Color Me Happy

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My mother, whether she knows it or not, is a doodler. When I was growing up, she would be on the phone—for what seemed like hours to my younger self—and she would have a pen in her hand along with a piece of paper or stray envelope. And she would doodle. Sometimes in intricate detail, sometimes not, but you could always tell when she’d been on the phone.

I’m not much of a doodler, but I do like to color. The resurgence of coloring for adults in the past couple of years has been fun to follow. First were those coloring books with gardens and flowers, then your favorite television show characters. It was as if people were remembering what it was like to be a kid, only this time they realized that they didn’t have to share their colors with anyone; not their siblings, not their friends, not the other students in the class. Also, they would get to color what they wanted and not worry about having to use the right shade of pencil for the correct label. They could now buy a coloring book marketed to them without having to settle for their favorite cartoon character.

I’m sure some people somewhere looked up from their coloring pages and wondered what all the fuss about because they never stopped. For the rest of us though, there wasn’t the time, or you did it for school and didn’t enjoy it as much anymore. Now some people color as a form of self-care. They do it to relax. One popular gift has been a calendar you can color. I got one of these the year before last and I’m still enjoying it because I didn’t get to color it as much as I wanted to. This year I paid way too much for the calendar above because I wanted something very plain.

And then I colored it myself. Obviously, my spirograph skills need work, but my kid only lets me borrow her stuff once in a while. I’m still hoping for a coloring book full of swear words, but now that my daughter is able to read, I may have to rethink that one.

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