I’ve rediscovered a long-lost love — COLORING!
What used to be a childhood favorite pastime of mine, has now become my new adult addiction. Do a search on the internet and you’ll find all sorts of articles about its popularity among adults due to the recent surge in the production of adult coloring books. On a recent trip to Barnes & Noble, my husband and I happened upon an entire bookcase labeled “Adult Coloring Books”. Amazon also offers quite a variety. The options are endless, and that’s so exciting!
There are coloring books with floral, geometric-type patterns. Some have animal pictures and paisley patterns; comic book characters and action figures. There are some with swirls and curls; birds and butterflies; There’s even a Swear Word coloring book — now, how adult is that?!
When I was a child, one of the best gifts I would get was a fresh box of crayons and a brand new coloring book. For me, it was what I hoped for at Christmas and for birthday presents — every year. It never got old. The bigger the box of crayons, the better! The thicker the coloring book, the happier I was!
I once compared the excitement that comes with the arrival of the New Year to the feeling I got as a child when I opened a new box of crayons. That new box of never-before-used, sharply pointed, multi-colored crayons energized me because of all the possibilities. The same is true for me at each January 1. The year lays before me like a blank coloring book, fresh new crayons, and infinite potential.
There are a few differences with the adult me and my childhood hobby, I’ve noticed:
As a child, it was simply fun to color — to fill in all the blank spaces trying hard to stay inside the lines. Coloring now, as an adult, I’ve found the benefits to be so much more. It’s actually therapeutic. There’s a certain amount of tranquillity in adding any color of my choosing to a colorless image. The act itself is calming. It give me a peaceful, restful state of mind.
There’s a sense of freedom; there are no rules. I open the book to a drawing that appeals to me. From my vast assortment of color options, I get to decide how I want to paint the picture. It’s completely up to me if I want the flowers to represent a variety that actually exists, or if I want to use my artistic eye, and create a flower never before seen. I get to choose if I want to color the sky blue or violet; pink or yellow — and that’s what makes coloring so great. I can express myself freely.
I’ve noticed that I sleep better after I’ve spent a bit of time relaxing in the evening by coloring. I am not considered high-strung or an anxious person, but I can say I feel less anxiety of any kind after coloring. The activity provides a sense of mind soothing.
I now color with pencils instead of crayons. The pencils give me the ability to be a bit of a better artist by blending colors, adding shading, or highlights. The pencils allow me to be more persnickety with staying inside those lines! Just like coloring book options, there are quite a few brands of pencils available as well. The better quality of pencil, the better finished picture.
To further prove I am an adult coloring, I need my readers! Some of the templates are quite intricate in design. In order to see clearly, and to stay inside the lines, I need the best lighting, and help with my aging vision.
I am delighted for the return of my favorite childhood pastime and I want everyone to know that coloring isn’t just for kids anymore.