Are We Coloring Ourselves into Corners?
You know I was determined to color when the old-timey, handle sharpener quit working and I had to get the screwdriver tool kit out of the garage to fix it. A chunk of lead was jammed in the corner of the sharpening mechanism. I disassembled the handle and with every turn of the tiny screw, I felt a little bit more proud. Like I was re-connecting a life-saving radio transmitter or something.
But I wasn’t. I was coloring. My oldest daughter Tara would sigh and tell me it’s not that serious, but I knew better. We all need creative down time.
Last night, I desperately needed 56 sharpened colored pencils and Pandora playing one heart felt worship song after another. More specifically, I needed the over-used aqua green to be pointy sharp if I was going to stay inside the lines of the coloring page that positively proclaimed,
She believed she could, so she did.
I believe in coloring inside the lines but also, I believe in living our lives outside of them. I believe in pushing the page of what’s possible, with a solid pink eraser sitting close by.
Because sometimes the shades don’t blend the way we intended and the color comes out all wrong.
Still, we should try.
I can talk a good talk and color quite well, but the fear of breaking barriers or stepping into new territory can be quite scary. We grab from our jars the worn down dull nubs that we know, even though there is a constant stirring to explore something more.
Outside of the black lines that sit so definitively on the page, where the white space is, your life is waiting to be colored.
Wanting to come alive.
This week I wrote a new children’s book. It’s almost finished. A flash of inspiration came the way it sometimes does when I force myself to sit and soak up the solitude. I hope it won’t land in the pile of hundreds of other pages I’ve written, unsure of how to proceed, leaving me feeling like the abandoned peach pencil that seldom makes it to the page.
I think of my daughter, Tara, who has been fighting her whole life it seems and has never wanted to live inside the lines. She is a boxer girl now, determined to push past the pain of an unexpected punch, learning new moves and better ways to stand steady. Someday, she wants to teach self-defense to women and young girls.
We have goals, but we have barriers too. Black lines we can’t see, but still, hold us back.
I’m going to try and let today be a day that I do something bold. Today, I will be determined to grab for the magenta that is usually a little more louder than I want on my page. Don’t color yourself into a corner.
Today, let’s do one thing.
Just one thing, to get us a closer the picture we see for our lives.
Sign up for that class, make that meal, meet your neighbor.
Be the brightest you can be. Live today like a day you want to hang on the fridge.