Color Me Happy

I have been pretty open here about my health challenges.  And sadly I have more bad days than good days.  Most bad days I can handle okay.  There is such a thing as getting used to feeling sick, if you can believe that.  What I can’t seem to get used to is how isolated it makes me feel, and how difficult it can be to fight the constant sadness that comes with it.  I always find myself looking for a bright spot in my often dreary world.

There is something I do.  It always makes me smile.  I can do it comfortably, no matter how bad I feel.  It even engages my foggy brain, helping me think without frustrating me.  I lost touch with this thing for a while.  To get acquainted again I had to go back to my childhood.

And now it happens to be one of my favorite things to do in the whole world.

Recently I was having a particularly bad day.  A lot of pain, a lot of frustration and a lot of tears.  Husband wasn’t sure of what to do, but he really wanted to make me smile.  He was a man on a mission.  He grabbed his keys and said he would be back in an hour.  I went straight to bed and pulled the blanket over my head.  My attempt to shut out the world and bring an end to a miserable day.

When he returned, he pulled me out of bed and led me to the living room.  Waiting for me on the table was a brand new box of Crayola crayons and a coloring book.  A Disney Princess coloring book!  And not just Disney Princesses, but Disney Princess Brides!

Yes.  Coloring is one of my favorite things.

I opened the box and ran my fingers along the perfect crayons, sharpened and bright.  With that fresh, waxy crayon-ey smell I love.   I picked up my new coloring book, and there they were:  Snow White, Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, Ariel and Sleeping Beauty, waiting for me to bring them to life with 120 colors to choose from.

Husband made my day.  And the best part?  Visions of my very masculine mate getting excited over his hot Disney Princess find.  Mission accomplished.

Fresh Crayola crayons and a crisp, new coloring book.  What a magical combination.  There is comfort and joy in going back to the simplicity of a childhood.  Beautiful colors to make me feel happy and bright.

It works every time.

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Until 2016 . . .

The Olympics took over my life seventeen days ago.

I probably won’t know what to do with myself tomorrow.

I have had a sincere interest in events both popular and obscure.  If I wasn’t watching them on tv, I was online obsessively checking results and medal counts, and not just for my own country.  I was fascinated with everything.  I’m like this every time.  I have given some thought to why, and I think it has everything to do with witnessing human commitment and greatness, talents and camaraderie, seemingly ordinary stories about people who really aren’t so ordinary after all.  Differences and conflict seem to be put on hold for just a little while.

But again, I know it only seems that way.  The events are never without controversy.   And bad things happen around us all the time.  All we have to do is turn on the news every day to know that.   I guess I’m just grateful for the reminder that we can be better, and there is something amazing waiting to come out in all of us.

On Monday I will be fully engaged in my life again, but grateful for all I did see; the magic that unfolded in a city eight time zones away, when over 10,000 athletes from around the world decended upon it, all in the name of sport and the potential in us all.

Until 2016 . . .

and Winter 2014 . . .

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