Nov 192008
 

I’ve been doing a lot of pre-publication interviews for STILL ALICE lately. In one of these, I was asked, “What’s your motto?” I had to think for a minute, and then I said,

“Say YES whenever possible.”

I’d never been forced to put this idea into words before, but I do believe in this philosophy, and it guides me a lot in my life. Since that interview, I’ve started thinking more about mottos and how they can influence how we choose to live. Barack Obama has a couple of great ones,

“Change.” and “Yes we can!”

I asked my friends who have dementia what their mottos are, and I’ve posted them here. If you have a motto, a life lesson, or advice you’d like to share, please feel free to add a comment here, and I’ll add it to the list.

What is YOUR motto?

At the time I started on my journey of getting a diagnosis, I heard this song by Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying. This song and 
the words have the meaning of the rest of my life. I am really trying 
to “live like I was dying.”
–Edye

My earlier mottos have lost much of their relevance for me, but the one that has come to be the most dear to me is from an ad in a yoga magazine in 2002 . It’s pretty tattered by now. :-) It is a pen & ink drawing of a Buddha on a surfboard on a huge snake of eternity and the motto is: “In the face of eternity….Style” Which to me means: Don’t go out with a whimper. Savor every moment! Ride the wave of life into the beyond!
–Jaye Lander, 62 this month, Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

I keep this with me as I 
advocate:

 “Change happens when ordinary people see extraordinary people, get to know 
them and see what they can do.” 

(as read in The Vancouver Sun newspaper, May 31, 2008)
–Jim

I have three mottos that I go by. The first two are quotes by Helen Keller: 

”Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”

and

”Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” Then my personal one is: Keep on keeping on!
–Lynn Jackson

“You are mostly measured in life by how you deal with your losses and reversals. Handle them with grace placing positive spin on them.” This is my working motto/theme. I am a 72 year old retired trial lawyer who is Alzheimer’s Afflicted. I was diagnosed 2 years ago in Early Stage. I am working hard at staying here for as long as I can. My intent while here is to make a difference advocating for economy in patient long term care and letting anyone interested know it is not nearly as bad having it as worrying about getting it.
–Mike Donohue

“I don’t have time to worry about what I can’t do — I’m too busy enjoying what I can do.”
And
“Nothing I’ve seen since is as scary as the bombs falling on the farm in WWII when I was a little girl.”
–Jenny

Live in the moment — life’s too short to worry about the future. Enjoy every day you have.
–Kris Bakowski, Early stage Alzheimer’s, 53 years old.

My favorite motto is: “Act enthusiastic & you’ll be enthusiastic.” It
has been my favorite for many years and still applies. Guess it’s sort
of like “fake it until you make it.” I also believe our ultimate purpose
in life is to help others.
–Sharon in KS, diagnosed with FTD in 2/2007 & changed to MCI in 9/2008

“I’m living my life like there’s no tomorrow.”
And that boils down to spending as much time as possible with my family and friends, and doing as much music as time allows.
–Jay

I would like to share Kris’ motto “Live in the moment — life’s too short to worry about the future. Enjoy every day you have”
and include “Don’t worry. Worry alone will not improve the out come. Be happy. Seek happiness”
–Darryl White – from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin

” Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Goethe.
–Chuck Jackson

Lisa Genova, Ph.D., author of Still Alice, www.StillAlice.com

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