kitty fitton with red hair and glasses pinting aat herself and grinning.

I’m a Professional Public Speaker.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, motivational

I’m a Professional Public Speaker. I want to write about being a professional public speaker. I’d like to avoid discussing living with young-onset Parkinson’s. This was never supposed to be a blog about Parkinson’s Disease. It was supposed to be about my comedy, my MC (Mistress of Ceremonies) skills and of course, my ability to hold an audience in the palm of my hand whilst I encourage, motivate and inspire people. However. Here it is again. The things people say to you when they discover you have this. What will it take for people to realise we’re not written off and ready for the scrap heap? Once again this week I had a conversation with someone about life in general. It came up of course. It always does. You might have noticed that I’m not shy about it. Anyhow. There it was. “Oh yes, you have Parkinson’s, don’t you?” someone commented. “Yes I do” I replied. They proceeded to tell me about their friend whose husband has Parkinson’s. How you couldn’t tell at all whilst he was in his forties, yet gosh, it really took hold in his fifties you know. He’s had to go into a home now. But […]

red haired woman in grey hoodie and glasses looking crossly into the camera with folded arms.

Still Fighting

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, Parkinson's disease, public speaker

Remember I’d said that I’d written a piece about the way people with Parkinson’s (pwp) were depicted? I was worried about possible implications if I posted it, yet once again I found myself cut adrift, alone, and wondering what more could possibly come along to cause me strife. (Actually, there’s always more, you have to keep smiling!) It made me realise that there really is only you. You depend on you. Because when it gets right down to it, nobody will ever have your back quite like yourself. Cynical? Sure. But after the last few weeks I’ve had, it’s the position I find most realistic. To hell with repercussions, I’m angry. I’m really angry. I won’t be told to pipe down and keep quiet, and here is the piece I wrote. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the way people with Parkinson’s (pwp) are often portrayed in the media. It’s a subject clearly close to my heart. When I first heard that I myself had Parkinson’s Disease the very first words out of my mouth were “isn’t that like, really bad?” I thought I was going to die. Well. We’re all going to die, but I certainly imagined my […]

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Introduction

Posted Leave a commentPosted in vlog

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I can’t promise the most exciting stuff, but I would be grateful of the add. It would make me feel like I might be special. I write about life, my children, comedy and Parkinson’s. Thrilling stuff. You can also subscribe to my weekly email that delivers all my new content straight to your inbox. It’s in the footer. Just keep scrolling.  Just once a week. Only if there’s new stuff. Only if you want to. Go on. You know you want to.

world map in green bordered by the faces of people from the video.

Inspire, Work Hard, Get Results

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, Parkinson's disease, public speaker

Right now I’m finding it hard to type. My left hand is annoyingly unresponsive without a little extra oomph from me. It’ll come good in a bit, I recently took my tablets. I’m still bad at taking them on time. It’s not that I don’t know I have to, it’s more like a silent rebellion. “I don’t need you! I can do this, look I’m actually doing really well.” Then it’s like hitting a wall. Erk. Rats. If I hadn’t waited I wouldn’t have crashed and now wouldn’t be waiting for the most unattractive / desirable coming ‘up’ there is. Though of course for those of us with Parkinson’s, ‘coming up’ is exactly what we want. We need those little suckers to do the trick and help make our bodies move again. But I talked of this a couple of weeks ago, you don’t need to hear that again, do you?   Last week saw the end of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Irritatingly overshadowed by this thing called Covid-19. Not to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in our way, we’ve still tried to do bits here and there. I was stoked to be asked to join in […]

silhouette of the face and shoulders of a person of indeterminate gender.

Impostor Syndrome

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, NZLockdown, Parkinson's disease

I think it’s time for a little honesty. For a start off, I’ve recently been described as a blogger. Well, that would be great, but it’s hardly true. I’m not nearly dedicated enough to write almost half as often as I should. Second, stereo-typically I’m a tortured soul. Many of us are. But this time I’m finding more torturous than usual. Quite frankly, I’m not coping very well with the current lockdown in NZ. I know I’m not alone. We’ve all learned to Zoom / Skype / Facebook chat / Hangout but let’s be honest, it’s nothing like the real thing. Some of us have flouted rules and accidentally seen our friends at the beach or the supermarket car park. We’ve kept the prerequisite distance, but it’s still so odd to not be able to be close to our friends. We’re social creatures. It’s tough to stay home. My housework has taken off, the garden is looking fabulous. The children are playing heaps of games together. I’ve even exercised daily, thanks to the awesome local gym owner who loaned me some equipment just before everything ground to a halt. But I feel kind of desolate. Kind of strange and disconnected. […]

the word motivate in rainbow coloured felt tips.

What is a Motivational Speaker?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, motivational, public speaker

Just what is a motivational speaker? It’s a word that’s used so much, I hear it often, yet what is expected of the person that claims to motivate and inspire? For me, it’s connecting to my audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s a room of retirees or a room of corporates and politicians, understanding who you are talking to is vitally important. It’s key to the atmosphere you want to create. Connecting on a personal level is vital. How can you help someone if you just tell them a boring lump of facts about yourself? A good speaker can touch every person in a room and encourage them to realise that they themselves have the power within them to succeed in their chosen path. This connection is what’s so important. Nobody really cares about your story at first. The times I’ve heard “Oh, it’s a talk about Parkinson’s.” and I think “I really must re-word this talk!” I am so much more than an irritating incurable disease. Another overused yet apt word is of course, storytelling. What I do is weave an intriguing tale. You’re pulled in and travel along with me. Sharing the lows and the highs right there […]

image of kitty in a red hat in a field of sunflowers.

Just Another Person With Parkinson’s

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in blog, motivational, Parkinson's disease, public speaker

This week I completed a set of questions for Parkinson’s Life magazine. It got me thinking about how people perceive those with Parkinson’s Disease.   My talks cover that off too of course, and it’s something I’ve pondered myself. I sometimes wonder what my friends truly think of this, and my efforts to continue life as normally as possible. I know some of them think I’m crazy. Some of them think I’m deluded and I’ll drop dead early, and some of them think it’s great and I’m going to be just fine regardless of my affliction. In the end it doesn’t really matter what any of them think. This is ultimately my fight, my battle. Not only physically, but mentally. It would be oh so easy to simply give in. Instead I’m at the gym most days, and despite my fear of falling over my own feet, today I have vowed to get out and go running again. Stealth Fighter I hate running. But I hate Parkinson’s more. I despise this thing that’s taken me by surprise. Stealthily trying to hold me back, contain my body and with it, my spirit and drive to succeed. I hate going to the gym, […]

silhouette of person outstretched arms on a boulder

You don’t have to climb a mountain or rock to be amazing. (But it does make a great picture.)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, motivational, public speaker

This week is about impostor syndrome and motivation. And the very real fact that occasionally we get stuck because of ourselves. It’s crazy. If your friend came up with a great idea you’d tell them to just get on with it. But when we have a good idea ourselves, what do we do? We sit on it. We throw barriers and issues into our own paths and procrastination becomes the order of the day. “we can’t because…” and that idea slowly slips away, or worse, you see someone else carrying out a similar one and being amazingly successful. What can we do about it? It’s an easy thing to say, but a harder thing to do, but forcing yourself to sit down and set some real goals and ambitions is vital. I’ve had an idea for some time to boost my profile in and around the Kāpiti Coast where I live. What have I done with it so far? Nothing. Nada. Zip. What am I afraid of? Will people laugh at me? (Well, I’m also a comedian, so you know, hopefully!) Will they think I’m daft / stupid / foolish / insert negative emotion here. At heart we’re scared of […]

image of kitty smiling into the camera with red flowers in the background.

Recovered

Posted 1 CommentPosted in blog, motivational, Parkinson's disease, public speaker, Uncategorized

Holidays Are For: Ah. Public holidays. When the nice thing to do is visit a park with your family, do something lovely or just spend time together. We spent time together. Sorting laundry, ironing and catching up on housework. Nobody ever lay on their death bed and lamented they didn’t spend more time cleaning, but it is nice to have a shiny house. Scouting Strife I also had a word with myself and realised it had been just a tiny bit longer than a month since my last blog post. So much for monthly. Though to be fair, I’ve had a double birthday, Christmas, the 22nd Scout Jamboree and a family camping trip to contend with. You don’t want to go camping a few days after you’ve spent eleven days camping with 3,500 Scouts. Just saying. Trust me on that one. The holiday was fun but fraught with issues such as “I’m really tired.” And I was delighted to see my own bed again. Sweat It Baby I also made it back to the gym, which was great. I think. Only I could spend 12 months at the gym and not actually look any better. I think there’s a lesson […]

Not the Funniest Jokes

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, comedy, Parkinson's disease

Goodness it’s been a funny week. As in, strange, as in, not comedic. I had a spot at the Cavern Club’s open mic night, at which I planned to perform some new material I’d been working on. I was a little reticent. This material was going to be different. I had finally written about living with Parkinson’s Disease. How do you turn a disabling disease into a set of six-minute funny jokes? Not always the easiest thing to do. Still, with a sprinkling of Kitty magic and a lot of perseverance I like to think I pulled it off. Just enough of the serious mixed in with the hilarity that has come to be my life. A Dark Turn But there were some others talking about something that I found very uncomfortable. Should there be limits to what we deem acceptable? I mean, I understand that this was an open mic night and you can expect anything, but where do you the draw the line? I wasn’t going to a Frankie Boyle gig – in fact, as a comedian you’re warned not to be offensive by the venue. However: some people were talking about suicide. Topical? Yes. Appropriate? I don’t […]