The Grander Scheme

I’m up and about at 6am; coffee in hand and enjoying the peacefulness of the early morning. Regular readers will have seen me post, before, about how I enjoy the early morning as a time for reflection. This is also a time in which, as a person with Parkinson’s Disease, I gently ease my body into being able to function. This happens with the miracle of the medications that I take, plus simply taking a gentle time to start moving.

For someone who does not go to work, due to my health, I have been able to be productive and busy. I have continued with my singing practice; the aim of which is to recover my vocal ability in both speech and song. This is due to the impact Parkinson’s has on my strength of voice, predominantly, though singing has now become an enjoyable hobby as well. In fact, I am now starting to focus on the artistry in making music, as well. here is an example of how I am trying to create a look and style in videos:

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If you would like to see some examples of my singing, I have videos at my YouTube channel, please simply select the following link (and do please subscribe):

Getting Organised.

I have spent some time, over the past few days, ‘sorting out’ my art room, which is also our guest room. I noticed that the artwork I had hanging in this room was by other artists and that I had packed my own art away. I decided, following a chat with my cousin Debbie (a member of Focused Friends team), that I should display my art. I’m pleased with the way this now looks. I then also went through all of my art materials and decided what to keep and what to recycle or discard. It was becoming a little cluttered. This has enabled me to remove a tall shelving unit that was unnecessary and then freed up space. I was delighted by this, for this gave me space for a vital, yet missing, component of a guest room; a wardrobe. I was able to then pick a wardrobe and order it. This will make life easier for our loved ones, when they are next able to come and stay for a visit. I am excited about this being delivered over the next week or so.

What is your experience?

Being in a ‘lockdown’ situation, due to the Covid-19 virus, is starting to make days feel as though they blurr into each other. I used to be confused about which day of the week it is, due to Parkinson’s having a cognitive impact but now I simply find that lockdown at home every day leaves me unaware as to whether there is a weekend at all! How are you experiencing lockdown? Do you also get a bit lost about which day it is? Have you taken the opportunity, of this extra time at home, to de-clutter, to decorate or to simply make some changes at home? Please feel free to comment about your own lockdown experience, in the box below this article.

We have a cupboard in our hall, downstairs. A while back, I decided to remove the door of the cupboard and create an open cloak-room. This has worked well but one wall of the cloakroom has a couple of shelves and an old shelving unit. It is packed from floor to ceiling with whatever one tends to ‘shove’ into such a handy storage area. That said, it does not look nice and, since I am in ‘sorting out’ mode, I decided to revisit how this part of the cloakroom works. I decided that a full cupboard was needed and that the benefit would be that all we store in this area would then be covered by the cupboard doors. So, I have chosen and ordered a new cupboard to go into that space and this will be delievered over the next two weeks. Again, a simple change but one which will make a nice difference.

With a career as a psychotherapist under my belt, I can attest to the impact that clutter and just the ‘stuff’ that we have to store can have upon emotional well-being. We humans tend, largely, to function better when we feel organised, when we have a place for things and when we can create the appearance of simple, clean lines and, potentially, even a more elegant style. In my own experience, and in my career, I have found this to be increasingly beneficial as we get older. We tend to like life to be easier and simpler. I certainly recommend lockdown as an opportunity to streamline, to de-clutter, to organise and to add a little more elegance into the home. I will post some photos as the new furniture arrives, to show the difference that it makes, over the coming few weeks. You may then feel inspired to make some simple changes, too.

Getting organised can be achieved in other ways, too. A few days ago, while enjoying my early morning coffee, I reflected over the fact that I have number of books with my ‘to do’ lists in! I wondered why I had so many lists and so many books when really this would be better structured on a simple computer spreadsheet. I looked at what was on my lists and I found that I had many ‘to do’ objectives which were basic, mundane and frankly didn’t really need to be there. While it can feel good to tick things off a list, I reflected that my list needed to be more meaningful.

How can a ‘to do’ list be more meaningful?

I realised that my lists were just simple day to day tasks; some necessary reminders and others simply a means of feeling like I had achieved something. In reviewing this, I realised that something important was absent from my lists. I realised that my ‘to do’ lists were not contributing to changing life.

How can a ‘to do’ list contribute to changing life?

Well, here it ocurred to me that I had no objectives that were about contributing to making the future better. It was all very ‘here and now’ and, while that has a place, it seemed crazy to me that I had no investment in simply working toward a betterment of life in the future. This is when I recognised that a ‘to do’ list was insufficient and that a ‘plan’ would better serve me. This is where a great sense of motivation hit me. What do I want my future to look like? What do I want to change or improve?

I decided that I did not want to end up with a plan and a ‘to do’ list; the latter for the ‘here and now’ stuff of life. I would incorporate the two. It would still be okay to add the every-day tasks to my plan but it would be essential to add in objectives that were wholly about the betterment of life. This is about personal development, it is about finaces, it is about socialising, it is about health, about intellectual stimulation, about creativity, spirituality and about practical aspects of life. Suddenly, there were my new target areas; the new heading for how I would set my objectives and tasks:

Personal Development
Social Life
Physical Wellbeing
Emotional Wellbeing
Intellectual Stimulation
Practical / Structural

That was an important moment for me. Right now, as a person who only in the past three and a half years was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, who had to give up work in 2019 and who is now living in lockdown and trying to work out what my life should be about, going forward, I had created a method for enhancing life today and for setting objectives that would lead to a better future.

I thought I would share this with you, for you may be at a similar juncture in your life or you may simply be a person who, like me, finds yourself surrounded by ‘to do’ lists that don’t really make much difference to the more important aspects of life.

Over to you.

Perhaps you will have a go at discarding your usual style of ‘to do’ lists, in favour of a ‘plan’ that will incorporate important objectives that contriubute to the betterment of life and to your future? If you feel inspired by this article, I would love to hear from you in the comments/reply box below.

Do you now see why I enjoy my early morning coffee and reflection time? I wish you a good day.

(c) Deano Parsons. 2021.

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