I have an embarrassing late night shopping confession to make: I wonder if you can you guess what it was? No, I did not buy the ‘Ab-cruncher insane ripped abs in 2 minutes’ exercise machine: Most of the time I am more than ok with my ‘Middle aged abs nestled comfortably under a warming layer of fat’. Nor was I tempted by the ‘Ah, my super comfortable smart bra’, that is fact an overpriced crop top with padding: If I want comfort at home, I can just take off my regular bra, thanks anyway. I don’t mind the look of that little vacuum cleaner that spins around the house effortlessly doing your floors for you, but on second thoughts I think it is the videos on YouTube with small animals whizzing around on them that I actually enjoy! I already have curly hair, so I am slightly terrified by the contraption that you feed your unruly hair into and it comes out with smooth shiny bouncy curls (someone should invent a machine I can feed my unruly kids into, and they will come out smooth, bouncy, and shiny: I would pay good money for that!)
My impulse purchase late one night as I was looking to buy some new books online from the bleary eyed comfort of my computer screen, was an adult colouring book. No, not an ‘adult’ colouring book, I have no idea if such a thing even exists, but I’m sure it probably does, so go ahead and google it at your own peril (or enjoyment!) What I am talking about is the type of adult colouring in book that is all over social media at the moment, assuming we follow the same type of people (well, I assume you follow me, so we have that in common!) For example, the arty Instagram photo of some ecologically sourced rainforest approved wooden pencils, and a hand thrown pottery mug of Green Matcha tea, along with the comment, “Kicking back with my Mandala colouring book: such a relaxing way to spend the afternoon” or perhaps you’ve seen this ‘inspiring’ Facebook update, “I have given up my nightly glass of wine and am colouring in instead: it feels so good for my soul!”
Now before you start clutching your wineglass to your chest in horror, and shutting down your browser, don’t worry I am not advocating giving up your nightly vino. But, it did get me to wondering what all the excitement (or should that be what all the zen) was about. I mean, I have spent years watching my three children colour in pirates and fairies and mermaids without even the slightest whiff of interest of joining in on my behalf. In fact, I always considered colouring books existed to do the same job as an iPad does now: keep the little blighters entertained and out of my hair for a few minutes, while I had a few sips of my tepid coffee and tried to go to the toilet unnoticed. Yes, it is true that I have a hideous confession to make: My name is Melissa Jeffcott, and I am a craft loathing mum (luckily my kids have a craft loving Grandma, who comes to stay regularly). So, what type of colouring in book could possibly catch my eye, given the loud and proud non-crafty type of gal I am?
Well, this bit of awesomeness jumped out of my screen and into my life: There…Is…A…Colouring…Book…of… RYAN GOSLING!
Could this be the answer to my meditating prayers? People who colour in all seem to say that they have noticed how peaceful they become in the moment, as they put all their focus into their pencil in their hand and staying within the lines. Would bringing life and form to a sketch of Ryan as Noah from ‘The Notebook,’ sitting pensively on the front porch of the house of his dreams send me into a chilled zen state? Would colouring in Ryan’s rock hard abs from ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ help me reach Nirvana? (I really hope my husband isn’t reading this, btw!) All I know, is that I had to give it a go, so I spontaneously clicked purchase, and soon enough my ridiculously overpriced colouring book full of unauthorised sketch drawing of the Gos from various characters in his career was winging it’s way across the inter webs and into in my hands.
So, I know you are all waiting with great anticipation to find out how I went (well, I know you’re not really, but allow me to pretend in order to build some excitement). I’m sorry to burst the chilled out wellness bubble, but even colouring in my beloved Mr. Gosling was not enough for me to realise what I have known to be true my whole life: I really really really do NOT like colouring in. I find it a chore, and colouring in a whole body with a peach coloured Derwent is just as boring as I remember from my childhood, regardless of the drawn on abs!
What I have learnt from this experience is a couple of important life lessons. Firstly, when finding new activities to bring you some joy on the other side of forty, don’t pick something that you hated as a child, odds are that you will still dislike it now. Secondly, late night shopping purchases are usually a dud, so wait until the cold hard light of day and see if you still truly want it.
Hmm, that reminds me, does anyone want to buy a discounted colouring book of Ryan Gosling with one badly coloured in picture in it?
Have you tried colouring in as a grown up? Or have you tried something else you loved as a kid recently? Let me know in the comments below.