Coloring using pencil crayons.

I remember participating in coloring contests as a kid. Crayola crayons were my go-to tools back then, outlining color sections darker and shading the respective inner sections as evenly as possible. Although I was never crowned a winner in one of those contests, I loved how colorful my pieces looked and how much I enjoyed the art of coloring.

I’ve told you before about how much I enjoy color, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that spending time coloring is an activity I’m drawn to. These days, pencil crayons are more my style, so I sharpened them and got to work.

I know there are some that use coloring as a way to meditate. I don’t think I’m part of that group, but who knows, maybe it actually is a form of meditation for me. I just like seeing the page come alive with more and more color. When I think about coloring as a means to calm the mind, I think of this meme:

My stress and anxiety levels are, thankfully, nowhere near the point of this particular artist. Also, I think coloring may not be the best path for them to find their inner peace. Coloring isn’t my route to internal serenity either. Honestly, I did it to pass the time.

I’m smack-dab in the middle of my sabbatical. It’s been 47 days since I logged out of my Slack workspace, and I’ve got another 46 days remaining until I’m expected to log back in. Some days are better than others, but for the most part, I’m bored.

If we weren’t in the midst of a pandemic and massive political unrest, I would expect my sabbatical experience to be quite different. My days have merged together. Every day has the urgency of a relaxed Sunday. Time, for me, has come to a crawl. I appreciate that this may sound appealing to others, but when everyone else’s life is still moving at a stressful, quick pace, it adds to my feelings of loneliness. Time is precious for others, and they need to actively carve it out to be social. Time feels endless for me, so it’s painful waiting until others are available.

I know, I know. I hear the motivational speaker in my head telling me that this is a perfect time to cultivate ME. Some days, I can hack that. I get engaged in activities and I’m proud of what I manage to accomplish. Other days, though, it just feels like I’m going through the motions of crossing off items on my to-do list, simply to keep myself afloat.

I suppose that’s why I picked up my pencil crayons. I didn’t necessarily feel like coloring, but I knew that it was a matter of inertia. Getting the ball rolling on my 2021 Memory List was important. Maybe, just maybe, coloring would set my wheels in motion, and I’d be able to better enjoy my time. Respect my time. Cherish my time.

My Memory List is a roadmap for me. When I feel myself adrift in the slow-moving tick-tock of the clock, I look to it and challenge myself to do something, anything, even if I don’t feel like it. Because making positive memories is a surefire way to remember my time fondly, without regret.

Follow along and make memories.


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