Friday, January 27, 2012

Slow Down: Personal Reflection

This morning, I had the 'pleasure' of going in for a blood draw. I admit, it is NOT my favorite thing to do (I can't imagine anyone who enjoys it). I go at 7 a.m. because there is never a line....UNTIL today. I was about the third person in line and I had exactly 30 minutes to get it done and on the road for school. I was NOT a happy camper.

The waiting area is tiny. Really it is ridiculously tiny. I did all the important things in life while I waited, like read the emails that had come in over night and checked Twitter. Some people had come in after me, but I was OH so BUSY to notice. I was shocked into awakening from my Twitterific fog by a voice that had grown louder. I realized that there was an older man behind me and he couldn't sit down because everyone in line was blocking the chairs (I told you the place was small). I moved so he could sit and I apologized.

When it was finally my turn at the window, I had to give my date of birth and address. I signed the form (why is everything still on paper -- one blood draw had to be at least 5 pieces of paper) and moved to the other side of the room. Back to my alternating between staring at the clock, sighing, and looking disapprovingly at the workers who were in a conversation about the cost of stampers and how someone farther up the food chain was angry about the cost. (More sighing and staring here by me.)

I finally got into the little room and there are actually two stations. I sat and was finally 'in the moment' as the person trying to draw my blood poked and poked. Apparently if I am fasting, my blood doesn't work right. I faded again into unconsciousness. The older gentleman had come into the room and was at the other station. I started paying attention when the man used the word 'he' and I was the only other male in the room. It turns out he was paying attention as I gave my birthdate at the counter and we have the same birthday. His was in 1927, but the same day. He beamed as he told me. His bloodgirl (can't spell what they are really called) said something to him in a condescending tone about how he had paved the way (it annoys me how people talk to very small children and old people as if there brain doesn't work).

The older gentleman and I walked out together. I called him my birthday buddy and his smile grew. My smile grew larger...He was going to get some breakfast and I was going to work.

As I drove away and for the first few miles, I was smiling....deeply. Then I became conscious of the fact that I was smiling. (you have NO idea how rare it is at 7:30 in the morning) I wondered how many other encounters I have been 'too busy' or 'self-important' to notice.

Making connections, even momentary ones, is partially why we are here on this earth. Why do we spend so little time valuing them?

It was nice to meet you, birthday buddy, I learned a lot from you in those five minutes.

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