Color Me a Kid Again

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Now that I’m back from Brazil, you’re probably wondering what has this busy-as-a-bee woman been up to lately?

Sure, I’ve been doing this and that. And true, I’m constantly on the run and when I’m not, I’m desperately trying to catch up on my favorite TV shows. I walk Henry and Oliver at least three times a day, and I go to work, of course, where it’s one deadline after another.

I interview people and write their stories. I also shimmy over to Zumba class some evenings, and other evenings it seems as though I have another fancy dinner or reception to go to, where I network and schmooze to my heart’s content.

Whew!

So, what exactly have I been doing since I’ve returned from Brazil? Good question!

I’ve been reverting to my childhood.

And by that, I mean I’ve taken up the stress-free, Zen-like pastime of coloring.

Someone once said to me, that if you can pinpoint three things you once did as a child but no longer do, you will find joy by doing them again. Well, there were a few things I did as a kid that I stopped doing when I became a card-carrying “adult.”  These include:

  • Playing with dolls
  • Hula-hoop and hopscotch
  • Skipping to someone named Lou
  • Coloring

And though I can’t see myself playing with dolls anymore, or hopscotching for that matter, I still own a hula-hoop, which I take out from time to time.  Also, and please don’t tell anyone, I secretly love to skip when walking the dogs at night (as long as no one is around, that is). But don’t ask me to sing a round of “Skip to My Lou.” That is simply out of the question!

Nevertheless, whoever said you should find something from your childhood you loved doing and do it again, was absolutely right.

Thanks to that suggestion, I’ve rediscovered the fine—and soothing—art of coloring. I mean, nothing screams, “JOY,” like a fresh new coloring book and a palate of sparkling bright colors.

Do you remember your first coloring book? Neither do I. But I remember the delight of having a brand new coloring book with pages waiting to be colored. Like having a clean slate craving to be adorned with a cornucopia of colors. Of course back then I’d use Crayola crayons. The waxy smell of paraffin, the brilliant array of colors—Violet Blue, Burnt Sienna, Lemon Yellow and my personal favorite, Magenta.

What’s up with Magenta, anyway? Neither pink or purple, it falls somewhere in between with reddish hues that hint of blue. I was, ahem, drawn to it like no other color.

But I digress.

Now, where was I? Oh yes. Crayola crayons proved to be my gateway drug to more advanced coloring instruments, like Zig Memory System Dual-Tip markers–leftover from my scrapbooking days–and my set of Tombow dual brush pens.

These days, whenever I have a free moment, I’m lost in the world of coloring. Sitting at my dining room table, engrossed in the pages of my coloring book and trying to decide which color to use next.

So there you have it. The secret is out. I’m a coloring book enthusiast.  In fact, I’ve turned in my coloring books of yore—with its cheap paper that would soon turn brittle—for the super sophisticated coloring books of today. Have you seen them lately?? There are so many to choose from! Do a search online and you’ll find tons of coloring books to choose from!

Now tell me, what childhood joy of yours have you brought back? And when was the last time you dabbled in coloring?

Do tell!

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30 thoughts on “Color Me a Kid Again

  1. Colours bring me such joy! Any day is a good day for colour I say (especially since I now live in a cold grey, climate).

  2. Childhood activities allow us to just let our inner child roam, don’t they? Sure would lighten up some of us if we made time for them on a more regular basis. My answer: Jumping rope! At least 4x/week. Oh, and savoring a good book, tucked in the corner of my living room sofa.

    • Jump ropes and hula hoops! Loved doing them both. Instead of buying huge elliptical machines, it’d be a lot cheaper and more fun if we all kept some jump ropes and hula hoops around. Think of all the fun! Though I could never do Double Dutch, which always looked so cool to me. 😉

  3. I used to love to color. I also loved those paint by number kits — mostly of horses. If I had your busy life, I’d be looking for ways to zen out, too. As it is, I’m a card-carrying, mountain-top living introvert, surrounding by pictures that God has already painted much better than I ever could. 🙂

    • My favorite shows, Kim? Too many! The Mindy Project, Orange is the New Black, Good Wife, Modern Family, The Goldbergs, Masterpiece, Nashville, Scandal, CBS Sunday Morning Show, and The Americans. How’s that for starters? 😉

    • Oh yes, Val. Try it! Coloring is so soothing and it’s fun to see the results. I used to do paint by number, in which they’d tell you what color to use where. But now, I can choose any color I darn well please. And that’s fine by me!

  4. I think it was Picasso who said something about it taking a lifetime to learn how to draw like a child. Or color, as the case may be. How exciting to rediscover something that brought you so much joy. And, welcome back 😉

    • When I was going to college, one of my jobs, thanks to work study, was working in the campus day care center. And one of the things I loved most was making the play dough from scratch. What fun! It’s probably why I enjoy baking bread. I get to knead the dough!

  5. A post after my own heart, Monica. I’m Burnt Sienna. Although Magenta is a color I wear all the time. Love your coloring, owls are fascinating. Would love to see you skip:-) although Lou isn’t someone I would skip to anymore either. I did listen to a song that made me want to skip today – La Luna by Lucy Schwartz.

    I’ve started coloring as well. Yes. I have. I am now volunteer art teacher along with my friend, at the girls school. I color all the time and love it. It is one of those things from my childhood that I could possibly do over and over again. I’ve just prepared my art lesson for tomorrow. We’re doing Miro and Surrealism.
    I’ve been practicing with oil pastels and I loved it. Did you visit his museum in Barcelona? I dream of the day I can see works of both Picasso and Miro.

    • Ooh, MM, you are doing such a wonderful thing by volunteering at your daughters, school, and a second wonderful thing by teaching art! It makes me sad how many of our schools have shunted art to the fringes of the curriculum. It’s just as important and I’m glad to see the trend of moving beyond STEM to STEAM. Hope it revives an interest in art. I didn’t make it to the museum you mention, but I’ve seen his work on this side of the Atlantic. Growing up in New York exposed me to some amazing works. Plus there are museums I’m Boston, Philly and Washington DC, that have such extraordinary works. So, keep at it, MM. Color away!

  6. If you colored the owl and flora above, you do have a flare for color. That would make you a colorist if not artist. The above is beautifully done. Childhood pastimes? I love reading YA, juvenile literature and I do enjoy scrap booking. I think a beautiful coloring book and array of fresh new colors would make a great birthday gift to someone born before the end of the second millennium.

    • Thanks, Georgette. Yes, I did color the owl and all the rest. It can take me a couple of weeks to finish a two-page spread like this one, because there’s so much detail, but it’s so relaxing. I love color and I’m glad it shows! You should see my home. It’s brimming with color! The walls are green, gold, even orange! Makes for quite a cozy home!

  7. Great idea, Monica! I loved coloring, too, especially when I could choose Cerulean. Ah, that was the most beautiful shade of blue and green! I think I liked coloring so much because I couldn’t draw worth beans, and coloring books were pre-drawn!

    I loved “Pretend” as a child, and I invented entire worlds, peopled with the most interesting folks. Perhaps that’s why I write, don’t you think, because “Pretend” is just fine for an author (but a little suspect in someone else)?!

    • Pretend is fun. My brother and I used to pretend we were astronauts traveling through space. My two female cousins, who lived across the street from us, and I would pretend by playing “house.” And we’d always force my brother to be the baby. The funny thing is, he’d do it. Pretending was tons of fun.

  8. I so loved all the shades of green. Such a great read this is. Thanks! I might just start coloring.

    • Maria, I have about 100 different colors to choose from, and I have a passion for bold colors. So you can imagine what fun I have just in choosing colors. I have many shades of green, as you can see. It feels great to use them all!

  9. Excellent post Monica.

    I can’t remember when I last did any colouring, unless touching up pictures on the computer counts.

    Things like colouring can be very therapeutic, and I suppose shows our creative side.

    It’s funny you know, when we are children we can’t wait to grow up then when we are grown up we sometimes like to do things we did as a child. Perhaps there is always a bit of our childhood side in us as grownups. Mind you the wife often says I can never have a second childhood as I have yet to finish my first.

    Here you can buy, normally at the seaside hard backed felt drawings, they come with a selection of colouring pens. Animals and Elvis seem to be the favourite subjects if I remember correctly. Children colour them in. Apparently it keeps them quiet on the journey home.

    When I was young I loved to draw maps freehand, I remember once covering my bedroom wall with a single sheet of paper. The wall was about fifteen feet long and about eight feet high. On it I drew freehand a map of the world and drew in lots of the countries and coloured them in. It looked really great when finished, but for the life of me I can’t remember what happened to it.

    Anyway your post has given me one long term picture in my head and that’s of you skipping down the road in the dark walking the dogs… Ask Henry to take a camera with flash next time.

    • Ha ha, you gave me quite a chuckle. Thank you for sharing. I especially like the idea of Henry bringing a camera along on our night walks. Will make sure said camera is well out of his reach. And stop giving him ideas! 😉

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