Everything is good now, but this past weekend I chose to ignore several warning signs before I blew my heart out. I ignored the signs because surely they were meant for someone else. They could not be meant for me. At least that's what I told myself.
They recomended I arrive 15 minutes before my routine appointment time. But I hate to wait, so I rarely arrive anywhere early. My time is just as valuable as anyone else--even a doctor. If I'm late, start the meeting without me, leave for our destination and I'll catch up later or I'll just miss it, or move on to the next appointment. I know the consequences I face if I'm late.
While I did not arrive 15 minutes before my appointment, I did arrive five minutes early. For me, that's mega-early. It probably was a good thing I was MaryLouMegaEarly because it placed me in a good place when I faced the first warning sign.
I had been rushing around in the schizophrenic Texas weather that had decided to return to near-freazing temps just before I popped in for my appointment. A furnace, an oven, several small burning fires, and even an outdoor patio heater kept the various rooms toasty. The change in temerature didn't feel too extreme or dangerous. In fact, coming in from the freezing cold, the toasty heat was quite welcome even though I love the cooler weather. I also know cooler weather can be dangerous. It is no coincidence that the majority of heart attacks occur during the winter months. Especially to normally inactive people who suddenly participate in physical activity.
I didn't even get checked in before I noticed the first warning sign. It actually was almost tiny enough to overlook. But in my heart I recognized it for what it was, and I knew I should not ignore it. I'm a Registered Nurse. I know the importance of warning signs.
But did I heed it? Of course not. After all, I rationalized, it's not my warning sign--it applies to someone else--not me!
But the warning signs became more prominent. Finally, I was forced to acknowledge they actually were for me. I may have gasped or paled with the final warning sign.
Whatever I did, I drew attention to myself because the girl at the check-in counter suddenly expressed concern for how I felt and quickly ended her conversation with the couple ahead of me. She checked me in, and settled me in the other room, and then she gave me verbal instructions much like the previous warning signs.
But by then it was too late for warning signs.
I had already picked up several fragile and expensive pieces of artwork, and petted one of the gallery cats.
Yes, this past Saturday I went the The Salado Glassworks.
I've blown ornaments before, but this time I blew a heart. And while the signs warned me "until you're ready to buy, please only look with your eyes," I "looked" with my hands. How else am I going to see the price tags on the bottom of the pieces to know if I would make additional purchases?
I also petted the gallery cat.
What can I say--I'm worse than a rebellious two-year old when it comes to touching things--warning signs or not.
(Part Two will outline the process I participated in to blow a glass heart.)