I bought a coloring book…
And while I was at it, I bought a lovely set of colored pencils. Grown up ones. All sleek and beautiful. In their own special case. I am a sucker for great packaging. I once bought a lipstick I didn’t even like the color of because it came in a really cool case. For reals.
I bring it all home and wait until (I think) the kids are in bed. I take it out of the bag, find a page I like and start methodically coloring the page. Choosing just the right color, following the lines around the page, and thoroughly enjoying the whole process.
And in walks my son to say good night…one more time. He takes a look at my shiny new coloring book. “Whatcha doin there mom?”
“Oh, just coloring.”
“Yes.” (maybe starting to get a little self-conscious at this point…)
“Ok…how long have been doing this?” “Since today. I bought this book today. Um…isn’t it great?”
“Sure mom. Whatever you want. Goodnight.”
Oh well. Perhaps there is something he or I needed to learn in that moment.
Once I got back into it, it reminded me of being a girl and how much I loved to color. I would get in my own little zone and everything that was bothering me would just disappear, at least for awhile. And then I realize that is exactly what’s happening NOW! As I am picking just the right color for the next section and adding in shading, I realize that I am no longer thinking about the woman who literally screamed at me in the school parking lot this morning, I’m not worried about the malfunctioning smoke alarm anymore, I’m not even wondering how I’m going to get all my tasks done tomorrow. All I’m thinking about it this. precise. moment.
The thing I realized is how important it is to take time to do things that allow our minds to be still and think about only what’s happening right now. And for me, today, it’s coloring.
But, it doesn’t have to be a coloring book. If you are attracted to gardening, go get some plants and a new spade. Or maybe your thing is Bonsai trees, or painting, or waxing cars or dancing or cooking or any number of other amazing activities.
Today, what would allow you to create that mind space?