I bet most of the things on your to do list today are useful, important tasks. I bet they are mostly for everyone else. You are planning meals, collecting dry cleaning, meeting your boss’s needs, doing the school run. It’s all good. That’s what we do.
But you need something for you, too. Something just for you, that you do only for fun. Something that doesn’t really matter. Something you are not accountable for. Something you wont be judged on. Something easy, soothing, relaxing. It might even be your secret. But it doesn’t have to be. Like hundreds of chic French women, you might want to get yourself a colouring book.
No, hear me out…. A grown up colouring book. There are more and more of them available. In fact as I write this, the number one bestseller at www.bookdepository.com is Joanna Basford’s Secret Garden. Yes. It’s a colouring book. And guess what number 2 is? Joanna Basford’s orginal colouring book, Enchanted Garden. The top twenty bestselling books at the book depository currently includes no less than 4 adult colouring books.
Think of it as a purposeful activity if you must. A creative kickstart for some, like bestselling author, Joanna Penn. Joanna uses it as a way to get over a creative block and get writing again. It is an easy way to take the pressure off and soothe the muse.
But really, it is therapy. A way to relieve tension and anxiety. It's easier than meditating. Cheaper (and less intrusive) than a counsellor. Sitting down and colouring is pure escapism. It is active meditation. Mindfulness. The world slides by and you hear only the gentle scratch of the pencil tip on the paper. You feel the silky crayon glide satisfyingly over the paper. Glorious colours of your choosing wash the pixels out of your eyes. Who doesn't need a reprieve from those screens?
Remember when you put that first chunky crayon in your toddler’s clumsy fist? We watch our children delight in making marks and relish all that colour. We know it is good for them. That they are playing, learning, growing. As instinctively as they know what to do with the crayon, we know instinctively that we are nurturing them and their creativity. Why do we think we don't need or deserve that anymore?
I would be prepared to bet that you have plenty of juicy art supplies in your house already. You bought them for your children, didn’t you? When you were sitting at that restaurant and whipped out the crayons and paper to entertain your child while your order was prepared, you felt a twinge of longing to join in. A small twinge perhaps… suppressed… but it was there… you know what I am talking about…. You are not the only one - it is exactly how this whole project of mine got started.
So go on - get yourself a colouring book. Raid your kids’ art stash when they are asleep or at school. I can promise it will be fun. You know those scented markers are calling you...