Thursday, April 15, 2010

What the heck is a PMA and why is it so important?

Throughout the last eight months or so, you have seen in my blog that I have certain sayings that I like to use depending upon the circumstances. "Nothing comes into existence uninvited" is one of my favorites. This one I use in many ways, but for me it has a lot to do with my perception of what is happening around me. If I am negative, I will only see the negative. If I can get beyond my ego-based thoughts when something goes wrong, a positive attitude or perception of an occurrence can lead to positive results. This positive view, however, cannot be forced or fake. It has to be real.

"This too will pass" is an important saying to me, now, more than ever. If I do become "bummed out" or negative, just telling myself that this feeling will pass helps loads and starts me on the way towards a more positive tomorrow. "This too will pass" is like the direction sign at a crossroad in life. Do I take the negative way or the positive way? What way will be easier in the end?

There is another saying that fits many occasions for those of us living with Kennedy's Disease. "If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got," is something that we used at work to embrace change and continuous improvement. In my life, it also means that if I do not change … try to improve … then how can I expect anything better than I already have? This is something that I have applied to exercise and my diet, as well as, my attitude.

"Can't never could do nothing" is something my father told me many times whenever I wanted to give up. Fortunately, giving up is not in my vocabulary. Giving in to something is acceptable (like my progressive weakening) as long as I find a way around it (like an up-lift seat or wheelchair, for example). Finding another way to get things done is not giving up. I am just giving (accepting my limitations) and finding another way to get things done.

"Use it or lose it" is something I use to help me exercise every day. I know from firsthand experience that if you let the muscle atrophy, they will.

"Patience fosters acceptance" is another excellent saying for me since patience is something that I am often in short supply of.

"Realism tempers expectations" is something those of us living with Kennedy's Disease have to face regularly. Most of my injuries were the result of a false sense of capability. This is why "can't never could do nothing" needs tempering by adding in a little bit of realism.

"Every man at some point in his life is going to lose a battle. He is going to fight and he is going to lose. What makes him a man is that in the midst of the battle he does not lose himself." In addition, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." These two sayings are important to me. They remind me that personal pride and dignity are important as long as they are not ego-driven; and frustration and anger do nothing to help any situation.

So, what the heck is PMA? All of the above sayings help me keep a "positive mental attitude." It is not always easy and occasionally I fail miserably, but if I can maintain a PMA, life is normally better and a lot easier for me and especially for my wife.

I will leave you with a statement from one of my favorite inspirational authors:
Do you have any favorite sayings that help you to live with Kennedy's Disease?

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