Giving back

Patience is a virtue…

IMG_3015I do not have patience.

I am working on it, but it is something I’ve always struggled with and I’m still learning so bear with me. Since I don’t have patience, I get tested on it very regularly. Today was one of those days, but instead of getting too terribly frustrated, I did something different and learned a very valuable lesson.

I put myself in a different frame of mind and I let go. Will I do this every time my patience is tested, I’m not sure, but I’d like to say I will. At least, I’ll try.

Anyway, I was scheduled to give blood today. I did so with the idea that it had been a while, they (American Red Cross) called and set up the appointment and I didn’t have anything else to do, so why not? Once I found the donation center, I found it extremely trying to get into the building. There was construction and signs pointing this way and that way and every door I tried was locked. At this point, I was more than a little frustrated and I was prepared to leave and go home.

Just then some very nice people let me into the building and directed me to where I needed to go. As I made my way down the hallway, I was met by another nice person who gave me directions and apologized for the inconvenience. At the desk, I was met instantly and given the packet to read over and once that was done I was shown to the waiting area.

Again, I had to wait. Even though I had an appointment scheduled, I still had to wait. I’m the kind of person that likes to get things done. That’s why appointments are made. You get there on time, and everything flows along. Nope.

However, I realized something today that I hadn’t before. In all of my years of wanting things to be done now, ‘get er done’ so to speak, I never really took the time to enjoy the moment. When I did, I noticed some things. I noticed a few people had come to give blood together. It was like they had organized an outing to spend time giving back, together. I noticed a gentleman and his daughter. Whether it was her first time giving or not, he was there with her. I noticed the camaraderie between the phlebotomists and their joy in doing something they loved to do.

But then I noticed my bags were different from others and there was a little bit of a wait time for me to start giving because my phlebotomist that was taking my blood was reading the directions on how to use them. Most would freak out at this point, but it wasn’t because she didn’t know how to use them. She started to explain to me the reason she was being extra cautious, was because they don’t use those bags everyday and she wanted to ensure she did every step correctly. According to her, I was able to give blood that would be used in the next days or so instead of being stored for later use. Today, I gave blood that could potentially help or even save someone’s life in the next week.

When I stopped to think about it, I almost didn’t go through with giving blood because of my impatience. I was upset about the wait. But sometimes waiting allows us bigger and better opportunities. I had in my mind that I would go in and give blood and that would be it. But in waiting, I was able to give blood that would help someone more immediately.

It put things into perspective for me. Here I was upset about the wait to give blood and someone else on the other end could possibly not wait to receive it.

If you can, please consider giving blood. You could save a life. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit the American Red Cross and donate today.


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