Investing in Yourself

There is no investment as profitable as you.  Think about it.  We spend countless dollars, time, and energy on things that do not improve our lives or only provides a quick fix.  Why do you invest in your home or your car?  Well for some of us, it’s getting the perfect curtains to match your living room couch… who would have known there are so many shades of gray? 

While your new décor provides you with a sense of happiness, its effects are limited.  However investing in your vehicle can add more value to your life, because it will provide more years that your car will run at its best. But when it comes to investing in ourselves, we typically put that on the backburner.

Now, imagine we lived in an alternate universe where we made it a priority of putting all our time, money and energy into being the best version of ourselves? How do we do that?  We find ways to educate, experience and share our lives with others. 

The World Parkinson Congress (WPC) is an event that happens every three years in a different part of the world.  In 2016 the 4th World Parkinson Congress was held in Portland, Oregon and the congress welcomed its largest delegation yet with 4,546 attendees from 67 countries.

We are taking that energy and heading to Kyoto, Japan for the 5th World Parkinson Congress (WPC 2019) and I would like to personally invite you to invest in yourself and join us.  I know that for some of you, Japan sounds a little bit of a reach, but think of the opportunities you will have. 

It’s a 4-day program with the goal to learn about the latest scientific discoveries, medical practices, caregiver initiatives and advocacy work related to Parkinson's disease from researchers, physicians, rehabilitation therapists, nurses, people with Parkinson’s disease and caregivers.  You will hear speakers from all over the world, some of whom you wouldn’t normally have the chance to meet.  

Kyoto will be my third WPC experience. One moment that will forever be in my heart was at the WPC 2013 in Montreal.   After getting checked into my hotel on the first day, I noticed that I was surrounded by Parkies and their families.  I felt safe.  I didn’t have to hide my symptoms or feel embarrassed.  

As I was gathering my belongings to head to my room, a man approached me with a smile and said, “I know you.” I had never seen this man before, but he seemed to recognize me.  I asked him where he was from and he said Ireland.  I thought to myself, “well I don’t’ know anyone from Ireland.”  Noticing the confused look on my face, he said, “Perky Parkie!” I was shocked that someone was reading my blog, “The Perky Parkie” and although we had never talked or met in person, he could pick me out in a crowd.  I realized at that moment, that even though we all don’t live in the same area, we are all connected by Parkinson’s.  That week, I had the opportunity to meet people who I had communicated with online and made new friendships.  The WPC showed me that we are not alone and it is conferences like this that bring us closer together.   

Expand your knowledge, experience a different culture, make new friends and grow your Wolfpack (support system) by investing in yourself. By attending the WPC 2019 you will get the tools to be your personal best and find ways to better your life. 


I hope to see you all in Kyoto, Japan in 2019. 


Allison Smith, MA, LMFT is currently Co-Chair of the WPC 2019 Ambassadors and a WPC 2019 Blogger Partner. She also served as Ambassador and Blogger Partner for WPC 2016 as well as presenting in the program. Allison is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, working at a Neurology and Movement Disorder Clinic, with an emphasis on chronic illness, chronic pain, health and fitness. She is also a personal trainer certified through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)  and a Certified PWR! Moves Instructor.

You can check out her blog, The Perky Parkie here.

Ideas and opinions expressed in this post reflect that of the author solely. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of the World Parkinson Coalition®