Doctors, hospitals, and anything containing the word “hemoglobin” terrify me.
It all started when I was 15, and had my blood drawn for the first time. They thought I might have mono. (If that’s The Kissing Disease, I was the exception. For some reason, boys didn’t seem to like my braces, glasses, and white tights combo.)
I was nervous, but insisted on going into the office alone. I was fine until the nurse said she needed to take an extra vial of blood, and handed me the one she’d just filled.
It was warm.
With my blood.
Like blood that should be inside of my body, with me blissfully unaware of its temperature.
A few minutes later, Babs (my mom) found me passed out on the bathroom floor. Since then, I haven’t been able to set foot inside a doctor’s office or hospital without some level of panic. If you were to take my blood pressure results during any of these visits in earnest, I should be dead.
Now that I’ve reached a point in life where retirement planning is starting to mean something, I’ve decided it’s time to face fears, if only so I can collect big in 29 years.
In the past month, I’ve gone to the dentist twice, the doctor’s once, and I even voluntarily had a small amount of blood drawn for a workplace annual health assessment. And I only cried a tinylittle moderate amount!
On Sunday, I’ve decided to up the ante: I’m donating blood. And I’m making Babs hold the warm vial of blood my hand this time.
Have you ever gotten over a phobia?
P.S. – Things I learned from writing this post: Bloodletting is one word. THAT IS NOT OKAY.
Recently, as part of a huge work conference I coordinated (okay, helped coordinate), we booked an external guest speaker. A guy named Shawn Achor.
Apart from having a viral TedTalk, Shawn is a New York Times bestselling author who’s even caught God’s Oprah’s attention. (If you do one thing today besides pretending to work, I hope it’s clicking that link.)
Why’s he so popular? Well, he’s super cute he studies happiness, for starters. And who isn’t obsessed with happiness but the most stressed out, miserable population since 1936 (I may have made that last part up)?
Shawn grew up in Texas, all set to become a firefighter, when he got accepted into Harvard on a full scholarship. As he tells it, no one was more surprised than him. He got to campus in awe, but eventually depression snuck up and bit him in the smart, adorable tuckus. Though he struggled, Shawn ultimately succeeded, and was even invited to stay on board as a resident adviser after graduation.
Over time, he noticed a glaring trend: He wasn’t alone. Every year, within a couple of short months, a huge percentage of freshman went from exulting in their good fortune to lamenting their overwhelming workloads. Gone was the excitement and gratitude they felt when they first got to Harvard; in swooped a laser-focus on stress and perfection.
What was happening to these kids? And why? And most importantly, could it be helped?
Through some truly fascinating and entertaining research, Shawn discovered -and forgive the cliche as I oversimplify- that happiness comes from within.
How many of us tell ourselves, “When I get that promotion, I’ll be happy”? Or, “When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happy”? Or my personal favorite, “When bacon goes on sale again, I’ll be happy”? When we constantly define success as a goal that lies ahead of us, we never feel truly satisfied.
The good news is: There’s something we can do about it. And we can do it now. In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn outlines simple Happiness Habits we can all adopt to reverse our negative thought patterns. By putting some of these practices to use, in 21 short days, you’ll report improved levels of happiness in just about every aspect of your life.
If that’s not convincing? Wait’ll you read about how companies embracing positivity are hiring. They’re not wasting their money. They have proof: Optimism yields results, and staggering ones at that.
Want to win a copy of Shawn’s bestselling book, “The Happiness Advantage”? Simply leave a comment below describing a funny (or otherwise noteworthy) run-in with a miserable bastard!
(…What? That’s positive! That’s funny! I totally get what this book is about!)
I’ll [entirely subjectively] pick an entrant to receive of a copy of the book and announce the winner next week! Contest ends MIDNIGHT EST on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Open to awesome people worldwide.
Disclaimer: I was not given any incentive, monetary or otherwise, to write this. I am just bored waiting for Shawn Achor to accept a second wife. I seriously love Shawn Achor, and this book.
Oh, hi blog, it’s me, Jules. You probably didn’t recognize me because I’VE LOST MY F%$&%@ MIND.
Remind me never to buy real estate again. In fact, remind me to never buy anything again, ever. Okay, maybe toothbrushes. Those get really gross after a while.
Trying to sell your house is like having to, every day for, possibly, ever, tell a 6-year-old Santa Claus doesn’t exist. You don’t know how bad it’s going to be, but you know it’s going to be bad.
Especially when you’ve lost your job and are convinced you can do everything yourself.
Case in point: Buying this year’s Christmas tree became a rushed, haggard ‘staging’ opportunity, as opposed to a magical, fragrant event wherein I blast John Denver and the Muppets and drink egg nog rum.
Case in point part deux: In the past month, I’ve learned things about my vacuum that, frankly, I think I was better off not knowing.
In fact, I was so desperate to get out of cleaning the downstairs coat closet, when Babs (my mom) mentioned needing help at the office yesterday, I gleefully volunteered. She works for an allergist, and while I was sure I’d be of no use whatsoever, she was more than willing to perch me in the front window for the day.
Questions I Was Not Able to Answer
Can I come in for a flu shot?
Can you talk to my primary care doctor about sending over my blood work?
What is your fax number?
Can I still have peanut and sesame oil?
Question(s) I WAS able to Answer
Can my child have a sticker?
How often do you replace your toothbrush?When did you find out Santa Claus wasn’t real? Would you like a sticker?
I know it’s been a little over a week since I’ve regaled you with talking animals and my ceaseless wit, so I thought I’d pop in just to let you know my life is in utter turmoil.
I kid, I kid.
Right now I’m sitting in a spare office waiting to see if I still have a job [in project management]. They’re laying off 20% of my division’s workforce this month, and today everyone in my department is getting called down to the principal’s office to find out their Fate.
You might think this is an odd time to blog. Especially since I might have a lot of time to blog in the very near future (ba-da-BUM!), but what else am I gonna do? Work?
Nah. I’d rather reminisce about last weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where I did a little of this…
What the sugar-free fudge is a Fitbit? Thanks for asking. It’s basically a pedometer on crack.
Two weeks ago, a colleague showed me a nifty little device, about the size of a money clip, attached to her belt. “It tells you how many calories you can still eat for the day! It even monitors your sleep!” she said. Much like how Anna made pickle juice sound delicious in my last blog contest, the seed was planted. I wanted one. Bad.
“It costs about 100 bucks,” she continued.
Yeesh, never mind, I thought. Surely with my 40 mile/week fitness regimen, I can lose weight for free.
Except I couldn’t. I’d been stuck in a plateau, halfway to my weight loss goal, for almost two years.
I was sick and tired of taking blog photos from only certain angles.
Of not wanting my profile captured.
Don’t even get me started on full body shots and bathing suits!
On Thursday morning, I hopped on my whore of a scale and the writing was on the wall. An hour later, one thing was already lighter. My wallet.
And now this little piece of black plastic between my breasts tracks my every move, dictating my remaining caloric allowance based on activity, height, weight, age and gender. (Provided I honestly report my food intake using my Fitbit online account.)
Thankfully, for the project manager in me, it displays all of these goodies in some pretty neat dashboards and charts, which I can view on my computer or smart phone.
It wasn’t long before I realized I was a walking stereotype (pun intended). Despite my self-proclaimed diet savvy, I was severely underestimating my calorie consumption.
I even signed up for a trial premium subscription to check out how I compared to other Fitbit users in my country.
So now that I know every calorie going in and out, how am I doing?
Have you ever used any fitness gadgets? What are your dieting pitfalls and how do you cope?