Yesterday I had one of the most meaningful and fulfilling days I’ve experienced in my working life. A little background first; I lost my husband suddenly a couple of months ago. It’s only been just recently, now that the initial shock has worn off and subsequent chaos has subside, that I’ve started to feel raw emotion. These past few days in particular have been a roller-coaster ride as memories flood me, responsibilities overwhelm me and fear, doubt, dread, and feelings of inadequacy swarm me.
A few months ago, I began a project with a client who houses and cares for dementia patients. We produced and installed “calming” graphics in various locations around the ward. It was a major undertaking as together we went through thousands of images to choose the perfect one. Images that we unobtrusive, peaceful, calming, non-triggering, cheerful and that would provide safe and secure space for the patients.
We completed the project recently and I got an awesome follow-up email from my clients telling me just how successful the new images were and asking if we could meet to discuss doing more. I suggested they come to our facility to get an idea of all that we can do, as our operations are truly impressive and by walking through our plant they would surely get a plethora of ideas to add to their “Wish List”.
As our owner is very passionate about what we do and has a brilliant, creative mind, so I asked him to lead the tour. Half a dozen people visited us this afternoon, awestruck by our plant, animated about the possibilities and eager to do more. As we were wrapping up and saying our goodbyes, each one of them shared their thoughts on the project we had just completed. They told me that the patients are noticeably calmer and more cheerful. Also that the staff are much happier and enjoying the new, less “institutional” decor, and that the patients’ families are seeing a marked improvement in the moods of their loved ones.
What really gutted me, again because my are emotions are raw, is when they told me that the patients’ quality of life has greatly improved. Can you even imagine? I was part of a concerted and successful effort to improve the quality of peoples’ lives! This was likely one of the most important things I have participated in; I feel honored, proud, elated, and of course, like a blubbering fool. Who knew that slapping some graphics on a wall or elevator could make such an impact?
What a great feeling!