Wet Sock Moods

mood-swingsPublishing early due to an MD appointment tomorrow. Robin Williams once said “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” There is no doubt that the ending to his life was a sad one, battling depression and Lewy Body Disease, but the contributions from his life were quite colorful and memorable. His ability to use humor and what I call “upstream” behavior to make many people laugh, or even just take a moment from difficulty to smile, were truly a gift.

I saw the picture of mood swings, and sort of chuckled to myself, thinking about things that can cause my mood to swing on a given day. Of course, there is the elephant in the room (Parkinson’s), which can affect me in terrible ways physically and emotionally, and sometimes, even minute by minute. Also, like anyone else, I can get caught up in the bitterness, smallness, or insecurities of someone else, and I let that ruin my mood as well. I do often say that we control our own feelings, so I just remind myself at those times that it could be worse; I could be them. Finally, one huge game changer for swinging a mood is stepping in water when you are just wearing socks. That one will make you go right back to bed, just saying.

But honestly, when I feel things trying to pull me into a negative way, I resort to my old friend humor. Now I have to be honest, I have been told that I can be sort of silly. I have even been told that maybe I could act my age a little more, and even that I need to act a little more normal. Well, I have to tell that I tried being normal one time, but I found it to be extremely boring, so I just went back to being myself. As far as acting 50, I can’t really decide what that is supposed to be like, And silly? Well check these little jokes out:

Did you hear about the two guys who stole a calendar? They each got 6 months.

If you ever get cold, just stand in a corner. They are usually around 90 degrees.

Why can’t bicycles stand on their own? They are just two tired.

What is the best nation in the world? Donation, now give me 10 bucks.

Now you know you grinned at least once, and if you didn’t, then you may have a condition called masked expression that is associated with Parkinson’s because I know these jokes were stupid funny! The best part of it all is that if you were reading this and smiled or laughed, that is exactly what I wanted to happen. Mood swings, as the picture shows, affect all of us. Our emotions are a huge part of who we are, and who we are is often defined by the world that surrounds us, or the struggles we carry, or the actions we offer to others. We should always strive to define that for ourselves instead.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” If I live my life so that it is only about me, then that will be all that I have left at the end. Instead, I want to live my life in a way so that I do not have to introduce myself, where people know that they will be encouraged, that they will smile and laugh when they are around me, and that they will feel valued and cared about for who they are. I do not want to fit in the box that the world tells me that a 50 year old man should fit in. I want to turn that box into a mad race car and drive it all around the neighborhood. But do remember this, if you are with me, and we get caught, you are deaf and I don’t speak English. And try not to worry about the world ending today. It is already tomorrow in Australia! I will be taking next week off to enjoy the holidays with my family, so Happy Thanksgiving, and BE THANKFUL!!!!!

#noquit #justbe #bike2live #litwithin #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons




RAWR (Dinosaurically Speaking)

dinosaurSince tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, and I am a veteran, I decided to publish today, and enjoy the day tomorrow that has been set aside to recognize those who have served, and continue to serve today. Thank you to my brothers and sisters out there for your service. My blog this week is a little different, and I know I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, but for those of you who read and do not know, I lost my mom on October 27th at the age of 68. She has been battling a terminal lung disease for a while, along with the painful effects of osteoporosis and kyphosis. The picture I picked for my blog today was one I posted on my mom’s Facebook one day when she was having a really tough week. I had the simple post of “Hey mom, I drew this just for you today. I love you.” Even though she knew darn well I didn’t draw it, she truly loved the post, telling me later how much it made her smile that day, making her think of me when I was a little boy.

If my mom would have one word to describe me, she would use “aggravating”. When we would go and visit, her favorite saying was “you have been here 10 minutes, and I am about to send you home.” Now we both knew she wasn’t going to make me drive that 9.5 hours back home, but she was feisty like that. Honestly, it was all in good fun. My mom and I shared the same sneaky sense of humor, pranking others, scaring others, and really just trying to stay on the positive side of things by laughing heartily. She was a lot of fun, even during her sickest of times, and I could always crawl up next to her, and share some laughs over some of the dumbest things.

When she felt good, we would play board games every now and then, and her favorite was Yahtzee. She was highly competitive, something that is ingrained in my genes. She was always playing her “last round”, unless of course I won, then we had to play just one more. She had a beautiful heart, and a love that was incredible. She was a tiny little woman who made a big splash in the lives of those around her, sharing a huge smile, a strong faith, and a needed correction when you had it coming. She was an incredible fighter, and fiercely loyal to her family. I still think of my son’s post on Facebook after he learned of her passing: “Sweet and sour, mixed like a hurricane; she had it all.” I believe he wasn’t way off of the mark on that one.

I had the blessing of performing her service, something she asked me to do a few months back. As I prepared the words, Proverbs 31:10-31 came to mind, “The Wife of Noble Character”, which I shared as part of the message. I also shared “The Journey of a Mother” which I found on the internet. I have no idea who wrote it, but I want to share it with you, as I shared it at her service as well.

“A mother is more than a memory. She is a living presence. Your mother is always with you. She is the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, the smell of certain foods you remember, and the perfume that she wore. She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well, and she’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day. She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow, and she is Christmas morning. Your mother lives inside your laughter and she is crystallized in every teardrop. A mother shows every emotion… happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow… and all the while, hoping you will only know the good feelings in life. She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you; not time, not space….. not even death.”

If your mom is still alive, love her more, hug her more, and take time with her more; those moments are precious. If your mom is with my mom, remember that she is a living presence. You are never separated from her, so the moments you have with her, just as I have with my mom now, are especially precious. Listen to the whisper of the leaves, and smile, because mom is ALWAYS love.

#noquit #justbe #bike2live #litwithin #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons