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Moseyin’ Along

I’ve started my second childhood

May 21, 2015
Westfield Republican

Remember those stress-free days when we were six or seven?

We would sprawl out on the living room floor or curl up on our bed with a fresh coloring book and a box of sharpened Crayola crayons. And, in this setting, we could while away happy hours with nothing but our imagination to keep us company.

Well, recently, I found myself back in those sweet, carefree days. With colored markers at the ready, and a picture inviting my imagination to come out and play, I reentered my childhood.

And by doing so, I joined the legions of grown ups who have been swept into the latest craze, coloring books for adults.

Across North America and even over in Europe, publishers are rushing to meet the demand of an eager public for coloring books and all the other items associated with this childhood activity all grown up.

Until a couple of weeks ago, I was totally unaware of the coloring storm that has captured the attention of so many folks. Then, one morning I saw a spot on television reporting on the new craze. As these things go, I soon read a piece in a magazine praising the craft for its stress-relieving potential.

I was finally convinced to give it a try by a recommendation from daughter Becky, the family artist.

Becky, a very busy mom and businesswoman, has never lost the love of coloring books she developed in childhood. In fact, when she was in college, she came down with a case of infectious mono that robbed her of energy and kept her out of class for a couple of weeks.

At the time, I asked what I could get her to help her feel better, she begged for fresh crayons and a few coloring books. I can still see her wearing her pajamas and sitting cross-legged in her bed, smiling through her misery as she turned her coloring book pages into pieces of art.

When we talked last week, she told me that these days, she's been caught up in a new wave of coloring book enthusiasm. With adult coloring books flooding the market, Becky has been busy introducing friends to the hobby. Each one of her pals has quickly become a convert.

And, from what I've seen on the Internet, this craze will be around for a very long time. Amazon, for example, now offers more than 2,000 adult coloring books.

The subjects range from Mystical Mandalas to Zen Coloring books and Animal Designs. There is even a series of fine art reproductions (in black and white, of course) of the works of Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet.

I read that Carl Jung, the groundbreaking psychologist, used coloring as therapy way back in the early 1900s. Today's psychologists are also praising the potential of the activity as an ideal stress reliever.

As one authority put it, "You rarely see a stressed out seven-year-old."

Becky tells me there are now a number of adult coloring groups that have sprung up on Facebook and other social media.

So I'm here to admit I've joined the fan club. I recently bought two dazzling sets of Sharpie Markers and a couple of coloring books just begging to be brought to life.

Finally, there's an activity that can be done anywhere, that doesn't demand physical strength or deep pockets.

And, best of all for adults like me, who don't have the artistic talents of daughter Becky, no one is reminding me to "stay inside the lines, Joyce." And, I don't have to explain to anyone why I wanted to color the moon purple.

Grab some crayons and come join me!



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