Sunday, August 28, 2011

202 in 2 Years and Still Positive About Parkinson's

CCII.   Roman numerals for 202.  It seems appropriate somehow to indicate the number of posts over the past 2 years.  While on average I try to write twice a week, there has rarely been a week when I have not posted at least one time.  Lately, a jam-packed schedule has prevented my preferences from overwhelming my duties.  Life has definitely not slowed down much and maybe picked up a little as I enter the fall months.  But I am thankful for the opportunity to share and encourage, complain and explain, as well as join the worldwide community of millions of ordinary people with Parkinson's who just want to be heard and understood.

Over the past 2 years, there have been over 32,000 "hits" by 20,000 visitors who have viewed 50,000 pages to see what Positively Parkinson's is all about.  The blog is averaging between 2000 and 3000 visitors a month from everywhere.  People from Peru to Pakistan, Israel to Indonesia, Mozambique and Macau have stopped long enough to read at least one post.
But whatever others may have garnered from this amateur effort to communicate about my partnership with Parkinson's, I have gained the most.  Positively Parkinson's has allowed me, even forced me, to be transparent about living with the disease.  It focuses my attention.  It provides accountability.  It forces me to decide how I will respond to the unwanted opportunity, PD.  It compels me to look at the "thorn in my flesh" and fully examine its implications for my life.  Writing each week precludes a glib positivistic palaver, while at the same time refusing to permit self-pity to take my life prisoner. 
I am very thankful for those of you who read my pondering prose, provide encouragement and share your own lives.  I have learned from you that:

1.       If I concentrate too much on the audience I miss the mark entirely.  Trying too hard to please the reader produces the unreadable.

2.       Real life experiences communicate better than "sermons".  I suppose that is simply a corollary of "walking the talk".

3.       Alliteration is not always advisable.  Blunt is often better than beautiful.  Cleverness can camouflage the true content.

4.       I must always risk writing from the heart.  If I am not sincere I am not trustworthy.

5.       Statistics and Comments are not the true measure of value.  Encouragement of one person is easily enough to make the effort worthwhile.

6.       In the end, I must write because it is part of me.  Therapeutic, yes.  Cathartic, certainly.  Creative expression, sometimes.  Encouraging of others, my greatest aspiration.
7.       There is no end of topics, just as there is no end of things to discover in life.  Wait until you hear about my plans for 2012!
Because of all the lessons learned I fully intend to continue with Positively Parkinson's.  I am humbled by you joining in my journey.  You helped me carry my burden.  I so appreciate your hugs, phone calls, e-mails and words of reassurance.  Many times when I have felt alone, you have sent a note to convince me otherwise.
Let's make it 303!

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