Life is about what we can do now, not what we can’t

'Butt Prints in the Sand' provokes thought about how I respond to change

Lori DePorter avatar

by Lori DePorter |

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Ten years is a long time to fill a self-care toolbox, but mine will never be complete, and the same tool will never be at the top. I have favorites, however, and one is my regular therapy session. Whether it’s in person or through telemedicine, I’ve come to depend on it.

Months ago, my therapist and I discussed the stress that comes with change. As I left, he told me to read the poem “Butt Prints in the Sand.” While I was familiar with “Footprints in the Sand,” this one was new to me. Why did he suggest it?

I found the stanzas particularly poignant. Over the past two years, life for me and my husband has been a season of changes. Some were good, and others were not, but our life has been reinvented because of them.

“Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight and one must climb.
When one must rise and take a stand,
or leave their butt prints in the sand.

There are different ways to interpret this passage, and I went in every direction. However, I kept returning to the idea of losing something — faith, focus, motivation, strength, purpose, or a combination of things. Those four lines of the poem churned up some strong emotions, but I kept returning to the changes in our life.

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No Change Is a Welcome Change for My Dad, Who Has Parkinson’s

Change is exhausting, whether it’s expected or unexpected. It zaps us emotionally and physically, but it doesn’t always result in loss. Life’s circumstances have brought us career and lifestyle changes. As empty nesters, our roles within our family continue to evolve, and our family continues to grow. Life is moving along, and I’m excited about the future.

At the same time, there are occasions when life moves too fast, and I’m driving it that way. That frantic feeling of “I may not be able to” takes over. Brian Grant, a former NBA star who has young-onset Parkinson’s disease, referred to it as “future tripping” in the trailer for an upcoming documentary, “The Only Day We Have.”

Why do I allow myself to speed through life?

My progression has been slow, and I’m doing my best to stay well. However, I’m not fair to those around me when I try to be the same person I was a year ago, yet still expect them to understand my “future tripping.” Honestly, I’m unsure how others see me, but I see a blessed and happy person at the end of the day. She’s just exhausted.

Back to the question of why my therapist suggested the poem. It wasn’t about changes bringing loss; instead, it was about my reaction to them. I should be embracing the good they bring rather than resisting them, even as we’re also pausing to consider the trajectory of our lives and how we intend to get to a more positive place.

It’s OK to rest, but not for long enough to make a butt print in the sand. Get up. Live in the moment and be true to yourself and those around you. Parkinson’s or not, life isn’t about what we can’t do; life is about what we can do.

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


Dolores avatar


Excellent article. Life is all about the now. My heart goes out too you🙏🏼🙏🏼😘

Lori DePorter avatar

Lori DePorter



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