When I graduated with my bachelor's degree my parents surprised me with a wonderful graduation gift - a Nikon D70 camera. I have always enjoyed photography and keep fairly large photo albums documenting my experiences and memories. I have been fortunate enough to travel during college and have loads of photos hogging up space on my hard drive from Europe, Africa and across the United States.
When I received an e-mail at work regarding a photo contest, I was incredibly excited. It wasn't a question of whether I would submit any photos, but more a question of which one(s). The subject matter for the contest was "Inspiration" and 10 photos would be selected for placement in one of the skyway hallways of the hospital. The winning photos from the previous year would be scattered around the hospital for patients, families and employees to enjoy. I selected three photos to enter and two of them won!
So this morning I had breakfast with the other contest winners. We sat around and shared stories about our photos and what they meant to us in terms of "inspiration." During that meeting I realized how much my own personal hobbies can impact the day of my patients. While it sounds a little bold, I guess I can say that my photos could possibly inspire one of the people who pass through the hallway and appreciate the artwork. I had never thought that my fiddling with a camera could translate into improving the care I give to my patients.
My question for you is this - do you find that your hobbies impact who you are as a therapist? Do your patients benefit from the things you do in your free time? Do you share your experiences of cooking, running, golf, stitching or any other hobby, with your patients?
P.S. I've attached the two winning photos I submitted. The first is from Coyote Buttes, UT, and the second is from the northern Spain region.