Color My World

Posted on November 26, 2014 under Storytelling with no comments yet


“Stressed” is just desserts spelled backwards!



It is a well-known fact that stress is unhealthy and sometimes leads to all kinds of physical and mental problems.  We all face challenges from cradle to grave.  When a baby needs to be fed or changed, it lets us know in no uncertain terms.  As young children begin to learn the do’s and don’ts of daily living, it is not uncommon to see temper tantrums.  And so it goes, all the way into adulthood and beyond.

There are lots of familiar stress releasers.  For those of us lucky enough to have them, holding a child or grandchild close is probably the most effective method to soothe angst … theirs and yours.  A long run or a bike ride can change the body chemistry quickly.  Or retail therapy!  These days, meditation, yoga and qigong seem to be the magic elixirs for maintaining equilibrium.

But may I offer a one-stop; one size fits all solution to reducing stress, regardless of your age?

I give you … the crayon.

I was walking the halls of academia recently.  I was honored that the university library at my alma mater had decided that they needed to fill a bit of space in the stacks by adding my two books …. in the “Canadian Studies” section, nonetheless.

While being escorted to the office where procurement takes place, my eyes were drawn to a table.  I did a double take and for a moment I thought I was at the library of an elementary school.  In the middle of a table was a nearly completed picture, a box of crayons and a sign that read, “Feeling stressed out?  Take a moment to relax and help us colour this picture.”

With all the sophisticated technology we have at our finger tips, it’s quite telling that a university has discovered that simple play still has a place in a wired world.

When is the last time that you got down on the floor and played marbles or tiddly winks?  Or how about tinker toys and etch-a-sketch?  Dinkies?  Hula-hoop?  Grab your slinky and stand at the top of the stairs and watch your stress dissolve as this amazing bundle of steel creeps and crawls to the bottom.

But, is there anything better than opening a fresh package of pointed Crayola crayons with its waxy smell, and pressing them on to a clean sheet of paper?

While walking past thousands of scholarly publications, my mind drifted back to my own university days.  It dawned on me that I probably should have spent more time studying Chaucer than Alexander Keith.  Back then, when we got stressed out with mid-terms and essays, we painted the town alright … but not with crayons.

Most universities in this country offer free courses to people over the age of 65.  I know of one lovely lady, slightly north of 65(!) who is one year shy of earning her university degree.  I’m not sure that she will take part in all of the “X ring” ceremonies when her time comes, but she will wear the X with considerable pride.  She is a perfect example of “life-long learning”.

I’m thinking I might just give this a go myself as I hurtle towards my first Old Age Security cheque.  I could be that “bold and bald” student in a class of twenty somethings.  If that day comes, and I witness a professor lose his cool, I will politely put my hand up and suggest that he chill out and go to the time-out room on the first floor of the library.

There will be a fresh package of crayons waiting for him.

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Tri Mac Toyota!

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