Tuesday, January 3

Day 3: Sit for 15 Minutes

This morning I woke up feeling like a zombie. I stayed up until nearly midnight last night to watch the end of a movie, Love Actually (which I have already seen). It is a great, feel-good movie about love, actually. I know that was cheesy but I couldn't resist. My eye twitch is back and I woke up with a headache but I still think it was worth it. You can’t always go to bed at 10:00 because you should. Sometimes you just have to bend the rules. (Right. I will probably have to go to bed at 9:00 tonight to make up for it :-p).

I had asked Carl to help me remember that I needed to get up a little earlier this morning so I could go by the doctor’s office to leave a blood test on my way to work. The doctor’s office opened at 8:00am and I figured I could get there right when they opened and still get to work by 8:30ish. He forgot to remind me but luckily I remembered and I was in the shower by 7:00 and we were out the door at the same time by 7:45. We even had time to sit at our new dining table and have some coffee and a pop tart. It was an added treat to walk with him to the train station on my way to the doctor, as we usually leave at different times. The street we walked down is a beautiful little quaint street, Swedenborgsgatan, tucked into a hidden pocket of Södermalm, the island in the Stockholm archipelago where we live. It is somewhat narrow and lined with trees and the old-fashioned, brick buildings, with their early 20th century architecture and wrought-iron street lamps, really add to its charm.

When we got to the train station, I kissed him goodbye and turned left to head toward Medborgplatsen. I arrived at the doctor’s office just 5 minutes after 8:00 and quickly handed the receptionist my paperwork. She smiled and said, just walk down to the end of the hall and sit for 15 minutes. Someone will come take your blood test then.

Sit for 15 minutes.

This threw a wrench in my plan to get to work before my boss arrived. Okay. I walked down the hall and sat. I looked at my watch. It would be 8:25 before I would get out of there and that would put me at work hopefully just before 9:00. I bit the bullet and sent a text message to my boss explaining the situation. I told him that I originally thought it would only take a few minutes but just discovered that I had to sit for 15 minutes before they could take the blood test. He wrote back: Ok ☺. I hadn't thought he’d be upset or angry but I just didn’t want to have to say anything about it. I wanted to get it done and get to work before he had to know any different.

So now I am sitting for 15 minutes. I am sure there is a good reason for this but I have no idea what it is. Since there is nothing I can do about it I decide to check my emails and Facebook and relax a bit. I get to work before 9:00 and still arrive before my boss so I decide to look up the “sit for 15 minutes before your blood test” thing really quick. Apparently sitting for 15 minutes before you have blood drawn assists in the “equilibration of the concentrations of blood components”. My eye twitches. I think about how sitting for 15 minutes probably assists in the equilibration of ones thoughts as well. 15 minutes may not seem like a long time when you compare it to the whole day but if you add up 15 minutes a day for 365 days it comes to 91.25 hours, or almost 4 days. I don’t think I could sit for 4 days straight and just be with my thoughts but 15 minutes a day seems reasonable. I decide in that moment that I will attempt to sit for 15 minutes each day to think intentionally and have a purpose, or just be with my thoughts, pray or meditate. It doesn’t really matter. The purpose is in the intention behind taking 15 minutes out of a 24-hour day to spend some time with just me and my lonesome.


  1. I love learning about other countries health care ideas. Sounds so practical and make sense. I'm enjoying reading your thoughts; keep up the good work.