Passion Project No. 2: Volunteering With Hospice Care of the West

What's your passion project?

Are you working on a passion project? What is a passion project? you might ask.

A passion project, by my definition, is something that finds you and sucks you in. It’s nothing you went searching for, but when you stumble across it, you feel compelled to complete it.

Sometimes you get paid for passion projects, and sometimes you don’t. More often than not, you don’t, which is why there’s nothing behind it but the pure, raw belief that what you are doing serves a purpose larger than you.

Sometimes you have no passion projects and sometimes you have many.
Currently, I have three passion projects that I am working on. One is the V-Day San Clemente 2011: “The Vagina Monologues” event that I talked about last week. My second passion project is volunteering with hospice.

In fact, this weekend will be my first two visits with hospice patients enrolled in hospice through Hospice Care of the West. It has taken me months to complete all the training (a full day workshop, several hours of videos and four separate visits to the doctor for tuberculosis tests). However, I’m finally ready and excited to get out there and help some patients and their families.

If you aren’t familiar with what hospice is, you can read more about it here through Hospice Care of the West. Basically, it’s a service for people who have a terminal illness and need care that keeps them as comfortable as possible; it doesn’t aim to cure them.

Why I Was Drawn to hospice Volunteering

In June, after my friend Pryor passed away from a rare, aggressive cancer, I had time to think and reflect on the flight back to Ohio about all the questions and conversations I would never be able to ask him. That thought also crossed over to my brother whom I lost to a heart attack in March of this year. Was there a silver lining to these painful experiences? If so, what was it?

The one immediate and drastic change I made was to quit the MBA program. I didn’t immediately drop out, but I submitted an application to take a semester off to make sure leaving the program was the right decision. Making that move immediately lifted the metaphorical weight off my chest.

I also realized that, OK, I can’t change the fact that I’ll never get lost time back with my friend and brother, but I can spend time with and listen to others who know that they don’t have much time left in their lives. I can share their thoughts and lessons on what constitutes a life well-lived and if they achieved all they set out to do.

I can use these tragedies to motivate myself and others. We don’t know for sure how much time we get in this life. Rather than let that fact paralyze me, I want to harness it to propel me into action. How about you?

Get Started on a Passion Project

So first things first, and that’s getting started volunteering with hospice. I’ve had a lot of people warn me that hospice volunteering can be emotionally draining. It’s certainly not for everyone. But that’s what makes it a passion project. Obviously not everyone gets amped talking about vaginas or getting close to people who are about to die. The only way to find out if it’s for me is to give it a try. Ideally, it goes well, and I’ll get to share some inspirational and motivational stories from ordinary heroes with you.

Learn more about hospice volunteering to find out if it’s a passion project you’ve been waiting for.

I firmly believe that each of these passion projects will ultimately lead to making the world a better place. That belief is enough to get me off my butt and put myself out there. What will it take for you?

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This entry was posted in Goals, Happiness Goals, Volunteer and Service Goals, World Improvement Goals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Passion Project No. 2: Volunteering With Hospice Care of the West

  1. E says:

    You’re simply awesome.

  2. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Thanks, E!

  3. Timory says:

    How did it go???

  4. Timory says:

    How did the hospice volunteering go?

  5. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Haha, oops, I saw that I replied to the wrong question! Hospice volunteering is good. I’ve only gone on three visits to patients. I’m still in the “initiation phase” I think — they want to make sure I’m sticking around and can handle the loss of when someone passes away. Fortunately, all the patients I visit currently have lived very long, full lives. Eventually, I’m hoping to meet with some younger patients (or older patients who are still able to speak clearly) and conduct interviews with them.

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