Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #128~ Lessons From Dick Van Dyke

Blog #128~ Lessons From Dick Van Dyke

I just finished reading Dick Van Dyke’s new book, Keep Moving and other Tips and Truths About Aging. In the book jacket it reads:

“Show-business legend Dick Van Dyke is living proof that life does get better the longer you live it. Who better to offer instruction, advice and humor than someone who’s entering his ninth decade with a jaunty two-step? Van Dyke isn’t just a born song-and-dance man; his irrepressible belief in embracing the moment and unleashing his inner child have proved to be the ultimate elixir of youth.”

Dick Van Dyke Keep Moving

It was a quick read packed with some good advice, tips and anecdotes. After I put the book down, it got me thinking about my son Nick, who is 21 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  Many of the suggestions given are things that my son does every day.  Here are just a few of the many ideas Dick shares:

*Keep moving! If Dick Van Dyke is at the store and hears music playing he starts dancing. Work out regularly.  Van Dyke was on the treadmill humming.  A guy next to him asked, “Hey you’re humming! The rest of us are huffing and puffing and you’re humming.  How do you do that?”  Van Dyke replied, “Vocal cords are muscles too.  But also humming, as with a Buddhist chanting, singing or even an infant making noises as it discovers its voice, sets up a sympathetic frequency in your body that simply feels good.”

Dick Van Dyke at store

*You don’t have to act your age. You don’t even have to feel it. There is no way you have to behave. Be a goofball, have fun, and be silly.

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*Keep your sense of humor. Van Dyke writes, “I once heard someone say that if you can’t laugh at life, you’re missing the joke. I agree.  As far as I’m concerned, a sense of humor is the way we make sense out of nonsense.”

*Have a daily routine. Get up and get moving, make lists, work out, go shopping, learn new things, ask questions, take a nap, and always enjoy a nightly dessert.

*Don’t forget to smile. Don’t forget to make someone else smile 🙂

While these ideas are simple, what stands out to me is having the right attitude to approach each day. It’s the theme which threads through his book.  I see a lot of this in my son. He wakes up; usually cuts a fart and laughs.  If you’ve ever been around Nick, you know that he spends a great amount of time dancing and humming.   He also thrives on his daily routines aided by a picture sequence that serves as his list. And yes, his infectious smile will make your day!

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Inside the Keep Moving book jacket really sums up the essence of my message this week. “Dick’s optimistic outlook is an invigorating tonic for anyone who needs a reminder that life should be lived with enthusiasm despite what the calendar says”.  My son Nick embraces this.  He is my daily prompt to live that way each day.  That is what’s in my noggin this week.

~Teresa 🙂

Author:

Teresa is the mother of two boys. Her youngest son, Nick is 23 years old and has special needs including Down syndrome, autism and verbal apraxia. She is a parent advocate, speaker and writer who is currently working on the memoir of raising her son, Nick. You can follow Nick world on our Facebook page and Pinterest @Down Syndrome With A Slice of Autism. Find Nick on Instagram@ #nickdsaustism, Twitter @tjunnerstall.

3 thoughts on “Blog #128~ Lessons From Dick Van Dyke

  1. Exactly 🙂 You know what, though? I have a social worker who is very draconian. She tells. me that I should only mix with people my own age. I told her, that it doesn’t matter what age any of my friends are. At least Dick Van Dyke, is care-free. He tells a lot of truths, about how we worry so much, over the silliest of things, like ticking off a calendar. I’m glad he refuses to be dictated. I’m like that myself. I’ve never got why people are so pushy. I see people rushing everywhere and it makes me feel sombre. They always seem like they don’t have time to stop and take a good look at life. Yet DVD does. He understands the true meaning of stopping to smell the roses. You can hardly fault such a wise man.

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