In January, I donated blood. It was a huge hassle. Last week, I scheduled today’s donation: not with the same chaotic outfit from a couple of months but rather at my local hospital. I’ve donated there before; it’s fairly seamless and they have been consistently pleasant.
For this donation, I won’t be going alone. Rob has agreed to donate as well. When we were first married, we’d donate every eight weeks–make it into something of a “date afternoon.” You might wonder how romantic this is. Yeah, I have, too. There is something endearing about going in as a married couple and getting poked full of holes to share the so-called “gift of life.” (At least that is what the phlebotomists have said when we’ve graced their donation room.)
I have met other couples who do volunteer work together. From sorting food at the local pantry to signing up for a 2-year-long Peace Corps tour, there are folks who like both being together and being generous together.
The feeling I have after “giving back” with Rob is like the feeling I have when we go to vote together. It’s different than parenting well or creating a delicious meal side-by-side. It has a community feel to it which differs from my coaching or Rob’s involvement with volunteer work within his profession.
I read something once about how if you add new and various activities to your otherwise weekly and monthly routine that you begin to find an appreciation for the richness and texture to an otherwise “routine” life.
So today, I’m adding in an irregular event. I hope to give a unit of blood in five minutes or less. It would be unreasonable for me to aspire to bleed more quickly than Rob: his best time was three and a half minutes. Maybe after, we’ll go out for lunch. That, too, is a not so regular happening.