The first time I met Michael J Fox was in Hawaii on Maui. We were staying at the same hotel called the Grand Hyatt Wailea, and I happened to join soaking my toes along with my kids in the same pool as Michael, his wife and their kids, along with Dennis Miller and his kids.

“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” “I’m not sure Michael… Maybe at (a director friend’s) house in Malibu… Did we meet there?” “No, I don’t think that was it. Anyway how you doing?” We had a great two hour conversation — and this was back in the 80s so he looked great and moved without impairment, and everything was great. The worst part was when my daughter cut her foot on a piece of tile ceramic tile in the kiddie pool that required us going to the emergency room for stitches. Every vacation has that to contend with — something unexpected. 

Today, Michael J Fox appears on the PBS special, Fresh Air, and speaks about his relationship with Parkinson’s disease with which he was diagnosed in 1991. He says something interesting. If he doesn’t know if he can do something, he thinks of a strategy that’s work for him 80% of time: Faking it. The memoir, No Time Like the Future. Everyone should listen to it center your favorite podcast platform. Important for these holidays to thank each other for sharing their own mental and physical health concerns without shame.

Shame is a knife in the spine that will stop your moving, thinking, experiencing. The only way to remove the knife is sharing your stories with others. We know this from AA community and TTGW (Transparent Therapeutic Group Work). Find gratitude in everything you do. In Michael J. Fox’s words “Gratitude makes optimism sustainable.”