Sunday, April 17, 2011

To Volunteer

I burned my tongue drinking coffee today.  That's pretty unusual, mostly because I am not a coffee drinker.  But as I awoke before 5am this morning, by around 10:30am I was starting to feel a little slow.  I guess I should start with working the 9 Health Fair.  It was really fun!  Everyone that comes in is really friendly and nice, and they're all very grateful to everyone who volunteers.  This particular location is one of the busier sites in the state, and I worked it for the first time last year.  It was great being a "veteran" volunteer this year, mostly because I knew to choose to be at a table at the front of the line so that I'd get the opportunity to stick a whole bunch of people, and boy was that a great idea!  The place blew up right about 7:30 this morning and there was a steady stream of people for about the next hour and a half.  I missed the first couple of sticks that I tried, but I got the next few.  As a rule this year (to conserve supplies, we were told) we were only allowed to stick people once before we sent them over to the "hard stick" tables.  I'll admit that I definitely stuck a few people twice.  I didn't stick anyone three times.  It was pretty tiring, bending over for 5 hours, and my lower back is killing me at this point, but I had a blast, and it felt really good to brush up on both my blood-drawing skills and my social skills.  I was one of the first people there, and I grabbed a good table and sort of camped out for awhile, and there was a girl who came in to volunteer who told me that I looked "approachable" so she decided to sit with me.  It ended up being great.  We sat and chatted the whole time, and this was her first year and so I was able to help her out a little here and there.  I'm a dumbass and didn't ask her for any contact information or else I'd say that I made a new friend!  I may still tap some of my resources to see if I can't get in touch with her.  We got breakfast burritos and Chik-Fil-A for lunch, and overall I had a great experience.  I will definitely keep volunteering.

I got home and crashed.  Slept for a few hours, then I had to get up and go with my sister to take the kids back to her ex-husband's house because she had to go straight to work from there and we had to switch cars so she could drive the truck (which is running terrible, by the way, it sounds absolutely horrible).  Then I went to Red Lobster with my parents and then headed over to watch a movie with Tiffany.  I feel like I got a lot out of today, despite my sleeping through part of it.

I've got a lot of thoughts running through my head, a lot of which are stemming from having watched Love and Other Drugs (I give it a B+ for semi-originality, storyline and acting), but I would very much like to get into bed now and relax after this long-ass day.  I'm finding it more and more difficult to record the array of feelings that I go through each day because of the complexity and sheer number of them, and that's really frustrating.  I really want to record everything that I think and feel because I know that this is not the only time in my life that I am having these thoughts and feelings and I think it will be really helpful in the future for me to be able to go back and look at what I did to cope with what's going on inside my head so that I never have to be as miserable as I have been in the past.

One thing I guess I should write before I get to bed is about how I dealt with my nerves over volunteering today.  I was really nervous!  I mean, I knew that I hadn't completely forgotten how to draw blood, but it's been a whole year since I've done it and I was worried that I would screw up in some catastrophic way.  I just put it out of my mind - all the imagining how it went last year and how it might go this year, and all the things I remembered, and all the worries about things I might forget, I acknowledged their presence in my mind, but I didn't allow them to flourish.  I just didn't allow myself to think about it, almost at all.  Anytime a worry would pop in there, I would focus on thinking about something else entirely, and it worked really well.  I got there today and just got right to work, and I suffered no major nerves at all.  It was very refreshing to both feel like I had control and to actually have control over what thoughts I would choose to acknowledge.  I hope that I can do that more in the future.

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