Tremors in the Universe: Attitude and Gratitude

Bob Baittie is the author of Tremors in the Universe and a Vernon Hills resident.
Bob Baittie is the author of the blog "Tremors in the Universe" and a guest blogger for the Pioneer Press | Provided

My name is Robert Baittie. I am a neighbor and a resident of Vernon Hills. Two years ago at the age of 52 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. What started as a personal setback has turned into a much stronger push forward to fight against this disease and make everyday count. I am very fortunate to be working with a wonderful team from the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation and I am doing fantastic. I am enrolled in the Parkinson’s Progression Marker Initiative (PPMI) with the MJF Foundation in an effort to help expedite research and knowledge towards finding a cure. Tremors in the Universe is my blog documenting my personal journey of discovery with Spirituality and Parkinson’s. Follow me on Twitter

I’ve been asked a couple of times how I manage to keep such a positive attitude in the midst of a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, to which I often respond, “I have Parkinson’s disease?”

Humor is definitely one component for coping, along with denial and sheer stubbornness, but for me it really boils down to the two key elements of Attitude and Gratitude.

With attitude I make a conscious choice to be happy and think positively. The alternative simply doesn’t appeal to me. So I demand that my Parkinson’s fit within my happiness or it has to get lost. With gratitude I find something daily to be thankful for.

Doing both is honestly quite easy.

  1. “Think” smile. Try it. Close your eyes and picture a smile in your mind.
  2. Give thanks for things that are going to come to you. Creating an expectation in your mind that tomorrow holds a gift for you does wonders towards fostering a positive outlook.
  3. Never share the power over your mood. It’s yours. Protect it.
  4. Choose to be happy. Always. Happiness is a choice you can always make for yourself regardless of your circumstances,
  5. Once in awhile eat your dessert before your dinner.
  6. Challenges are only as difficult as you define them to be. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
  7. Always kiss on the lips.
  8. Admire beauty in all its forms.
  9. Accept what is or accept the role of changing it.
  10. ANYTHING is possible.
  11. Meditate.
  12. Exercise.
  13. The best way to accept a compliment is with a Thank you.
  14. When you’re imagining the worst, look up the definition of imagination.
  15. Laugh so hard that you cry and cry so hard that you laugh.
  16. BELIEVE that everything is as it should be.
  17. Make all your decisions from love.
  18. If you’re afraid of dying, give more of yourself. That way you’ll insure there is more of you that remains around.
  19. Get a massage.
  20. Show compassion, empathy and love every day.
  21. Make a difference in your life and then go make a difference in the life of another.
  22. Picture a better world, and then learn to draw.

I was given this life, because I’m strong enough to live it. The last thing I’m going to do is allow Parkinson’s disease to stop me.

More to come.

[Read more on Tremors in the Universe]

Interested in writing or blogging for the Pioneer Press? Email richard@aggrego.com. Submissions also can be made here.

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