Hi, I’m Lea and I’m an addict!
That’s right, I’m a coloring addict. You name it, if it is to do with coloring I’ve got, want it, have it on wishlist, or I’m making it myself 🙂
It all started years ago. I was in a job that I hated! I dreaded going to work every day. I used to arrive and just look at the building and mentally negotiate with myself how long did I have to stay. If I worked through lunch would I be able to leave at maybe 6.30 pm? It never happened …but I used to daydream about it while I doodled my way through every staff meeting. My meeting notes always had swirls, flowers and weird and wonderful buildings. I never knew what happened in the meetings and, only afterwards, would I find that I had been nominated for some awful job! That will teach me to doodle during work time 🙂
And, of course, I was stressed, overworked and over it. I live in beautiful Sydney, Australia but even the harbour views from my office did not make life better.
My turning point
One day, I seen an ad for life coaching. You would get one hour and you could get some direction on what you were doing with your life. I was in a pickle so I took them up. Turns out that I hated my job and the stress. Who would have thought 🙂 The coach advised me to relieve stress by going out and buying some cheap kids coloring books and pencils and color like a child for 1/2 an hour a day. Now, that’s a prescription that I do like!
I bought the books and the cheap pencils. I hated both of them. The books were boring, the pencils were only a 12 set, and not a lot of fun, being cheap and very nasty. I colored away, and I did feel the weight lifting from my shoulders, but I hated the tools that I had.
I said to the love of my life one day, “Do you think people would buy coloring books if they were made for adults?” I’d had a dream. I had reawakened the creative me that had been stuck in a suit and a cubicle for years. He laughed and laughed and said, “No *** way, don’t be stupid.”
So, I pushed the idea aside. Eventually I pushed the kids coloring books and pencils aside and I let life take me over again.
Again, I became stressed, disheartened and hated my job and life with all its obstacles, challenges and heartache caught up with me.
Then something wonderful happened.
I heard the news one day. The #1 Bestseller was a colouring book for Adults! Illustrated by Johanna Basford, Secret Garden. I told the love of my life about this ……and then I laughed and laughed 🙂
I was delighted at the time that my dream of an adult coloring book had become a reality and people loved it. But it was the wrong time for me. I had lost someone incredibly special to me and was so heartbroken with grief and surrounding unpleasantness that I slept walk through the next year of my life. I woke up, I went to work and pasted a smile on my face. Then as soon as I came home, I pretended I was okay and cried myself to sleep, cried in the shower and whenever anyone wasn’t watching. During this period of time, nothing made me genuinely happy. Nothing made me partially happy. I was in a bad place.
One day, when checking my emails, I seen an email about adult coloring books. It was the only email that I opened. Usually, during “that period” I just deleted everything. It intrigued me, and for the first time I felt a glimmer of excitement and interest. I hadn’t felt anything but grief and heartache for so long I was amazed that something could actually interest me. The love of my life had tried to be supportive and help me but it never worked. He was delighted that a stranger and a random email had made me feel something like my old self again.
It’s funny, the author of that email will never know that was the turning point for me. I finally had something to smile about again. They made a difference to my life. I went out and bought my first book. It was Secret Garden 🙂
Now, I have so many coloring books, pencils, markers and gel pens. They are precious to me. I have my favorites, my ones I save for “special” and the ones that I dream of but have not found.
My coloring skills
I’m not a great colorist. I haven’t been “coloring” for very long and, sadly I spent a lot of art class in school in detention 🙂 It’s not important to me, that I can’t blend like a champion, that my light source is all wrong and my shading is off. I’m not worried that sometimes I forget to put my glasses on and can’t see where the lines are. What is important to me is that I have a go, I hope to improve and I enjoy it whatever the final outcome. The main thing that is of importance to me is that when I smile it’s real nowadays, not a mask. That’s what falling in love with coloring did for me.
The love of my life, now spends time sourcing coloring books for me, that I may not have, and being wildly supportive of my beginner efforts at coloring <3. I’m sure, he’s incredible grateful to get his partner back. Someone that smiles, daydreams a lot and loves him to bits 🙂
What coloring means
Coloring is different things to different people. It can be stress relief, relaxation, fun. It can help you with co-ordination, focus and time management. It can ease depression and comfort you when you are grieving. Whatever it is to you, make it enjoyable.
Happy coloring x