The joy of painting

A few weeks ago, my mom bought a really extensive paint by numbers for me. The box sat on the dining room table for a few days because, honestly, it was really intimidating. The lines and spaces were so small, and there were 24 different colors to work with, and it was hard for me to imagine how I could go from a blank canvas to an intricate painting.

But, alas, one day I did take it out of the box, and I lined up all the paints and brushes and looked at the probably weeks-long project ahead of me. I’ve always enjoyed painting, and I was looking forward to easing back into the art with a semi-blank canvas. With the lines and numbers to guide me, it was easier to gain the motivation to start, but that was also one thing that held me back. While it was overwhelming at first, slowly I worked my way from number 1—a dark shade of brown—to numbers 5,6,7,8.

I sit for hours, absolutely mindless, and just paint. No thoughts, no internal monologue, nothing. It’s just whatever music, tv show, youtube video, or podcast I have playing.

It’s a part of my day that I never cut out time for, but always somehow manage to do. My favorite part of the day—either early in the morning, mid-afternoon, or usually late at night—is mindlessly painting. I’m nearly finished with it, and I’m finding myself hesitant to finish the once daunting project. It’s been such a freeing activity in these months of absolute craziness, and honestly, while I’m painting, for a little while it feels like everything is normal again.

So, I asked my mom to order me another one. Because I need those hours of peace—if I go a day without working on the painting, it honestly doesn’t really feel like a day.

I’m thankful for this little painting, this painting that I’ve spent so much time with, and while I’ll be sad to see this one completed, I can’t wait to begin the next one—but we all know I’ll be overwhelmed to start that one, too.

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