The first thing I see in the mornings is the mountains, and as the year goes on and it gets colder it is exhilarating to see the snow accumulate on them. I eat my lunch by the Fraser River in the heart of Vancouver, watching seals and kingfishers. My husband and I walk almost every day after dinner. Some days we walk slowly with our dog, an American Eskimo called Toka. Other days we walk with purpose, depending on the stresses of our working day. We like to walk through many places, like Stanley Park or in Richmond on paths where we can watch eagles and see them with their eaglets, or observe herons and owls. In the west end of Vancouver, there is a seawall where we can walk by the ocean. It is beautiful. Every day I am grateful to live here in British Columbia.
I have changed quite a bit since being diagnosed. I am far more peaceful in my life and with my being. I now cope better with all the things that used to stress me out. It is not worth getting upset over little things. I think it is a good change. I have also begun to explore various spiritual avenues and I am thinking more about life in general. I don’t want to put people in a position where they might be uncomfortable with my disease. I don’t feel sorry for myself or worry or lament, “Why me?” Parkinson’s is debilitating and life altering, but I am able to arrange my life so that I can get more from it. I have people that I am responsible for and things I want to do before my life is over. I can still do a lot of things––just a bit slower than before.
A friend of ours who was a quadriplegic recently passed away, and he had always believed in surrounding himself with positive people doing positive things. I believe the positive things are there––you just have to look for them. I try to keep laughter close to the surface––I think we all need to find the humor that is around us. Don’t withdraw into yourself. Keep active and find a reason to get up in the morning.
Source: Chris Olsen Bio: Chris Olsen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004. Chris and her husband are baseball fans and in the upcoming years they aim to visit every baseball park in North America. Provided by: Surviving Adversity Provided by: www.survivingadversity.com
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