Parkinson’s and an Attitude of Gratitude

Pat and Cidney Donahoo

Written by Pat Donahoo, Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassador 

I was once in a training meeting that included a session on having an attitude of gratitude. In life, being grateful for all opportunities to grow — no matter the situation — can make all the difference. But what if that situation is something like Parkinson’s? Being diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition such as Parkinson’s, or being a care partner or family member of a person with Parkinson’s, can bring an array of different emotions and experiences.
The question is, can it inspire gratitude?
During the Thanksgiving holiday season, many of us share a “what I am thankful for” message. This year, could you find a way to connect this message to your relationship with Parkinson’s? The season of gratitude can be the perfect time to challenge ourselves: to intentionally look at what has Parkinson’s brought into our lives that we can be thankful for. For many of us who are part of the Parkinson’s community, a bright silver lining is the introduction to a new community of support and additional friends who come into our lives. I have heard it said many times that with Parkinson’s, a whole new network of wonderful individuals from many diverse backgrounds become more than friends, more than acquaintances. Indeed, almost like family. Our goals have changed. Our interests have changed. Living has become more focused, and relationships have been strengthened.
The message from that training session still resonates with me, and especially during this time of year.
An attitude of gratitude is not only helpful during the good times, but also when life takes an unexpected turn and the road is rough and smooth at the same time. What’s on your gratitude list today?

More Resources about Gratitude, community, and Living Well

Parkinson’s and the Good Life with Dr. Laurie Santos

The Gifts of Parkinson’s

Moments of Victory® – Kat Hill Learns How to Paint, Box, and Thrive with Parkinson’s

Living Well with Parkinson’s by Connecting your Community

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