Maybe what you have is more than you know

I’m a sucker for order, complete sets, matching things. Whether it’s having a complete set of books in the same edition, to the construction of my sandwich with all the constituents placed in the correct order. I wouldn’t describe myself as ODC, maybe some people would, but one thing’s for sure, I’m a perfectionist and I like things to be just right!

As an aficionado of colouring-in well before the words “adult”, “colouring”, and “mindfullness” could be seen anywhere together in the same paragraph let alone sentence, and well beyond the age in which colouring-in was considered a socially acceptable past-time, this need for completeness extends to my coloured pencils (and in fact all things stationary… Mmmm).

For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of having a full set of Derwent artists pencils; all the colours under the sun, soft, vibrant, blendable, complete stored in a neat (not so) little wooden box. Could it get any better?! Just imagine how much more enjoyable the colouring experience would be. Never having to lament over not having just the right colour. No scratchy colouring lines from too-hard pencils. How good would the pictures look?

I’ve been tempted multiple times over but never quite been able to justify the spend. Would they really make my life that much better?

Over the last couple (or maybe a few more) years since I was a kid, I have acquired quite a collection of coloured pencils. First there were the Staedtler pencils; packs of 12, to 24, to 36 as my voracity and with it my pencil case expanded. Then came the discovery of Faber-Castell; classic colours, water colours, metalic colours, 36 packs, 12 packs for travelling and then 24 packs for travelling when 12 just wasn’t enough.

Embracing the chaos of my coloured pencil collection

I have always felt a slight sense of dissatisfaction when it came to colouring. Earlier this week I opened up one of my many colouring-in books (you see, none of them was exactly what I wanted) and chose a page to colour. It was a gecko made up by a leaf pattern. Being particular as I am, I feel the need to colour in “real” colours, so green it was. I pulled out my pencil case containing my newest set of coloured pencils, a 24 pack of classic colour Faber-Castells (all neatly sharpened), and picked out the greens. Four. Well that’s not going to make a great picture. I sat there and looked up at the ice-cream tub that had been sitting untouched for many a year on my shelf, full of old pencils and a few stray pens that had been discarded from my pencil case when it was decided too many had been lost/broken/stolen/sharpened down to a stub to make way for the newer complete set of colours. They were only Staedtlers and even some random no-brand pencils, some of them almost 20 years old, but maybe I could have a look and see what I could find. Then there was my precious water-colour set. Maybe I could use a couple of those…

I picked out the colours and got to work. They weren’t too bad, and I had more options than I thought. After filling in a few leaves I looked at the picture again and thought. Leaves aren’t always green, and there were a couple of flowers in there too, so maybe I could add in a few different colours too! Each miss-matched set of pencils provided a slightly different array of colours. The end result was surprisingly satisfying.

Would my dream set of Derwent pencils really have transformed this into a masterpiece? Maybe……….
But there was a huge amount of satisfaction that came from producing this from a miss-match of old, new, and in between colours.
By deciding to make the most of what I had instead of just wishing for more I was surprised both by what I did actually have, and how much I enjoyed it despite the imperfections.

Maybe this whole “mindfullness” thing about colouring has some merit… although I am still going to stick to doing it mostly because I like the pretty colours!

But one thing’s for sure, after this week I’ve decided I really need to start taking stock of what I already have, and be greatful for it. Maybe it’s more than I know…

We can always want for more, different or better but will that really make our life better/easier/happier? So long as our basic needs are met, unlikely. We’re far better off making the most of what we’ve got because otherwise we will never be satisfied.

Gillian


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