Surveys on the Sidewalk

Surveys on the Sidewalk
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I first noticed the survey as I headed down the street while the sun was rising last Sunday morning. A rock painted bright orange with the words “poll of the day” anchored a sheet protector. Inside, a green index card asked: “Would you rather have a lifetime subscription to Netflix or an unlimited gift card to Starbucks?”

A small pile of rocks and bark placed nearby were to serve as our ballots, and by my estimation, Starbucks was winning.

A few days later, a new poll arrived: “Which would you rather give up … pizza forever or tacos forever?” This vote looked to be evenly split when I arrived on a drippy, gray morning that to me was calling out to be a pizza evening.

I am not one for meditation, and just reading the word “mindfulness” is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I find that I am at my most peaceful state when I am immersed in repetitive actions like counting knits and purls, lining up golf balls to hit with the same club 20 times over, methodically hitting tennis balls against a wall.

Walking the neighborhood to see signs of humor and life from our local wild rabbits or the pigeons cooing in our rafters are about as close as I get to any sort of meditation. And it requires no app, no equipment, and really, no particular destination.

This week, my daughter and I have taken to visiting a flotilla of baby ducklings on our daily “work-it-out” walks, where we set the plan for our day, from Zoom calls to math assignments and dinner ideas. These walks are our own survey of our situation, and with only the two of us to vote on matters of high importance — hot chocolate or lattes, oatmeal or chocolate chip — we always find joy in our election results.

Our road trips are much shorter now, and most often on foot — in this we are lucky. But our minds are free to wander the roads of our past and our vital connections to our hemophilia community near and far.

It is quite easy to get lost in the “what ifs” of our current situation, or as Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber described it in a recent conversation at Washington National Cathedral, the “we had hoped” of our lives. But these questions remain: Would we rather have a virtual annual meeting (the NHF’s Bleeding Disorders Conference is going fully online in August) or no annual meeting? Would we rather gather around the laptop to see our colleagues and coursemates for a board meeting or class session, or not see and hear them at all?

I know my answers — what are yours? I will always vote, in my own poll, to use whatever means possible to connect.

Take a walk today, a short one will do, and decide what your survey will ask of your neighbors near and far — and what your vote will be.

(Photo by Ann Kendall)

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Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.

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