I have long been a “frequent flyer” in fabric and craft stores, having learned to sew at my Granny’s side when I was a young girl. In those days, sewing was also taught as part of the home economics curriculum for the girls in most high schools and was an important project choice in the 4-H programs in rural areas. In fact I, almost failed sewing because I did it Granny’s way instead of “by the book!”
Once, when I was spending a delightful few hours in a small shop, I heard the owner state that most of her best customers were nurses and others who worked in hospitals and nursing homes.
I believe that nurses are naturally creative people. Nurses think outside the box all the time. Improvise, adapt, overcome. Whatever you have to do to make something work.
And when we have our own free time, that creative urge looks for a place to reassert itself. To give us something to use to burn off stress in a healthy and nondestructive way. To become something beautiful and lasting, perhaps even useful for ourselves or for someone else.
There are nurses who sew, knit, quilt, do elaborate bead work, embroider masterpieces and decorate their mailboxes. There are nurses who cook meals and decorate cakes to rival any Food Network superstar. Nurses who paint, sculpt, make scrapbooks, take fantastic photographs and decorate their personal spaces with collections of things that have sentimental value or give them personal joy or comfort.
We find things to do that help us to disconnect from the pain and unpleasantness of the world at work. Some of us read, grow flowers, burn beautiful candles and use wonderful scented soaps.
We make our work spaces our own when possible–just to keep us grounded in our own humanity. I once had a manager whose office was so eclectic that it felt like Mardi Gras inside. Lots of color, texture and objects which stimulated the senses and separated her work space from the austere surgical floor.
So go ahead and take the plunge! Try something you’ve never done before but always wanted to try. You may love or hate it and if that happens, try something else!
Just remember that in art there are NO RULES! No regulations! No grades to earn! Just the release of stress and satisfaction that you made something nice (and nobody but you is going to notice any mistakes!).
It is as necessary for your well-being as eating your veggies, exercise and a daily dose of chocolate!
What I make of my hands, I give of my heart (author unknown).
For more Inspiration and Stories pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!