Dena Taylor | 22 Ways to Occupy Yourself Before Your Name is Called for a Mammogram
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22 Ways to Occupy Yourself Before Your Name is Called for a Mammogram

22 Ways to Occupy Yourself Before Your Name is Called for a Mammogram

Fear is real and I don’t take it lightly. I sit with it, consider its origin, talk it over with someone, journal about it (check out Kris Carr’s awesome post on ways to take fear for a joy ride). But at some point I’ve got to move on. The following is in order of how they arose in my brain while waiting for my name to be called for today’s mammogram. Employ at your own risk. And if you do, oh, please, oh, please, do share!

1. Imagine that Betty White walks into the waiting lounge and sits next to you. Would you talk to her? What would you say?

2. Count in threes to 100.

3. Think of five things about the day so far that you’re grateful for. (I had this amazing terra taco at a local cafe, and was glad to meet a deadline)

4. Do a crossword puzzle.

5. Bring stationery and write someone special an unexpected Hello.

6. Decide what you’ll have for dinner and make it fun. Note needed ingredients or your favorite takeout.

7. Take three deep breaths — inhale “love”, exhale “joy.”

8. Peruse magazine ads for the prettiest model you can find. Draw horns and fangs on her face, give her claws, etc. Extra points for Abercrombie.

9. Take a few extra packaged fresh wipes from the basket for your purse and car. You never know.

10. Have a cup of hot coffee or tea. Skip if gross or unavailable.

11. Redecorate the lounge in your mind. What color palette would you use? Fabrics? Layout? Would you add a frozen yogurt machine? What about the robes? (I’d replace them with some sort of soft fleece poncho to avoid the whole sleeve off/sleeve on nonsense.)

12. Give yourself a mini neck, jaw or temple massage. (I realized later that I was clenching my jaw.)

13. Knit, crochet, darn socks.

14. Write your own lyrics to a popular song. Like “Incurred Fines / You know you’ve got ’em / You’ve got to pay ’em / Maybe use your Visa…

15. Make lists. Eight famous people you’d like to meet. Ten attractions/activities in your town that you’ve never done. Ball of twine, famous chili, so-and-so’s childhood home, etc. Four old friends you’d like to reconnect with. Nine foods you’ll never give up.

16. Read, read, read. Not your email or the magazine you just trashed but a book—something sexy, thrilling, inspiring. (Why this is at 16. is insane.)

17. Draw, sketch, doodle. Rearrange a room in your house. Sketch the woman across from you or the fake plant by the door. (I sketched the plant in front of the window) loungesketch

18. Look out the window. Any plants, squirrels, birds, planes, people in cars? What is everyone up to, what’s their focus? Skip if no window.

19. Try to remember the names of your favorite teachers. (This is here because I’m horrible with names. I only remember my CCD teacher. Her name was Agnes.)

20. Play the “imagine you’re on a desert island for a month (or six, 12, etc.) game.” You can only have three types of food, two CDs (batteries included), two books, etc. (I started with salmon and risotto, U2…)


21. Make anagrams out of the names of people you know.

22. Think about what you love most about your life, then bullet some reasons why.

Here’s mine: My family and friends because:

  • They make me laugh
  • I can count on them
  • They’re fascinating!
  • They make me think

How do you spend your time in the waiting room? Share away.


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