Doing things differently and doing different things – part 2

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I was never very good at sports, drama or public speaking at school. I was better at other things like maths, languages and science. I also didn’t enjoy the things I wasn’t good at and tended to avoid them when possible even after leaving school.

Living with Parkinson’s means that there are things I am not ‘very good at’ now. Like writing, for example. I used to have very neat handwriting. Now I struggle to write legibly. But writing is an everyday task that I can’t just avoid. What I’ve learned is that I might not be able to do things the way I used to, but I can still do them – in a different way or I can do something different instead. I can still write legibly at times, but the difference is I am painfully slow. So for practical reasons, I type instead. Learning to live with Parkinson’s meant I had to learn (and am still always learning) to do lots of things differently or do different things instead. I had to find my ‘new normal’ which is constantly changing.

During this lockdown period, we’re all finding our ‘new normal’. Doing things differently and doing different things. I used to avoid exercise apart from walking, because I wasn’t good at it, I found it too difficult and I felt self-conscious. Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, I haven’t been able to walk as much as as I used to. But I have started an online Mindfulness Yoga class (run by Parkinson’s Care and Support UK) as well as Dance for Parkinson’s at home. While I can’t say I am ‘good at them’, somehow I don’t mind that anymore and I have been enjoying the classes so far. Maybe because they are specifically aimed at people with Parkinson’s and because they are online so I feel less self-conscious.

As I wrote in my previous blog, I also found videoing myself singing difficult and didn’t enjoy it the first time. Having now seen the results of the first video – I still feel my video wasn’t very good, but I realise it doesn’t matter! Because I’m just one face and voice in it and what matters is that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and I took part! And I think the end result with all of us singing together (though recorded separately) is amazing! Huge thanks to Gitika, Jo, Bob, Matt and Eric – who put it all together. It was so lovely to connect with my fellow choir members again and I am proud to be part of The Dialing Tone Chorus. It means that I am still able to sing with my choir – which is one of my favourite things… even when done differently. 

On that note – You are cordially invited to the world premiere of The Dialing Tone Chorus’ Tainted Love

Date and time: Saturday 9 May 2020 at 7.00pm BST

Venue: YouTube


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