No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox

I grew up watching Michael J. Fox, first as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties, then in the Back to the Future trilogy. In the late 1990’s, one of my husband and my favorite sitcoms was Spin City. Like most people, I was shocked when Fox revealed he had Parkinson’s disease. He opted for retirement from acting, except for acting jobs where he played someone with Parkinson’s. I recently finished the audiobook of No Time Like the Future (Amazon) (AbeBooks), his latest book.

From the publisher: “In No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, Michael shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality. Thoughtful and moving, but with Fox’s trademark sense of humor, his book provides a vehicle for reflection about our lives, our loves, and our losses.

Running through the narrative is the drama of the medical madness Fox recently experienced, that included his daily negotiations with the Parkinson’s disease he’s had since 1991, and a spinal cord issue that necessitated immediate surgery. His challenge to learn how to walk again, only to suffer a devastating fall, nearly caused him to ditch his trademark.”

While listening to the audiobook of No Time Like the Future, I felt like I was listening to a friend I’ve known for years. Fox has an easy way about him, can find humor in most situations, and is also heartfelt. I finished the book in record time, it was so easy to listen to.

Fox never asks for pity at his lot in life, and the book almost seems like a stream of consciousness pored out over the pages, trying to make sense of his own life and circumstances, and sharing his insights on what he’s learned over the years.

While I did know of Fox’s Parkinson’s, I did not know about the tumor doctors found on his spine and had to operate on. He had to learn to walk again. And all the time, the doctors just kept telling him, “Just don’t fall.” Which means of course he did, and broke his arm in the process.

Fox tells stories of his kids and his wife, Tracy, and like I said, it really is just like a talk with an old friend, who has been in your home since childhood. His optimism despite his prognosis is infectious. He has handled all the curves thrown at him with grace, humility, and humor. We could use more of that in this world.

I’m going to go back and read Fox’s three other books, Lucky Man (Amazon) (AbeBooks), Always Looking Up (Amazon) (AbeBooks) (already on my Kindle after a deal a couple weeks ago), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future…: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned (Amazon) (AbeBooks)

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