Adult coloring books are very popular now, and in a moment of weakness I bought one, maybe two, and could have been three. I don’t dabble in anything. I really immerse myself in a new interest or craft, and some would say I become obsessed. They may be right; but don’t tell them I said so. Right now I have a mountain of markers on my kitchen table, and I was deciding between “battery charged blue” or “blue” for a small detail on a flower. Of course,”battery charged blue” was my final choice. The designs in the coloring book are usually very detailed with lots of lines and small spaces. There are claims that adult coloring is calming and can produce a meditative state while the user concentrates on coloring the designs. I admit that I lose track of time while coloring, and I am very focused on choosing colors and filling in the design. My worries are often forgotten because I need to decide if “tomato” or “cranberry” red is the color for the job. I am mindful of the moment, so yes, I quess it is meditation for me.
Some of the pleasures I get from coloring are all about power. Choosing which color to use, and where to put it are my choices, variables under my CONTROL. If I am not happy with my color choices I can always buy more choices. LIFE does not change the design I am coloring when I am halfway finished; there are no nasty surprises. I can quit coloring when I am tired. I don’t have to create the intricate design; I simply start coloring and try to stay within the lines. If only life were so easy….
I carry the responsibility for creating my own life map, and both the freedom and burden of choice. Unfortunately, I am powerless to change anyone else. The only variable I can control is myself. Reality is that sometimes I even lose control of myself, so that’s the ultimate powerlessness. I can’t move people around like color markers, they make their own path. So what if I have a million choices, the odds of me hitting the jackpot of the “perfect” choice are very low. Sure I can change my mind, or even decide to make no choices; but the buck stops with me and I know that I am responsible for my own happiness. As the years fly by, I have a greater sense of urgency to choose “my” colors and get busy coloring and living. I have a lot of gray and black that I certainly did not choose, and I can’t throw them away, or color over with pink. I need to accept all the colors I have, and that I can’t buy different colors or stop because I am tired. So I simply start coloring and try to stay within the lines.