For the Love of It

by Anisa A. Claire

OUR LIVES ARE often filled with stress. We wake up, rush out the door, work all day, tend to the kids, feed the animals, and go to sleep only to repeat the process all over again the following morning.  We live in a world that demands a lot of our time and attention to simply survive. When we do have spare time, it’s important we do things for the love of it. That’s what this article is all about, taking a moment to consider what we love and why we should invest time and energy into those activities.  And, of course, because this is a coloring magazine, we’re going to primarily focus on, you guessed it, coloring…

Art is all encompassing.  It’s everywhere we look. We use it to express ourselves by hanging it on the wall, we package our food with it, it’s on our bedding, clothing, in TV shows, advertisements and even on our socks. We’re a highly visual society. But why is that? A text poster would provide the same amount of information as a poster with pictures, yet we’re ten times more likely to take the time to look at the one with the visual ques, right? It looks more appealing, it’s warmer and more interesting. We are more drawn to it. Why? Because it appeals to our emotions, whether that is happy, sad, funny, angry… it speaks to us on a different level and we process it a lot quicker than reading.

Diversity is a huge part of it, too.  All of us are attracted to different things for different reasons. Different colours schemes, designs, emotion. Art helps us express ourselves individually. It tells our tale and, sometimes, art even helps us make sense of the world around us. It can get us through difficult times or assist in celebrating the good times.  In certain cases, it allows us to push the boundaries in a productive way. Art really is all of that and more. So, why would we hold back or not make time to enjoy something so incredible?

As mentioned in the opening, we often feel we don’t have time. There is always an underlying guilt for taking attention away from ‘important’ tasks to spend our precious time on ‘frivolous’ activities.  But that’s the funny part, isn’t it? Time is precious. Tomorrow is promised to nobody. Why would anyone want to focus all of their energy on things that won’t mean anything in the end, anyway? It’s not going to matter if the house was spotless or if an appointment was missed once you’re gone. What will matter, though, is if you (to the best of your ability) lived a fulfilling life.  If you were happy and you spent time doing the things that you loved to do, the very things that truly made you who you were. Even better? To have spent that time doing them with the people you cared about while they also were engaged in activities they loved.

People who don’t understand the beauty in simplicity will never understand why you’re ‘wasting’ time fiddling around with ‘kid’s activities’, such as coloring. Who cares what they think. They’re not you and chances are they’re lost in the rat race like the majority of people are. All you can do is hope they’ll also see the light one day and begin doing what they love to do. Move on. Ignore those negative comments, and trust me, like in almost anything in life… those comments will surface. People fear and minimalize what they don’t understand.  It’s as simple as that.

Moving onto the more positive side of things, art evokes emotion. It is creative imagination.  It often gives us the ability to send a message without uttering a single word. That’s powerful.  Art allows us to see the world through other people’s eyes. It, really, is a language all of its own.  And here’s the insane part… insanely awesome, of course… coloring allows us to be part of the process, even if we, ourselves, can’t draw or we don’t know how to sew or quilt or paint a picture from scratch. Coloring gives us the ability to express ourselves creatively simply by adding colors to a page, no real ‘skill’ required. We can translate those pictures into what we envisioned when we initially looked at them.  Pretty cool, right?

And what happens when you do things simply because you love to do them? A plethora of positives, such as living in the moment, appreciating the simplicity in your life, relaxation (unless you’re coloring with fineliners!) and creative release.

You don’t need to have any other reason to do something you enjoy. Do it just because it makes you happy. Open up and let it all in, no stress attached. Be in the moment and enjoy what you have while you have it because, as mentioned before, we never know what tomorrow will bring.  Express yourself and do it with an air of pride. Coloring also brings with a sense of accomplishment, even if it’s just small.  It allows us to start and finish a complete project if we want.  That can then be applied to bigger aspects of our existence. See? Something huge can grow from the tiniest moments if we simply allow give in and just allow ourselves to do it… for the love it.

Until next time, folks. Here’s to positive thinking, being in the moment and enjoying the finer things in life. Leave those dust bunnies in the corner for now, grab some markers, crayons or pencils and hit those coloring pages. Have fun!

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