Tag: colouring

Colour Inside the Lines

Colour Inside the Lines

Once again what was intended to be a simple post turned into a chore of larger proportions. Lately it seems to be my lot in life, certainly as far as blogging goes. Either something goes amiss with my attempt to post, like hotspot problems, software, computer updates, etc., or I see something shiny and get distracted. Today it was a little of each. All in an attempt to write about colouring inside the lines.

I was colouring in my Mandala Colouring book this morning, enjoying a cool breeze out on the front ‘lanai’. This is something I’ve taken to doing lately and I find the peace and solitude out there calming. Once I begin to focus on the page and select the area and my chosen colour I’ll generally buckle down and lose sight of much of what’s happening around me. Today however my conversations with Elly once again came to mind.

Elly is the one whom I recall discussing this whole inside/outside the lines concept first. She was my most recent counselor. The chat came up as a result of the art therapy she was using with me. I mention it here in “Some Thoughts….”. I think of that conversation every time I colour, when I laboriously try to remain inside the identified areas of the page, any divergence a cause of some stress and dismay. Where I’d dearly love to just scribble on the page I haven’t found the gumption (as of yet). Maybe soon.

Escape Adulthood – Rule 2 Thou shall color inside the lines

One of the things this morning that took me off my task of enhancing my Mandala was the curiousity of what that meant out in the real world, to colour inside/outside the lines. One of the first links in a Google search brought up a link to this sketch and the owning blog EscapeAdulthood.

There are a number of quotes out there too, the quote below from Jay Woodman being one.

“Colour outside the lines, live outside the box. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do, or not. Don’t be afraid, listen to your heart.
Heaven is a state of being – of one-ness, and Hell is a state of being – lost. We simply need to live as we best define ourselves, find our own ways of being who we are in our world.
There is no requirement – only freedom of choice. We should not be judged if we are doing what we think best according to our perceptions at any given time.
Guilt should be discarded, moved beyond – what matters is who we choose to be in the next moment, given what we might have learned. We continually create ourselves anew.
Forgiving someone is a great way to show love, and forgive yourself too for the hurt you held onto far too long.
Take back the energy you have wasted on these things and reclaim your power to be your next best self.
Honour the past but refresh, expand, renew, fulfill. Heaven is within us, always reachable.”

― Jay Woodman

So, that preamble was much longer than anticipated. I have half a mind to delete much of it but the other half says neh! Leave ‘er alone.

I think the whole point was I noticed how inflexible I was becoming with regard to the colouring. It is Priority 1 to stay within the lines, to be consistent with colours and symmetrical, and that credo seems to be much of what my life is back to being. I feel as if I’ve relapsed back to my ‘old’ self. It’s not where I want to be. I want, I NEED, to be colouring outside the lines again. At least a little.

My Mind Wanders…and wanders, still

My Mind Wanders…and wanders, still

Once again I’m plagued with my mind wandering, flitting from place to place with thoughts that jump like a small bird hopping from branch to branch. And yes, my mind wonders too however for whatever reason todays stroll though nothingness is prevalent.

It was the normal beginning to the day, slowly waking and not wanting to rise. At least I don’t wake angry as so often used to be the case BM (before meds). I do thank the antidepressant medication for that.

I wake but don’t want to be awake, I want to drift back into nothingness, to dreamland where life is simple with no expectations of me nor responsibilities to carry. At times it feels like the ‘awakeness’ is a cross I’d prefer not to bear. Life is so much simpler and enjoyable when I’m asleep.

Regardless of my desires I realize the need to get up so I slowly crawl out of bed, being careful not to disturb my wife who has likely just gotten under the covers a short time before. She has her own sleep issues, dissimilar to mine, perhaps more serious. I pull on some clothes and quietly leave the room, off to take care of whatever morning business requires taking care of.

A glass of water, my vitamins and pills, perhaps a banana, are next. I’ll sit and mindlessly attempt to watch the morning news, likely cruising around the ‘net on my iPad or phone at the same time. After a short while I’ll get off the couch and brew some coffee and prepare more food. This time a muffin, cereal, or toast. I’m too lazy and unmotivated to make a real, healthy breakfast. This is my life, at least the morning portion of it.

The last few days however I’ve shut off the tv earlier and moved outside. My front porch is the preferred location these days with the back porch being equally as nice but in closer proximity to the passing road. We are separated from the street by green and and a nice enough concrete fence but the noise from passing vehicles knows no boundaries and it pushes me away to a quieter locale. The front is cooler as well this time of morning, in fact today I wanted my hoodie.

I grabbed my 2nd cup of coffee and my colouring book and felts and proceeded outdoors. My wife got me an adult colouring book filled with mandelas and today that was my art project of choice. I have others but the last few days it’s been this. Any of the art related projects, photography included, were all supported by Elly. As a counselor Art Therapy was a big part of her toolkit and she introduced me to it. The colouring is therapeutic and also somewhat mindless however my thoughts continued to run rampant in my head. Perhaps writing will help, hence my visit here.

While the wondering continued I did wander about ADD or some other, similar, mental illness. Let’s throw that into the mix too while we’re at it. Perhaps it’s not (only) depression that is my illness, it may well be there are other factors at play. I’ve never been diagnosed with such, other than my own armchair diagnosis, but it does make me think (more).

We had a young friend come for a visit last night, the daughter of friends, and she has suffered with ADD or ADHD much of her life. She explained some of her symptoms and those of her friends who also suffer. Symptoms such as unfocussed thoughts, inability to selectively work on tasks, procrastination, etc.. These are of course not necessarily definitive symptoms, certainly not saying they have some mental illness, but they are most certainly some traits I feel I have. I’ve often wondering if ADD (or similar) is part of my repertoire.

Regardless I work with what I got, I ‘dance with the guy that brung me’. I have good days and days not as good. I try to find things that help my mind settle, to slow a mind that wanders, and wanders still.

Out of Ideas….

Out of Ideas….

…for a topic to write about for this post.

Well, not really, I have ideas, just not sure which direction to go. Once again I’m direction-less. I’ll sip my beer and decide. Let’s hope the beer helps. I hope it does but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. One of downsides of coming to Brandt’s I’m afraid.

Over the last number of days I’ve been migrating my posts from Skidaddy on WordPress.com to my own domain, skidaddy.ca. I’ve used this site (skidaddy.ca) to post most of my last mundane writing. I think I’ve finally settled on using it instead of the WordPress site. Nothing against WordPress.com, certainly not, I just want to have my sh** on my own site. And that site is skidaddy.ca.

This is/was not a new idea, I began doing it quite a while ago and in fact I copied (what I thought) was all the posts from the WordPress site to this one more than a year ago. It was only just recently I realized that for whatever reason not all of them took, there were a number of months missing. Heaven forbid, my blog is not complete??? Gads!!! So I’ve been copying the offending posts over here a little at a time.

To that end I also just realized/remembered that there is actually a WordPress “feature” that can help with this. It must’ve been what I did the first time. Being over 60 now I’ve obviously forgotten…. haha.

One of the benefits of copying one at a time was that I could re-visit each post as I handled it. That was actually quite interesting and a bit enlightening. Some of the topics I had forgotten (go figure) but most I recall writing. Some I put together shortly after I began blogging. It was, and is, the reason I started and continue write here and elsewhere, to see where I was to where I am now, thus “Then….Til Now”. I also feel after reading those older posts that my writing was better then. I’m frequently disappointed with my posts now.

I still journal on paper as well, and in fact now have a journal for each of my grandkids. I wrote about that on Pay Attention, To the Attention, so you can check that out if you so wish. On the whole the additional writing does complicate things but I believe in the end it will pay dividends. At some point I will be gone, heaven forbid it’s soon, and they can read whatever I’ve put down. There may be no interest but once I’ve left this earth it won’t matter to me.

Madden and Ivy came over last night. I knew they were coming and in some ways wished it were another day. Don’t get me wrong, I love them dearly but they can at times be draining, as their parents can attest. This was a good day however.

Life is a Journey

Madden came strolling around the corner into the backyard, a first, and found me colouring on some sun-ravaged plaques that had been sitting outside our old house for quite some time.

I had brought the plaques with us when we moved to Kelowna, a connection to our prior life. They were nothing fancy, just ties to memories. The colouring idea was a hold-over from the art therapy I started with Elly.

So Madden’s first question was “can I colour too”. At first I balked, but then as I often attempt to do I re-thought the program and relented. “Of course you can colour, just try to do a good job”.  He took to the concept and ran with it.

It was funny really, as he was very calm and controlled. He sat in the chair and began colouring the plaque in earnest. My only stipulation was that I got to choose the colours for certain areas of the plaque. I had started the process and wanted to ensure the theme continued.

He was good with that and because he was doing such a good job when he took over I let him choose the colours of different parts. He was certain the colours of the lettering should be rainbow so I gave him the green light and let him run with it. I kept saying “do a good job, not a fast one” in hopes he’s slow down and pay more attention. He’s generally detail oriented though and did a pretty good job, for a 5 year old.

Not too bad I’d say, all things considered. Might not be how I’d finish it but still looks pretty cool.

And so, for someone with not too much to say it seems I’ve said a lot. I’ll likely read it shortly after I publish and wonder what the hell I was thinking. For any drabble I’m sorry. ‘Tis what tis’, I’m out of Ideas.

Some thoughts…

Some thoughts…

As if it hasn’t been said enough “Time flies while you’re having fun”, or something like that. And time has flown.

I believe it’s a function of aging, that time flies. I read somewhere that the perception of time passing faster as we age is due to the lack of originality in our lives. And by originality I mean that there are seldom any new experiences in our lives as time goes on. As a rule we continue to do the same things month over month and year after year and so our perception of time flattens, it compresses and it becomes more difficult to differentiate one year over another. Time becomes all the same and in doing so it ‘flies’.

So, this theory being correct it would only stand to reason that one way to slow time down would be to do different things, to have new experiences, to make each week, month, and year different. Not a new theory but important nonetheless.

Now I don’t profess to have all the answers but it’s clear I have opinions, lots of them. Perhaps too many.

Life has been generally good to me over the last number of months. Being that it’s so long since I’ve updated this site I may repeat myself in what I say here so I will apologize in advance.

My health, both emotional and physical, has been good. Aside from the usual colds and one episode with the flu I am doing well. I have gone back on the meds with my Doctor’s blessing and only at a half dose (10 mg Citalopram). I feel much better. Prior to that (about Dec.) I was once again back-sliding and feeling depressed. I had little motivation, was easily angered and frustrated, my emotions were all over the place and I just plain felt emotionally shitty.

I’ve tried to explain it away saying it was the weather or some other such excuse but the facts and history just don’t support that. I just have to accept it and resolve myself to the possibility that I may have to use meds to support my habit, that of feeling well.

The positive in the whole thing is that after my Doctor’s visit he suggested I start off with a lower dosage than before. This was a newer Doctor mind you, an international Doctor in training in my clinic, but he was/is very interested in my health and his suggestion had merit. As such I gave it a shot and haven’t really looked back.

This was done in concert with a new counselor as well. I began seeing her just before my first appointment with the Doctor and as time has gone on I’ve appreciated her more and more.

Her name is Elly. I decided to try her instead of going back for a 3rd time with Gloria. Elly is going for her Masters in Counselling and is doing her practicum in that clinic. So far I like her a lot, she is open and approachable, has fresh ideas and a perception that is refreshing.

She is a proponent of Art Therapy and has offered me the option of trying it. Art therapy sounded/sounds strange and while I am generally resistant to change I thought I owed it to myself to try something different. It was different for sure and some aspects of it were not comfortable for me. As an example she asked me to draw something, anything, on a paper covered table. All manner of pencils, felt pens, crayons, and paint were available to me, in all colours, so the options of media were essentially unlimited. It was all up to me as to what I chose to draw, and how to draw it. Once complete she asked how I ‘felt’ about the drawing, both in topic and substance.

The next session she again asked me if I wished to draw and this time she suggested I draw a Mandala. She gave me a 10″ circle of paper to draw on and again I could choose any media. In this context I must clarify that what she was asking me to draw was not a Mandala by it’s true definition. There was no religious significance to the drawing, more what she was asking was for me to draw a free form design on the circle of paper. Again, once the drawing was complete we chatted about the how and why of the sketch, and how I felt.

Part II

Because I seem to be long winded, and due to the fact my welcome wore out at Bagel’s and Brew (not really) I’ve had to complete this post the next day. I started writing Monday morning and here we are Tuesday, same coffee shop but different table, completing the saga.

At any rate my drawing experience was/is very interesting with it reinforcing some things I probably already knew about myself. In my first sketches, particularly the Mandala format I strived to be organized, symmetrical, accurate and somewhat precise. When I created a new drawing being more carefree, unorganized, non-symmetrical, in a word MESSY, I felt more free, more relaxed. In short it felt good.

That feeling was one that I was, and am, trying to replicate. I asked Elly if perhaps that was a state that I could develop through writing or photography. If I could bring my artistic and feeling side (less structured and rigid) more to the forefront by focussing on my artistic side, more right brained activities. She wasn’t sure but suggested I try by using my photography in an ‘out of the box’ fashion, taking photos in ways and of things that I normally might not. In fact she suggested this just before we went to Hawaii. I’ve tried and would have to say it’s not as easy to accomplish as I thought it might.

Some of the appropriate photos, and any drawings I completed while there were brought to my next session where we discussed my goal and any progress I made. Again, this was more difficult than I first thought.

So to be blunt one of the purposes of going to counselling was to get the stick out of my ass. This wasn’t necessarily the original reason, nor the only reason, but in talking with here I’ve come to realize that it was one of my personality traits that I desired to change. In effect I want to loosen up and have more fun, be more relaxed about things on a day to day basis.

This has been a long and likely boring post however it has also been done as an effort to begin writing again. I have been journalling fairly consistently but that method has become repetitive it was time to mix it up. Elly has suggested if I do journal that rather than the wordiness of it that I should use only descriptor words about how I feel at the time, no structured sentences. I would still like to sketch and may incorporate that as well.

So, ‘nuf said, Too much perhaps. See you on the flip side.