This week has seemed rather long, and today seems like Thursday instead of Wednesday. That's probably because I worked in the office on Monday, which I rarely do. But I've taken on some new reponsibilities in my office job, which means I may be working a bit more. That's okay though - I've rediscovered how much I like my office job this week. True, there's lots of paper shuffling going on, but in the past few months I've started developing some new procedures for doing things, started training a co-worker to help me out, and convinced my boss to let my department handle more of the documentation the nurses were once required to do (which will be quite a bit more cost efficient for the company, and makes the nurses happier too.) So I've been bustling around there feeling quite proud of myself. It's been good for me - takes my mind off some of the other problems I've been dealing with on the domestic front. (And thank you all for your kind and supportive comments. How lucky I am to have such a wise and wonderful network with which to share.)
Elaine, one of the nurses in my office, came in quite excited herself today. A long term client of hers- a young man with brain injuries and physical impairments resulting from a car accident when he was 12 - has been working for a while in a rather dull sheltered workshop, a kind of place where special needs adults can perform manual labor and get paid a small amount of money. She's noticed that he's been getting more and more depressed, talking less and less, and using his wheelchair nearly all the time instead of trying to walk with a cane.
So she started looking around for other opportunities for him. Knowing that he liked art, she tried to get him a volunteer position at the Detroit Art Institute, but nothing was availble. However, staff members there suggested she try the Opera House.
It's been a miracle. Not only have the staff at the Detroit Opera House been accepting and welcoming, they have gone out of there way to provide this young man with the best possible experiences he can have. He's going downtown now at least three times a week, ushering for special programs, working in the office, and having the opportunity to see all sorts of great musical productions.
He saw his first full length opera last weekend, and his mother said he was in tears at the end, completely overwhelmed by music and pagentry. As a result, he's decided to take an adult piano class at the community college. And Elaine reports that he's speaking more, smiling and laughing a lot, and using his cane to walk with. At his neurology appointment today, his physician said he "looked better than he'd ever seen him."
Amazing, isn't it? How finding something you feel passionate about, activities that are fulfilling and satisfying, is the best medicine for one's physical and mental health? It's given him confidence, stimulated his mind and body, and enriched life on so many levels. If it can make such a dramatic difference in the life of a young man with a brain and spinal cord injury, imagine what it can do for ordinary, healthy folks?
Sort of like me this week, working away at my new job responsibilities, writing memos and re-organizing files, creating policies and explaining procedures.
It's given me a new little lease on life.
So here's to finding something you can get excited about - a new hobby, planting spring flowers, a committment to help others, whatever it is that sparks a sense of enthusiasm about life in general.
How about you? What gives you that sense of renewal, that extra spark of energy and confidence that can make you say "yes" to life?