One Good Thing – Giving Blood

It’s not lost on me that I’m coming back to blogging at a time when I don’t read blogs regularly. In the old day, I had a number of favorites and kept tabs on them by Google Reader. These days, I read updates as they share them through FaceBook or other social media. Now I get newsletters to my inbox and can’t always keep up.

Here are a few of my favorites. Go subscribe!

  • Leave it to Leonor – One of the highlights each Thursday. I always come away with a new book recommendation, topic I may want to write about, or article I missed.
  • Terryngrams – Lately, Terryn has focused on cooking and it’s a good reminder of how fun it is to cook for yourself.
  • Wandering Ephemera – One of Taz’s recent newsletters was an entertaining review of Christmas rom-coms from her perspective as a Muslim woman.

This all brings me back to the inspiration from Leonor in last week’s newsletter: one good thing from the week. I’ll start with last week.

I donated blood.

I used to give blood a few times a year pre-kids. Sometimes I’d extend a lunch break and drop by the UCLA medical center’s blood donation site in the student union. I always thought of my family members who received blood transfusions. I liked the idea of paying it forward. The snacks were a nice bonus. There were times I couldn’t give. I’d feel well, but then get turned away due to low hemoglobin levels. Once I had kids, I stopped donating. I couldn’t find the time. When there was time, I had a cold. Babies and toddler pass on all their germs.

My motto is just like my bloody type: be positive

Last Friday, I gave without an issue and got that feeling when you do something good. I also am thankful for being well enough since we’re still in a pandemic and a cold isn’t just a cold anymore.

I donated through the Red Cross. In a few weeks, I’ll get an email telling me where my blood was used. In recent months, it’s been in neighboring states and I joked that at least my blood got to travel. This time, I wonder if it’ll be used locally since there are severe shortages everywhere. A few days after I donated, I got an email from a local listserv. The midwife who delivered Archie advocated for donating and talked about the impact of the sever shortage locally. It was a nice reminder that even though I may be helping people who are far away, I can also have an impact in my own community.

I’d be remiss to note that like everything, being able to donate blood is political. I didn’t know as much about the FDA’s policies restricting gay men from donating until more recently as the national blood shortage has gained media attention and there have been calls to end the discriminatory policy.


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