Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Random Reality Check

My top ten list of realities that are just too real for comfort.
Originally posted on Triond in 2012. 
Do you brush and floss your teeth every day? Exercise and eat healthy? Why are good habits so easy to break; and bad habits so hard to shake?  Here is my top ten list of stuff that I know is true, I just wish it wasn’t. My list is probably different from yours, because I have Parkinson’s disease, but I’ll bet you can relate.
[Update: Five years later, and I still can't take my own advice.]

10) Cake and ice cream are just for birthday parties.
ource: Dr. Jim Sears from the TV show "The Doctors."

     Oh, say it isn’t so! Dr. Sears is a pediatrician who says that this is the rule at his house for his own kids. Maybe that’s just a rule for kids...but Dr. Sears lost a bunch of weight in the first season, so if I want to lose a bunch of weight this year, I should follow his advice. Oh, Oh, IDEA! Could everyone reading this article please invite me to your birthday party this year? If you live too far away, I could just have some cake and ice cream here in your honour. We could Skype

9)  Exercise is good for people with Parkinson’s.
          Source: My neurologist, my family doctor, my neuromodulation clinician (the nurse who programs my Deep Brain Stimulation Device), my physiotherapist, my fitness instructor, all of the various publications I have read from the Parkinson’s Society, all of my fellow Parkinsonians, my husband . . .
     OK, okay, I get the message already! And I agree with all of you – I know that this advice is very wise. I just wish that it wasn’t true. Why can’t lying in bed hopped up on pain killers, watching TV be good for people with Parkinson’s instead? No?

8)  Being overweight is hard on the body.
          Source: all of the above, especially the last one. Plus I heard it on “The Doctors” again today.

     Hubby tries to say it nicely -- most of the time. Being fifty pounds overweight is like carrying a fifty pound load around ... and losing weight would reduce the strain on my knee and all of my other joints; yada; yada; yada. I hate it when he is right.

7)  The Internet is very addictive.
          Source: too many to list.

     Probably everyone who is reading this post knows about the addictive nature of the Internet. Otherwise why are you on the internet, reading my blog? The Couch Potatoes of yesterday are the Mouse Potatoes of today. Where did I spend all of my time before Facebook? Was there life before Facebook?

6) Old people can’t text.
        Source: my kids.

        I wrote an article entitled Why Old People Can’t Text way back in November of 2010. I have had two years to practice sending text messages since then, and I am a little faster now, but now I need bifocals to read the text...
 [Update: and five years later, still slow, now need trifocals.]

5) Two Bite Brownies should be eaten in two bites.
          Source: My daughter Megan. She is wise far beyond her 17 years.

     I took a break after #6 because I was running out of wise words. I joined Megan for an after school snack. We were discussing the wisdom of the two-bite brownie. I said that if you eat it in one bite, you won’t leave crumbs. That sounded wise, but really it wasn’t. I put a whole two-bite brownie in my mouth at once, and discovered that it was almost too much to chew. Megan said something quite clever, along the lines of “I told you so.” I hate it when the kids are right. It reminds me that they may be my caregivers one day, completing the course of role reversal.
[Update: Megan is 21 now. How time flies!]

4) The ability to laugh at one’s own stupidity guarantees a life full of laughter!
          Source: Apparently me. I found this one in my “Wise Words” file, and I had attributed it to myself. I don’t think that I would lie about something like the source of a quote.

     That one sounds self explanatory, and quite wise. I don’t remember writing that, but therein lies the wisdom of writing (or typing) things down and organizing them into files. That reminds me that I need to spend some more time writing down all of the cute and silly things that the girls did and said that I can remember. By the time they get married, I might be further along on the path to dementia, and I will need this information for my toast to the bride. At my wedding, my uncle gave a toast to the bride, and it was an actual piece of toast – cold and unbuttered at that.
[Update: Since the original posting of this article, one of my girls got married. They wouldn’t let me speak. Derek had specific instructions: ”Whatever you do, don’t let Mom get hold of a microphone!”]

3) Editing sometimes means cutting until it hurts.
        Source: My friend and fellow word smith, Terrie, from whom I have learned that I don’t know nearly as much about writing as I think I do.

     I know you might find this hard to believe, but I have a bit of a habit of rambling on and on, and sometimes I go off onto bunny trails that have nothing to do with the topic. I’ve entered a few writing contests that have word limits, and I have enlisted Terrie’s help to try to prune my work. It is not a task for the faint of heart. Once I sent her a work of fiction that was already twice as long as the limit and I had barely introduced my characters.

[Update: Terrie’s assessment included the notion that my “short story” sounded more like the first chapter of a novel. So instead of entering it into the contest, I expanded it into a novel, and had it published as “Sacrificed to Vanity”.]

     I read somewhere that when you take that cruel red pen (figuratively speaking), the first thing to do is to find a paragraph that you think is especially clever, and cut that out. That sounds harsh, but I have found it to be good advice for staying on topic. 

2) Make a plan first.
          Source: all of the organized and self disciplined people out there.
     I don’t like planning ahead. It is easier and so much more fun to figure things out as you go. My husband is one of those organized planning type people. He uses a lot of graph paper. His problem is finishing a project. He loves the planning stage, but when he runs out of steam and graph paper, it is hard to get him motivated again.
     My problem starts off as the opposite of Hubby’s, but the conclusion is the same. I start right in without a plan, but then I get bogged down by logistics and I don’t finish projects either. For example, this article may not have taken me all day if I had made an outline first, or at least figured out the ten   phrases first.
     But I am almost done now, and at least I knew what my #1 harshest reality truism was going to be.

      1)Ice cream doesn’t work as a medicine.
      Source: My cyber friend and fellow wordsmith Brenda Nelson. Hubby is also of this opinion.

     Bless the heart in that skinny body of hers, Brenda has pointed out the incongruity of my claim that ice cream is the best medicine with my complaints about my ever expanding keister. She also doesn’t buy my theory about gremlins in my closet shrinking my clothes. I know it too, but don’t tell Hubby.

Well, there you have it, my top ten harshest reality bites list. Do you have a few of your own? Leave a comment; I would love to hear from you.

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