Parkinson's Not only is it all uphill from here on but at an ever more perilous angle of ascent.
'Is it really as bleak as you seem to suggest?'"
Now hold on. I've never characterized it as bleak For something to be bleak, whatever hope there was, isn't anymore.
Parkinson’s Disease needn't prevent one from leading a relatively full life, but I ask readers to remember that the key to living well with afflictions, is to live life purposefully.
The fact your body no longer functions effortlessly as it once did is hardly reason enough to throw in the towel.
This is the core belief to an approach I learned from two of my most important teachers: my late son Ben Z'L and my father, Dr. Albert I. Busch, Z' L whose stories I tell in two books I authored: Snapshots In Memory of Ben, 2007, Water Forest Press and Between 10 and 5 With Dad/Keeping the Fifth Commandment, 2011, Cyberwit.net.
Did you ever have a lemonade stand when you were a kid? You do know what to do if handed lemons, right?
Okay then. Be an example, become an inspiration to others, be able to say at the end of day: I have changed lives, starting with my own, for the better.
No one denies the importance of physical strength, but it is as fleeting as youth itself, especially if unwed to spiritual purposefulness. Rather than merely lifting weights, show others how to carry the weight of affliction meaningfully.
If you are anything like me, follow these instructions. And yes, I encourage you to try this at home.
Rule 1: Follow my instructions.
Step 1: Place an empty shoe box on the table within reach. (If you haven't a shoe box, any box of similar size will do.) Position it on the table within arms’ reach so that you’ll be able to pick it up when I instruct you.
Step 2: Place your hands in your pockets and do not remove them until I tell you, okay? Now, ready for the third step?
Step 3: Pick up the box. Uh uh, no, no, put your hands back in your pockets. Review Rule 1. Okay, try it again. Pick up the box.
Step 4: I see you're having some difficulty. Once again. On the count of three: 1, 2, 3 pick up the box.
Step 5: Are you alright? That wasn’t too bad, was it? Oh, you can remove your hands from your pockets.
Any more questions about how Parkinson's feels?
G-d grants each of us a finite number of days along with a uniquely packaged gift box. Within find strengths, weaknesses, talents, deficiencies, good health, maladies and ... I almost forgot, free will. It is an entirely neutral ability to actualize the theoretical. To convert idea into reality. It is that which distinguishes be from become.
The next time your affliction makes you grumpy, take a look at your neighbor. You think you've got problems?
The Mishna, chapter 4, Pirkei Avos, (Ethics of Our Fathers)" asks: Who is rich? Ben Zoma answers: He who is happy with his lot. Now that you realize how happy and wealthy you can be, get busy. The world awaits you.