Little Victorieson August 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm
I’m going to give blood today.
Not so long ago, my reaction to hearing the phrase “give blood” would have been, “Ew!” or maybe even “EW! Ew, ew, ew, NO!” followed by the sound of my footsteps running away fast.
Obviously that’s no longer the case, so what changed?
I’ve always known that it’s important to donate blood, so that’s nothing new. (Just ask the American Red Cross if you don’t believe me) And yet for the longest time I was absolutely terrified of doing it. Sharp, pointy, medical-related stuff gave me the willies. I never liked going to the doctor for shots. Whenever I needed a finger-stick blood test, I shrieked like a banshee. The sight of all those glittering tools at the dentist’s office sent me into conniptions.
I can swear on a stack of my favorite chocolate bars that I did not simply wake up one morning and exclaim, “What a perfect day to let someone hook me up to a blood-collection bag! I do hope needles will be involved.” I am sorry to say that in the aftermath of 9/11 I was not one of the many good people thronging the blood donation centers. Yet somehow, there did come a day when I told myself, “Okay, we’re going to do this.” No big moment of revelation, no eye-opening incident to bring the need for blood donation close to home for me, just the decision to try.
And I did.
Surprise! It wasn’t so bad. A little “ow,” but honestly, nothing to make a huge fuss about, so I did it again and I’ve been doing it ever since. I count it as one of my life’s little victories.
Do you know about little victories? We all have them, it’s just that we don’t all notice them. They’re not grand, heroic achievements. They’re not like pulling the sword out of the stone, slaying the dragon, or fighting the Calydonian boar. They don’t make it into the papers or onto the 6 o’clock news or even into your family’s holiday letter. But they’re still there. We just have to pay attention and be aware when we score one, because one helps us reach the next. They become the small stepping stones that give us the boost we need to conquer mountains.
I’ve had my fair share of them, and I could drone on and on, going through the list, but since one of the things I want to do with this blog is talk to aspiring writers, I’m only going to mention one more example that’s going to be important to you if you want to write a novel some day:
Don’t look at a 300 page book and groan, “There’s no way I could ever write something that long!”
Do look at it and realize that if you wrote just one page per day, in less than a year’s time you would have written a novel-length manuscript.
Now go make that page-a-day part of your own list of little victories.
Me, I’ve got (Eep!) an appointment for. . .well, See Above. [G]