What Happens When I Attempt to Color

"It's really cathartic."

"It'll help you relax."

"It's nostalgic!"

Those are some of the comments I've heard people make about the whole "adult coloring fad" that gained steam a little while ago. I like catharsis! I like relaxing! I like to be reminded of my childhood!

So, when the publishers of Daria Song's beautiful coloring book, The Time Garden, reached out and offered me a copy I decided that I would try it. The fact that it was almost two months ago should have been the first red flag; when it arrived I flipped through it and then set it on the far end of the kitchen table, where it has stayed. 

Before I go any further, I have so much respect for those that make these sorts of coloring books. The artwork is intricate and in this particular one the story is simplistically sweet. My overall cynical attitude about life and experience are in absolutely no way a reflection of her work.


Today I finally decided to sit down for thirty minutes and give this a try. Sawyer was napping, my husband was out with a friend, and I didn't feel like really doing anything. Here's what happened:

Minutes 1-5: Stars are easy, I'll color stars. Maybe I'll do some sort of pattern? That makes it more complex and adult, right?

Minutes 6-8: This is boring. I need a new page. This one with the hearts looks fun.

Minutes 8-12: Hey! I have nothing occupying my brain right now! Let's think about bad things happening! Always my go-to form of masochism.

Minutes 12-15: Maybe I should watch Sons of Anarchy instead of working myself up into a bad mood. I started the first episode of season ten weeks ago and haven't finished it. *loads it on phone* Apparently by "started" I meant I only watched thirty seconds. Hey. What do you do with these coloring books when you're done, exactly? 

Minutes 15-20: Coloring... coloring... poor Jax... I hope they find his baby... he still looks really attractive drunk and crying... now he's in the shower... coloring... coloring... coloring....

Minute 21: My hand hurts really bad. Are those who color prone to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? My mom had that. She had surgery. Is it genetic? I'm I going to get it? Sometimes my hands hurt. Shit, do I have it already?

Minutes 21-24: Google symptoms, defying household rule of not going on WebMD. Results are inconclusive.

Minutes 24-28: Coloring... coloring... a little excited that there are metallic colored pencils hiding in the box... getting bored... I can't color and watch, I'm missing too much... coloring...

Minutes 28-29: My fingers are cramping... ow... almost done... that was nice of the guys that were going to shoot SOA to hold back when they realized they were just trying to find the baby... coloring

Minute 30: And we're done. Probably forever.

1. Coloring actually causes me to become more of an anxious person that I already am.
2. I need to work on my hand/finger stamina.
3. I probably am not cut out for this sort of activity.
4. I was not reminded of my childhood. 

Thank you again to Watson-Guptill; I'm sorry I have mental issues and poor finger strength. 


  1. OMG, your mind works like mine! I have yet to try coloring, but I want to. I have heard so many good things about it, it is nice to get your insider scoop though because I feel like I may have the same reaction and it is always nice to know you are not alone. I also want to note that I think your coloring looks really good! Also, my husband has banned me form using WebMd, although that doesn't really stop me. haha ;)

  2. Yes, the hand cramping! I also wanted to try this since it seems all the rage right now. I bought some colored pencils since whatever I used to have got lost in the shuffle of moving (or maybe is still at my parents' house?) I didn't buy a special book because I had a book of designs for crafting (that I never used for crafting...) that could easily double as a coloring book. I did one page of flowers and my hand hurt! I don't find that very relaxing. So I don't know, maybe I should try markers or some other sort of coloring tool. My mind doesn't like being that quiet either, so I think I could get into it if I listened to an audioboook at the same time, but only if I can figure out how to not make my hand hurt!

  3. Don't worry. I don't think those coloring books are for me either.

  4. I loved coloring as a child and I still do to this day. But I mostly color in class to model how to color properly for second graders. I can already tell the kids who like it and the ones who hate it. I agree that it isn't for everyone.

  5. You are braver than me...I won't even try the coloring thing because there is no time and it will just remind me of the 10000 other things I should be doing instead.

  6. Hahahaha this was awesome. You think a lot like me. I don't have one of these colouring books, and while I really think I want one, my biggest thing is, what do you do with it when you are done colouring? Throw it out? Keep it for the "memories". Definitely not framing the pages. My hand cramps up just from writing a birthday card so I'm pretty sure I'm not cut out for colouring anymore. Maybe fine point markers would be easier on our wrists though? Less pressure required.

  7. I just bought a colouring book but now I'm hesitant to actually try it, because it is very possible that I react the exact same way as you do (except I already have carpal tunnel syndrome...)