Nancy R. Crocker

The 100% World

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I used to live in a 100% world. A world in which if I felt great, I would say, "I feel great!" and mean it. If I didnít feel great, I would expect my Mom, or my Doctor or my boyfriend to respond to my complaints and make it all better. Then, it would be better and I could say again, "I feel great." And mean it.

I donít live in a 100% world anymore.

Now, I practice smiling in a mirror and remind myself to smile when I am in public. I sit in a corner with my left hand under a piece of paper and hope that my meds kick in before my tremor gets so violent that the paper wonít hide it anymore.

Now, when the Doctor says I look great, I put on my practiced smile and nod.

I donít shoot for 100% anymore. I shoot for good enough. Itís tricky to know whatís good enough. Too much complaining might get me into a new medication that will make me feel worse. Too little complaining might prevent my Doctor from coming up with a simple fix.

The truth is that I will be sicker next year than I am this year and that maybe I should be pretty happy to be as well as I am now and celebrate this relative wellness.

Nobody wants to be around someone who complains all the time and is a bummer, so buck up and have a good attitude.

Within my not-a-100%-world, Iím doing pretty well. The door to the 100% world is closed to me forever. I will say good-bye and not look back.


Nancy R. Crocker earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Michigan State University. She has taught at the University level and directed service learning courses at Arizona State University. She has presented papers on philosophy and on service learning and has published in these areas. In 2012 she was diagnosed with Parkinsonís Disease and began an unexpected journey of discovery.