Be Mindful

Posted on September 5, 2015 under Storytelling with no comments yet


Zen and the art of coloring… for grown ups



Where would you least like to be on the hottest and most humid day of the summer? How about in car dealership loaner car with the air conditioner not working 100%? Oh, and you are on your way to one of the busiest shopping malls in the province and there is road construction between you and your destination. And all for a colouring book.

A family vacationing in Nova Scotia decided to get their regular vehicle service and maintenance done in Halifax. They weren’t terribly keen on using a valuable vacation day away from their seaside cottage. However, with their return trip to Ontario fast approaching, it was decided that a low-key day doing chores would be time well spent.

John and Mary Anna dropped off their vehicle at the dealership. The loaner car was a new, eco-friendly model that turns the gasoline engine off and on automatically when the car is idling. The maintenance would take about an hour and a half, just enough time to zip over to Bayers Lake for a brief shopping expedition.

Always a very busy route for traffic, on this day the vehicles in the distance were moving at a snail’s pace. In short order the snail seemed like Speedy Gonzales as the cars and trucks further reduced speed, inching along like slugs after a rainfall. All the while, the mercury continued to climb along with the tempers of the drivers. Sometimes you can feel collective rage when you get these interminable construction delays. Driving the hybrid car is fraught with anxiety if you’re not used to it. You can’t help but wonder if the engine is going to start again when it goes into sleep mode.

They eventually reached the shopping centre, did their errands and headed back to retrieve their car. The construction was worse than before, if that is possible. They were halfway back to the dealership when John’s phone rang. It was the mechanic at the dealership informing them that they had discovered a significant problem that need to be rectified before the long road trip back home.

Their patience meter dropped a few notches.

And then they received a text from one of their teenage children. “Can U pick up 2 Enchanted Garden adult colouring bks for trip home?” They cringed when the daughter directed them to the closest store: Chapters in Bayer’s Lake.

They managed to get the car turned around and headed back upstream. Traffic was now all but stopped. They could almost see steam rising from the asphalt … and from the drivers all around them. They realized that they were going to be stuck in traffic for a very long time.

“Let’s take the next exit ramp and head to the Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth, “said Mary Anna. They didn’t have a GPS and weren’t 100% sure of the quickest way to get there. As they were nearing the turnoff for Bedford, they thought of checking out the Sunnyside Mall first. Before going off on a wild goose chase, Mary Anna looked up the number for the good folks at Coles.

“How may I help you?” “I am looking for an adult coloring book,” was Mary Anna’s reply. There was a pause on the other end of the line. “What business are you looking for, ma’am?” Clearly exasperated, Mary Anna clipped off the words like a Gatling gun. “I. Am. Not. Looking. For. A. Business. I. Am. Looking. For. A. Colouring. Book.” The voice on the other end, obviously trained to deal with all manner of calls, said in her calmest voice possible, “This is the mall information desk.” Frustration turned to laughter on both ends of the line.

The call was patched through to Coles. The cheerful clerk indicated that they only had one copy of the colouring book but that Chapters in Bayer’s Lake had plenty!

You know that feeling when you aren’t sure whether to laugh or cry? This was one of these times.

The reassuring voice on the other end of the line spoke up again. “Coles at the Sunnyside Mall has plenty of copies also.” “Wait a minute. Aren’t I talking to the Coles Bookstore in Sunnyside at this very moment?” “No ma’am, this is the Coles store at the Bedford Place Mall.

It was only because the Sunnyside Mall and the Bedford Place Mall were across the street from each other that the marriage didn’t dissolve at that very moment. John couldn’t wait to get back to his high stress job in Ontario.

Mary Anna ran into the store and bought three copies of the colouring book along with a selection of pencil crayons. She returned to the car without uttering a word. As John slipped out onto the highway, Mary Anna carefully took the cellophane wrapper off one of the colouring books and grabbed a crayon. John looked puzzled as she started to colour, something he couldn’t ever remember her doing.

Adult colouring books are supposed to promote mindfulness and relieve stress.

Mary Anna decided to put the theory to the test.

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