Share this article

print logo

Jacci Reed: Who knew coloring could be so relaxing?

There is good news for everyone over 60 out there. Growing older isn’t as bad as I once thought it would be. It has taken me a while, but I have finally figured out that there are many advantages to be had during this last, but hopefully long, chapter in my life.

Last month, I bought myself a coloring book. Yes, a coloring book. I have been told it is the latest rage for adults. I heard about this craze many months ago, but decided against buying one because I was afraid people would think I had lost my mind and was reverting into my childhood. Folks are put into “homes” for doing such things and I wasn’t about to contribute to that decision.

When I was a child, if my mother gave me a coloring book and a box of crayons, I was good to go for the better part of a day just coloring my heart away.

One of my masterpieces would always make it to the refrigerator door, with my name boldly printed at the bottom. It was a moment of pride, of achievement, and in a small way was a steppingstone in instilling in me self-confidence and self-worth.

So I decided that I would join this latest group of “crazies” and buy my very own coloring book and colored pencils.

During these cold winter months, with the fireplace on, a good bottle of wine and my coloring book, life really can’t get much better. Once again, just as when I was 6 years old, an entire afternoon can be lost in the excitement of creating my own version of a scenic picture.

Perhaps eventually there will be coloring book clubs popping up for folks over 60. Imagine, if you will, a few friends getting together every week – with their own coloring books and pencils, and their favorite bottle of wine – and spending an hour creating their own masterpiece. The winner of the week could be the one who best stays within the lines. And let’s face it, after a bottle of wine that might not be as easy as it sounds.

There are a few things, however, to be forewarned about regarding this new venture. When you tell some people that you have bought an “adult” coloring book, their first thought is that it is either porn or sex.

Adult coloring books contain geometric patterns which, through your imagination, allow you to create your very own masterpiece. And for some reason, staying within the lines is both therapeutic and relaxing.

So why is this trend catching on so quickly? The truth is that coloring is a no-brainer task. It is calming and releases the stresses we face every day.

Whether you are going through a difficult time, recuperating from an illness or simply stressed to the limit, coloring is almost meditative. The mind has a chance to just flow in the moment and for a few minutes we are able to let go and allow the child within to create a work of art.

The only thing I am missing is a pencil sharpener, just in case anyone out there wants an idea of what to get me for my birthday. A new box of colored pencils would be nice, too.

And if you are really lucky, I may just give you one of my masterpieces as a gift, with my name boldly printed on the bottom. Save a spot on your refrigerator for it.