I’m not a good relaxer. It’s a skill I’m still learning. My husband, Ted, is my teacher — the Obi Wan Kanobi to my Luke Skywalker. I will sit down to watch a show and end up filing important papers. My idea of a relaxing afternoon is to reorganize the pantry. He will say, “Stop. Just enjoy the day.” And I will say, “I’m trying.” The inevitable response is “There is no try. Only do.”
So, it turns out that I need to find something that I can “do” to relax. This is where the coloring book comes in. Do you remember lazy afternoons sitting with your favorite coloring book, choosing precise colors and letting the scene fill in before you? Those were the days when I knew how to relax. The days when I was 7. My favorite coloring book was of ocean scenes because I wanted to be a marine biologist. Didn’t every little girl of my generation want to be a marine biologist after watching Free Willy and drooling over Jonathan Brandis in SeaQuest?
But as I grew older, I put the coloring books away. They were for kids, or so I thought. Well, not anymore. I got the idea of coloring again from listening to a 9 Thumbs podcast where Rachel Held Evans mentioned that she colors adult coloring books (and no, it’s not what you’re thinking) to relax. Well, I thought, “I’ll give it a go.”
And I love it. I don’t get to do it very often (stay at home mom, remember), but when I do, my whole body becomes calm, all the tension from my shoulders passes down my arms and through my fingers pressing down just the right amount to create the perfect shade for that fold of dress.
Other people sew or craft or scrapbook, but those activities are too adult for me. When I color, I can relax like when I was seven, dreaming of swimming with dolphins and marrying science fiction TV geeks.