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 […]

cartoon image of a woman with a child in her arm.

World Domination Draws Closer

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

I was to write you a nice post about something other than Parkinson’s today. However, those lovely people at Parkinson’s Life sent me this lovely article. It’s especially nice as I’m in it, and my lovely friend Emma from The Parky Ninja. Enjoy. You can find the article HERE. Also on Parkinson’s Life is this awesome video from Christine Jeyachandran  It might also feature a certain recognisable Yorkshirewoman. Yes. My quest for World Domination is well underway.  

image of open laptop and notebook.

Economic Downturn

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, job seeking, Parkinson's disease

And so. I have become another victim of the Covid-19 economic downturn. I received a phone call about the job I had been told I was successful for. The one that they needed filling immediately. The one that was still needed, but slightly delayed due to level 4. Perhaps Mid May. Yes. All being well around there. But no. Ah. The dangers of working (potentially) for a charity or non-profit. Lack of resources. Full restructure. Employment freeze. And I get it. Of course I do. But I wanted that role so badly. For so many reasons, both selfish (I need a job – I need the money badly) and also altruistically. (It was a position where I could have helped others very much.) But it is not to be. Possibly. In a few months. After the restructure. They may call. They may not. I have to rethink. There has been much to rethink recently.   And so. Back to the drawing board and trawling employment sites and looking for suitable roles. The issue here is of course gaining attention. I’m told I’m over qualified for some, but under qualified for others. Usually this is recruiter-speak for ‘not currently employed’ or […]

good bitch's baking header.

Good Bitches Get Things Done

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, Good Bitches Baking, NZLockdown, Uncategorized

Once again this week I found myself the centre of attention. Well, in a group that gained attention. OK. I was probably the least qualified person in the group to be there, but it appears I managed to wriggle in and find another opportunity to talk about myself to the world. How? I managed to pick up a gig hosting an online quiz for the wonderful people at Good Bitches Baking (GBB). If you’re not familiar with the work of the GBB (not to be confused with The GBB of the Great British Bakeoff) they’re basically really nice people of any particular variation you like (yes, men are welcomed with open arms) that volunteer to bake sweet treats for local deserving people / charities / daycentres etc. It’s been a tough old time for them at the moment, as they’re all trapped inside baking for their families and have nowhere to pass it on. I fear for many people’s waistlines. Their aim is to make Aotearoa the kindest place on Earth. Who can have a problem with that? So look past the word and see it for the good it brings. Yes. I’m talking about baking. Not always easy for […]

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 […]

kitty in a floral dress speaking to an audience of people.

Don’t Panic!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, motivational, Parkinson's disease, Uncategorized

Crowding In I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at the Combined Probus Club of Kapiti today , and what a wonderful group of people they are. They certainly turned up in force, over one hundred and forty people packed into the lounge area of the Coast Community Church building to hear what I had to say. No Pressure It’s sometimes daunting to speak to a large number, especially when you are aware that some of them suffer from the very affliction that you’re there to impart your wisdom on, but I love what I do, and was determined to not allow the words of Keith who introduced me, put me off. What lovely words too, he described me as “the most amazing woman I have ever met, aside from my wife of course!” High praise indeed. No pressure. Added to that his wife has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for about six years, and he has a degree in neuro-science. Did I mention there was no pressure?! Flying High They laughed, they groaned, they gave me the most wonderful feedback. I appear to be collecting gift boxes too. I received a beautiful Kapiti Goodies box, I’m sure that will go […]

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 […]