I hesitated to title this post, June 1 Meeting Notes, since it is the third week of July and I am just getting around to writing them. Parkinson’s makes me move more slowly, which means it takes a lot longer to get things done. I used to knock the items off my to-do list in a matter of days; now it takes weeks if not months, all the while new tasks keep getting added to the list. Perhaps you can relate?
Thank goodness the person who plans and facilitates our meetings, including coordinating all the guest speakers, is super organized and on top of things. She’s already come up with monthly discussion topics and arranged all the guest speakers for our meetings next year, beginning with September 7. I appreciate her energy, hard work, and dedication to our group. Her email detailing all of it inspired me to get my part done.
We spent the first half of our meeting on June 7 talking about the past year. We spoke of gratitude for still being able to travel; for our kids and grandkids; for the strength, generosity and caring of our role models in the group; for the joy we get from activities like writing and gardening. We’ve learned to be quiet and patient when we need to be; to accept our limitations; to live in the moment; to manage Parkinson’s progression by dancing; to grow wisdom from our grief. “Life is such a gift,” someone said. “I hope to find grace,” responded another.
We spent the second half of the meeting discussing how the group can best support you, especially when it comes to having guest speakers or devoting our meetings to just-us share time. The consensus was we come for the people, to learn and support each other’s real life experiences, and to connect with one another.
From the notes of our organized facilitator, which she thoughtfully typed up and forwarded to me: There seemed to be a common theme as folks started their share time: “It’s been a tough year,” which got me to listen more intently and hear what everyone was saying. Many enjoy our discussion times at the meetings where we have no speakers but choose a topic and listen to each other, or when someone shares a difficulty they are going through and others share their own experiences to encourage them. They felt as if they received perspective and wisdom from others’ experiences that otherwise would not have been shared nor could be found listening to a speaker. We all decided that less speakers would be a good thing so we could have more directed share time/discussion-oriented meetings for this coming year.
From her detailed notes of our discussion of what topics are of interest to us, she’s planned next year’s meeting schedule. It can be found under the SHOW tab or clicking on 2022/2023 Meeting Dates and Topics
Our intention is to meet in person beginning in September. We are also looking into a hybrid format, a combination live and Zoom meeting, to try to accommodate everyone’s circumstances and needs. In order to preserve the privacy and confidentiality of our group, any Zoom option will be real-time only and not available once the meeting has ended.
See you in September! Although you will get more updates and meeting details way before then.