February 5th – “Anything methodical or analytical is favored now.”

Adult coloring books are a trend that popped up a few years ago and is still going strong. Those in the coloring book business are making big bucks by marketing the activity as a way to create mindfulness. I’m sure it’s helpful for some people, but it’s not for everyone.

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I was gifted this coloring book by my friend this week and she apologized for the lousy gift. She bought one for herself. When she used it, she discovered that the activity was stressful and not relaxing at all. I learned this years ago when I took an anatomy and physiology class in 1999. I had to color veins and muscles for hours, and it was no fun at all. It was tedious, I learned nothing about physiology, and my shoulders hurt from coloring all night. It pissed me off and I haven’t colored since.

When I first heard about coloring books 3 years ago, I thought it was a pretty neat idea. Coloring for adults! I’m in! But after thinking about it for another minute, I knew that it wasn’t an activity suited for me. I like to use my own creativity to draw my shapes and ideas. I don’t want to follow someone else’s rules. That’s boring!

Not everyone has a knack for making balanced compositions with complementary colors on their own. Those are the people who will enjoy the coloring books. If a blank page scares you (and you like to do crafts that follow patterns for long periods of time like knitting), you might enjoy coloring.

The lesson of the day for me is that while I may like to be creative in some aspects of my life, I don’t have to start from a blank page on everything. It can be helpful to follow someone else’s rules or methods (and be told what to do), especially if it is to complete a task I am not excited about.

I had to do some writing in a style that I’m not a fan of working in. Instead of coming up with my own take on it, I found some samples and guidelines online to help me get started. The instructions I gathered even had a list of questions to consider. My page filled up quickly and the task feels much more manageable now. All I have to do is turn the answers into paragraphs and I’ll be done! I may not like it, but sometimes it’s just easier to color in the lines!

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