East Coast Bound

It’s been just shy of two weeks since I last posted an update to an update on our proposed “shuttering our old homestead” and heading east to Nova Scotia. Much has happened since that time.

Working with our realtor here, we decided to list our home on the local real estate board on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week. Luckily I was on holiday the previous 9 days to declutter, paint, landscape, and all that fun stuff in order to get things shipshape for the photographer to come and take pics and drone shots for the online listing and to be “show ready” for folks coming through.

After nine long days of work and literally 20 minutes before the photographer drove into our driveway, we got the massive list of things finished.

To make a long story short, our home went “live” online with the local real estate board Wednesday afternoon at about 1:00pm.

By 5:00pm we had 8 showings booked over the next day and a half, and by 7:00pm that evening and with one showing on that Wednesday, we had an offer to purchase “the old homestead” with a number over our asking price.

We will be signing the final paperwork today(Monday) and it looks like we will close on the sale of our home on July 4th or 5th, which will end up feeling and being a very short 6 weeks.

So, what is happening with the offer we placed on the home in Nova Scotia you might be asking?

The offer we put in was accepted and we’ve had a pretty much standard house inspection completed on the home. We have a couple of questions remaining in regards to the electrical situation within the home and are diligently working to get those answered within the next day or so. Which can be and most definitely is a challenge, given we are 1700km away and really don’t know a soul in the community.

But, we have complete faith that things will turn out as we hope they will.

We will close and take possession of the home in Nova Scotia sometime after we close on “the old homestead.” I kind of need the proceeds from the sale of our house here to pay for the purchase of the “new homestead” out east, as well as to pay the moving company to get our stuff out east.

So, for the moment much of what we are doing is getting a few remaining items packed and over to the storage unit we rented. We are also listing and selling most of our furniture, bedroom suite, and other stuff and heading east with all that can fit into a 5-foot by 10-foot by an 8-foot high storage locker.

Now, we’re diligently working on the list that contains – new house insurance, changing car insurance, and such, plus a whole new host of other things on yet another list that is way too long and boring to mention.

Let me close with a couple of things.

As I mentioned to Lynn at one point in our rather busy past 15 or 16 days. As much as the act of decluttering and packing is simply the act of “decluttering and packing”, it is also all of a mental; emotional, or spiritual act of decluttering one’s “self” and moving on. Not holding on to the past, but taking a giant/massive leap of faith for something that needs to be done.

Heading to Nova Scotia is the right “move” for us at this point in our lives. It’s time for a new chapter – to re-invent who we are or just to become who we were meant to be.

Here are a couple of teaser pics from our “hopefully” Nova Scotia home.

So there you have it. We hope by the end of today(Monday), we’ll know more in order to finalize and remove the conditions for our offer to buy in Nova Scotia and to have signed the final sale agreement on our current place.

Needless to say, it has been nothing short of an interesting past couple of weeks.

— as always with love —

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Update To The Update – East Coast Bound(hopefully)

Writing or posting much has certainly taken a hit over the past year or so. I can say with great certainty the lacking of “new stuff” posting can be found anywhere along the spectrum from no motivation; nothing new is happening at the “old homestead”; to no desire to “click” the log-in button.

Nevertheless, I do have an update from the post back at the beginning of April – “Missing In Action – Yet Again – Update(Sort of…i think)”.

After diligently searching across Nova Scotia for a place that would meet both our needs and be within our price range – we put an offer in on a home located in Parrsboro a small community of about 1200 people on the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

The offer went in yesterday(Wednesday, the 4th) and hopefully, we’ll hear back today if the sellers will accept it with the conditions we need to make this work.

All of this is happening at nothing less than “lightspeed.” But, it has taught us this lesson over the past couple of weeks. And it is a lesson that many should ponder very, very carefully.

If you keep waiting to get all your “ducks lined up” before doing or attempting something – chances are you’ll never do it or attempt it. Often you gotta go with what your gut says – regardless of even whether you have ducks or not – let alone having them in any sort of line. If you keep waiting for the perfect time – you’ll wait for ever.

At this stage, we have nothing in terms of “the plans or how this will all work – the nitty-gritty stuff” AT ALL.

Our planning for the most part extends 4 to 5 hours ahead or if things are “clicking along well” – perhaps the next day.

So, there ya have it.

And with any amount of luck – the planets will align and the universe will work in our favour and hopefully, by mid-summer, we’ll be walking the coastline of Nova Scotia.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Missing In Action – Yet Again – Update(Sort Of…i think)

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted the orignal bit, however I don’t have a ton of news that is terrbily new. Or terribly exciting for that matter.

But, I do have a couple of things.

First, on our going potential move to Nova Scotia. We do have our real estate fella coming over this afternoon to hopefully hammer out a more definite asking/selling price for the “old homestead.” That should help us to focus in on price range(s) to look for a home in Nova Scotia. I’m hoping he can also give some initial guidance in how this process will move along.

Secondly, it seems that my old body has aged considerably over the past month or two.

Yesterday for example, it felt like every joint, muscle and other pertainent body parts simply ached for no decent reason at all. My upper back and neck ache pretty much 24 hours a day, which I suspect is causing the frequent headdaches I get. On Sunday(yesterday), we went for a short walk/outing at Blue Mountain Village and the walking around made my upper back and neck start to ache, which then made me generally crabby and crotchety for the rest of the day.

But, life continues on. At least it is forecasted to be relatively mild, but with the chance of rain this afternoon.

It now appears to be a relatively consistent approach for “yours truly” to go somewhat “missing in action” for extended periods of time. There is absolutely no rational or even semi-rational explanation as to why this happens. But, it does. And in the great and overall scheme of all things in life, this is perhaps not such a big deal.

Apart from being somewhat unmotivated/slightly burnt-out from writing much of anything, most of the “missing in action” from the blogosphere results from my/our focus being entirely directed at something else. And that something else being…..

Yup. We’re in the process of pulling up the stakes of the “old homestead” along the shores of south Georgian Bay and heading east to Nova Scotia.

So, why Nova Scotia you may ask?

Good question and here are three reasons to answer that.

First, our daughter and her partner live in Nova Scotia(Halifax to be specific). Secondly, our plan was to move to the east coast and settle on Prince Edward Island. However, go back and re-read reason #1. Third and lastly, after putting some research in and speaking with a real estate professional, our current home is worth at a minimum 3 to 4 times what we paid for it eight years ago. In our area, once homes of our style hit the market, they’re sold within a day or two. They never last a week.

So, now seems like the time.

Searching the real estate market in Nova Scotia has become not just an exercise in looking at homes online, but also researching communities and areas within the province. The only area we have any familiarity with is Halifax, the largest city in the province. Fortunately or unfortunately, house prices within the HRM(Halifax Regional Municipality) are high and sales(at this point at least) generally go way over the asking price. In many instances $50 to $100K over asking. CRAZINESS.

However not so much CRAZINESS in the rest of the province – generally speaking.

So, where are we at this point?

At this stage of the process, our focus has been on the Annapolis Valley area of the province.

Why the Annapolis Valley region you ask?

Another good question. We got several reasons on the go. More moderate climate(ex – winters tend to be milder and less snow – recognizing this is still Canada). There are a number(5 or 6) of communities along a 70 to 80 kilometer linear stretch along the Annapolis Valley region that would provide most of the amenities and services we might require. If we needed anything else, Halifax is about 1.5 hours away.

Now, we aren’t necessarily tied to the Annapolis Valley at this point. Should we find a potential “forever home” in another locale, then we would take a hard look at that location.

Lynn’s been working back and forth over the past few weeks with a real estate person who specializes in and knows the market in the Annapolis Valley very well. So, that’s a good thing.

When and how will this happen? Another two good questions.

When? – sooner than later. But, don’t have a specific date. Hell, could be next week!

How? – I suspect we’ll sell the “old homestead” first and then find a place in Nova Scotia. Our plan is to sell most of our possessions, other than a few sentimental pieces of furniture and personal items(like underwear lol), and restart new or semi-new out there.

So, there you have it.

The reason(s) for being “missing in action.”

And not too terrible a reason after all.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Missing In Action – Yet Again

It now appears to be a relatively consistent approach for “yours truly” to go somewhat “missing in action” for extended periods of time. There is absolutely no rational or even semi-rational explanation as to why this happens. But, it does. And in the great and overall scheme of all things in life, this is perhaps not such a big deal.

Apart from being somewhat unmotivated/slightly burnt-out from writing much of anything, most of the “missing in action” from the blogosphere results from my/our focus being entirely directed at something else. And that something else being…..

Yup. We’re in the process of pulling up the stakes of the “old homestead” along the shores of south Georgian Bay and heading east to Nova Scotia.

So, why Nova Scotia you may ask?

Good question and here are three reasons to answer that.

First, our daughter and her partner live in Nova Scotia(Halifax to be specific). Secondly, our plan was to move to the east coast and settle on Prince Edward Island. However, go back and re-read reason #1. Third and lastly, after putting some research in and speaking with a real estate professional, our current home is worth at a minimum 3 to 4 times what we paid for it eight years ago. In our area, once homes of our style hit the market, they’re sold within a day or two. They never last a week.

So, now seems like the time.

Searching the real estate market in Nova Scotia has become not just an exercise in looking at homes online, but also researching communities and areas within the province. The only area we have any familiarity with is Halifax, the largest city in the province. Fortunately or unfortunately, house prices within the HRM(Halifax Regional Municipality) are high and sales(at this point at least) generally go way over the asking price. In many instances $50 to $100K over asking. CRAZINESS.

However not so much CRAZINESS in the rest of the province – generally speaking.

So, where are we at this point?

At this stage of the process, our focus has been on the Annapolis Valley area of the province.

Why the Annapolis Valley region you ask?

Another good question. We got several reasons on the go. More moderate climate(ex – winters tend to be milder and less snow – recognizing this is still Canada). There are a number(5 or 6) of communities along a 70 to 80 kilometer linear stretch along the Annapolis Valley region that would provide most of the amenities and services we might require. If we needed anything else, Halifax is about 1.5 hours away.

Now, we aren’t necessarily tied to the Annapolis Valley at this point. Should we find a potential “forever home” in another locale, then we would take a hard look at that location.

Lynn’s been working back and forth over the past few weeks with a real estate person who specializes in and knows the market in the Annapolis Valley very well. So, that’s a good thing.

When and how will this happen? Another two good questions.

When? – sooner than later. But, don’t have a specific date. Hell, could be next week!

How? – I suspect we’ll sell the “old homestead” first and then find a place in Nova Scotia. Our plan is to sell most of our possessions, other than a few sentimental pieces of furniture and personal items(like underwear lol), and restart new or semi-new out there.

So, there you have it.

The reason(s) for being “missing in action.”

And not too terrible a reason after all.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Fire and Ice – Arrowhead Provincial Park

Ontario Provincial Parks depending on their size and classification provide a number of interesting programming options throughout the entire 365 days in the calendar.

One of the more if not most popular events are the “Fire and Ice” evenings on the skating trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park. Arrowhead is located a few kilometers north of the Town of Huntsville. From the “old homestead” on the shore of Georgian Bay, it was a trip of about an hour and 45 minutes to get there.

The ice skating trail is about 1.5 kilometers long and winds through part of the pine-forested campgrounds. As I mentioned the ice skating trail and specifically the “Fire and Ice” evenings are one of the more popular outdoor events in this area of the province.

Given the skating trail’s popularity, I booked our pass for the day and the evening “Fire and Ice” for Saturday(Feb 5) on the previous Monday morning. By Wednesday the passes for all of the weekend had been sold out.

So, what is “Fire and Ice?”

It is simply the skating trail lit up with torches.

Imagine being in a pitch-black forest at night in the cold of winter. Now, imagine that there is an icy trail snaking through the trees. Now that could be a challenge to figure out where the trail is. Now, light it up with torches. And this is the magic that results.

Once arriving at the park entrance, it is about a five-minute (maybe a bit longer) drive to the parking area for the skating trail. There is really a top-notch Visitor’s Centre to warm up at; or to purchase Ontario Parks merchandise or perhaps get a fast coffee or hot chocolate.

There is also an equipment rentals shop beside it if you want to rent skates, snowshoes, or cross-country ski equipment.

A short walk along a torch-lit path through the forest brings you to the start of the ice trail. There are “cubbies” to put your boots in; benches to sit on to lace up your skates and several fire pits to warm up at.

And once you get all laced up – off you go!

A couple of pics of Lynn.

In addition, there are also a number of summer electrical camping sites that they plow out for those who like to winter camp, plus the Park also has a number of rustic cabins that people can rent as well.

The cabins are extremely popular and very difficult to rent. They are reserved in just a minute or two just as soon as they come online. In Ontario, reservations can be made 5 months prior to when you would like to go. With a tremendous demand for them, they will be gone 5 minutes after the reservation window opens at 7:00am on any particular day.

Although the skate trail was a bit choppy and rough, it still was a great night out. The glowing torches; people and families having a great time; a cold winter’s night and the pine forests of northern Ontario – it couldn’t have been better.

In the past, my work schedule had always prevented us from going. But, not this time.

And, in as much as it was a physical outing, it was much more of a mental win for us. So many times over the past two years or so have we talked ourselves out of (or at least I have) of embarking on an adventure.

So, a win all around.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

A Little Six Mile Lake Snow Trudge

In keeping with the theme of “mid-winter blues”, we decided on Friday afternoon given that it was a glorious and blindingly sunny winter’s day, we headed slightly north of us to the Six Mile Lake area of South Muskoka.

This wasn’t really major or even a minor adventure in terms of what we’re used to doing. If it needed to be classified(and I’m not certain why it would need to be?) it might naturally fit “minor in terms of scope”; major in terms of mental and emotional wellness.”

A slight bit of background here, I’ve been struggling for the past number of months(and far too many to count up) with the feeling of being lost; emotionally, and mentally drained/done. All along with that is the work-related stress caused by the pandemic and a host of other issues(again far too many it seems to add up). So getting outside to canoe, hike, or backcountry camp(plus a number of other outdoor related activities) has been to me over the years a number of things, but importantly it has been the way to recharge the soul and to disconnect from life in order to reconnect back to it.

Needless to say, it has been a significant battle at times to make a decision to head out somewhere and then to carry out on actually doing it. More often than not, I end up talking myself out of what I had talked myself into 24 hours previously.

But Friday afternoon was the day.

We ended up doing just a wonderfully short hike(actually, it was a trail-breaking trudge through knee-deep snow) to a favorite point looking over the water.

It wasn’t far by any means, but in a way, for at least me it was a type of breakthrough. At least we got out. So, I’m taking that as a small win. And a win is still a win no matter how big or small that is.

Lynn’s telling us all we need for an afternoon out is a “thumbs up” attitude and all the while supporting “rosy cheeks.”

It certainly was cold(pushing -20C), but no real wind.

Yup, a win no matter the size is still a win.

–as always with love

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Mid-Winter Blues

We have had a few days during the past week, where it has been damn cold in the morning. In fact, during those whole days, it remained pretty darn chilly. Yesterday(Sunday) didn’t feel quite a “brisk.” Currently, it’s -11C – and when placed beside -29C – well that is just darn balmy.

The old calendar on the wall suggests we’re getting towards the end of January. Now I’m not sure one might consider it mid-winter just yet, but we’ll dub it that for the moment. Anything that positions us closer to spring works.

This has been an incredibly difficult winter for me, and it’s not even the end of January yet.

To say I’m in a lock-step battle with mid-winter blues would be an understatement. In fact, it would be a gross understatement, to say the least.

Sure, I get and understand that there are a ton of various things occurring that aren’t necessarily “mid-winter blues” related. Obviously, the always in the news pandemic(and what wave are we in?) is front and center on a far too frequent basis. The ongoing issues with our Halifax daughter’s mental wellness simply nibbling away at my soul like rust devouring a soup can. And as well, the never-ending strain it seems of finances.

Even if the stuff in the previous paragraph was non-existent, the whole “winter-blues” deal would ………well – still, be a deal.

Nevertheless, I do think that at least for yours truly the whole “mid-winter blues” thing is a real thing.

Yesterday(Sunday) was a beautiful sunshine-filled day, although a “tad brisk” at about -11C or thereabouts. Lynn and I went for a hike out on frozen Georgian Bay amongst the snowmobilers and folks ice fishing.

I mentioned to her at one point, it is these types of days that make me feel alive or come alive during our somewhat long and at times freezing winter months. Brilliant sunshine beaming on your face; the glare of the sun reflecting off the snow and the warmth of the sunshine blasting through the car windows.

On the days when the weather isn’t anywhere near this – I feel terrible. Depressed, sad, and merely anxiously waiting for the day to end. I suspect that I may have some form or level of SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Anyhow, some days are good; some days are better; some are kinda neutral and some are just plain sucky. But, I think we’re closer to spring and change than we may think we are.

I hope so.

At the “old homestead” life really sucks at the moment. And realistically, I’m sort of getting tired of the whole “life sucking the life out of me” routine.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

A Foggy Day Is Still A New Day

Right now at the “old homestead” it’s a balmy -21 degrees C give or take a degree or two. That’s correct -21 degrees.

Not exactly shorts and t-shirt weather. Nor is the type of weather that creates a moody and foggy mist over the horizon as the sun is rising in the east when you are rolling out of the sack, say at 6:21am.

On a completely different track, I do find it ironic that for someone(me) who really isn’t a huge fan of the literally million(s) of cute inspirational quotes and cliches that are available with one easy peasy Google search, I seen to either use them a decent amount or blog about them – again a decent amount. Figure that one out?

Obviously, the soil the provides the most fertile environment for the bountiful harvest of “quotes and cliches” that have grown and matured within the fences of the “motivational and inspirational farm fields” is – …….. social media.

Think of Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook et al, as the jiggly medium found in petri-dishes hidden away in some a Silicon Valley conglomerate. All vibrating and twitching with anticpation as a few drops of the newest “motivational/inspirational quote and cliches” fall and flow across those fertile slimy and pudding-like surfaces, unleashing millions of “hope and dream spores” to become the next “poster; jpeg or motivational gif” to guide humanity(or at least a few of us) to the next level of becoming all it can be.

Or something like that.

Nevertheless, it seems inspirational quotes and writing in the inspirational/motivational genre often appear to be the most fertile ground when it comes to the use of cliches and such.

cropped-sunrise-1.jpg

Obviously, a massive over-generalization and yes, it may be a somewhat unfair suggestion.

But, cliches and or quotes from those who are famous or the near-famous certainly have found a place within the whole inspirational genre, whether it be in text or some visual representation.

Now, this post isn’t to disparage any of these quotes or cliches or how and why they’re used.

I get all of that, and I understand why people can find solace and comfort reading them. In addition, I find that many of them do exactly that, provide some comfort and encouragement when I happen to come across them.

Here are a few quotes or cliches to help illustrate where we’re going.

Night is always darker before the dawn and life is the same, the hard times will pass, everything will get better and the sun will shine brighter than ever.

— Ernest Hemingway

Sunshine always follows the rain

— unknown

Tomorrow is a new day

—  unknown

Each one of these has been used or may even be used by someone today to help people dealing with a period of “darkness”(going through a challenging or difficult period in their life) and that the “darkness” will somehow end and what follows will be a “glorious dawn of a new day” filled with eye-blinding sunshine.

When I read these and other quotes or similar cliches, there seems never any middle ground. You head from one end of some ethereal spectrum of “darkness” and magically overnight awaken at the opposite end of the spectrum having arrived at “a new and glorious dawn filled with sunshine.”

And often when presented in a visual form, they appear something like this. And again, leave us with the impression of a day dawning with the sun brilliantly coming up over the horizon and a day filled with sunshine.

But, in reality, does it really happen like that?

Do people actually come out of some difficulty or challenging period in their lives; have eight hours of blissful sleep and awaken into this new dawn of brilliant sunshine where all is good?

I suppose it does happen and for all I know, maybe it happens all the time.

So, here is the crux of it.

Do these types of cliches and quotes, set people up with unrealistic expectations of what happens after the difficulties or challenges they face go away?

What if the day dawns, as it always does, but it is overcast and foggy?

IMG_20170803_070657954

Is this still not a brand-new day?

Did the sun come up or not?

The answer to both questions is, obviously yes.

Even a dull, foggy and dreary morning, is exceedingly brighter than a night that wasn’t even all that dark out!

In other words, even if you went through a difficult and challenging time and start to see a change happening for the better and even if the change was a tad foggy or dull, is that not better than the dark period?

Assuming that it is, certainly, that has to be a “win” for us?

A change for the better regardless of how it arrives and/or how big the change, is still a change for the better.

I suspect that we all want to go from the dark(difficulties are happening) end of the spectrum to the brilliant(all is better) end, without having to travel through the middle part.

I believe that most of us eventually work through those difficult times, depending on what they are and at some juncture, a new day will dawn for us. That those troubling or difficult circumstances would be entirely gone or at least vanished for the most part. And that this new day will give us plenty of sunshine on some level.

Remember, though, we may have had a few foggy and dreary days along the way before we get there.

Nevertheless, a foggy and dreary day is still a new day and it will always be brighter than the darkest night.

And that in my mind is a “HUGE WIN.”

I would be interested to hear what you think about the subject.

Do some of these inspirational cliches and quotes create unrealistic expectations and outcomes?

–as always with love–

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Brain Fog Monday

I hope that many of you on occasion experience the same “fogginess” that I appear to be dwelling in at this very moment.

You know, the overwhelming desire to write and produce something, but the inability at the time you want to “pound the keys” to get your brain to clear the fog out enough in order to produce a few words that are comprehensible at some level to read.

And thus starts my early Monday morning.

Since coming back at some time in November from a kind of self-imposed hiatus of several months, I’ve taken the approach of casually tickling my brain the day before wanting to write and post something, in order to have an idea, issue, or “life thing” to actually write about. So far, at least I think so far, it has relieved much of the stress and pressure to create something to post about.

Guess, I forgot to do that yesterday.

But, in the big scheme of things happening in the world at the moment, not having an idea for a blog post on a cold and snowy Monday morning here at the “old homestead” on the shores of Georgian Bay isn’t a show-stopper.

In the past when this type of “writing funk” situation would descend upon our south Georgian Bay habitat, my stress level would ramp up; a discernable and measurable helping of frustration would make an appearance, and all of that followed by a few subtle lines of negative self-talk.

But, not today.

I will however admit, that it can take me a while and often a long while to figure things out; “see the light”; and/or see things for what they are. This shouldn’t be taken as negative self-talk, but more of a statement of fact.

Not sure if others see creativity this way or make this connection with creative pursuits, but I see creativity and creative pursuits/hobbies as something that should be fun; bring a sense of joy to yourself; an activity you would look forward to.

The self-induced pressure and stress I found in the summer with writing and this blog, came from a number of directions but much of it came from simply this fact. The focus/my focus was lost on what this blog was meant to be – a fun and creative project/hobby.

A good lesson for many of us to remember – creativity in whatever form should be and hell MUST BE fun. I get it if this is your job or if your desire is to make blogging a full-time thing.

But, it still should be fun – right?

I took up blogging back in 2016 and then sketching/watercolour painting in 2020 for a number of reasons. But, one of the reasons I keep plugging away at it, is it’s fun. Writing and art stretch and expand who I am as a person and realistically that is a good thing – a great thing.

There ya go – seems the Monday morning brain fog lifted just enough to pound out a few words.

This was fun – as it should be.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

To Colour Or Not To Colour?

The past few days at the start of 2022 has reminded me, that “putting away the crayon box and/or colouring between the lines” may actually be the most devastating move I could make at the moment. A strange opening, but hang in there with me.

Generally, most of us would agree that rules are necessary in a wide expanse of situations. You know – “stop at a red light”; “wear a life jacket when canoeing”; and the oldie but goodie “don’t eat yellow snow.” You get the idea.

Rules(real and imagined) can be a good thing, but they can also be the most restricting and strangling when it comes to who we are and should be as an individual.

Often family, society and/or our upbringing force; slot or “passive-agressively suggest” this is how we “should be or act or live our OWN lives.”

Conformity has it’s place. But, it can also squash or slowly extinguish the creative flame that glows in all of us.

— with love —

A few weeks ago, I was going through some stuff(mostly unknown clutter) that had been boxed away in our art studio.

When rummaging around, I came across a small container of things that obviously had much use and were a well-worn memory from our daughter Sara’s childhood.

Crayons and colouring pencils.

How many of us remember back to when our children picked up that crayon or marker for the first time?

Sitting with them at the kitchen table; your child is not even able at this stage to hold a crayon correctly. But, did it matter? Of course not! They just latched on to it and started wildly moving the crayon across that blank piece of paper, creating in their mind the perfect picture to give Mom to put on the fridge for the world to see.

lines

As things progressed, you likely bought them a simple colouring book suitable for the age they were at. Having said that, a colouring book is a big step up from a white sheet of paper.

With colouring books, the lines define the shape and also where to colour.

But like the blank piece of paper, this is fun. REAL FUN. There were no rules. The sky can be green and not blue; the lines in the book are merely a suggestion; the grass can be red and not green.

And with great abandon and without care for the rules, children colour, create and express themselves in such wonderful ways with a simple crayon. Why? – because they can. And no one stops them.

In fact, we encourage and support them all along the way.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the path, we call life, there is a point when society or someone says, “in order to fit in – you must colour between the lines.”

colour3

As the days move along and as we grew older, even though we may not have known it, “colouring between the lines” creates a loss in our life.

The “stay between the lines mantra,” begins to ever so slightly strip or erode away part of who we are.

It takes that “wild child-like abandonment and care-free attitude” from our childhood and slowly over time smooths out those rough edges to create something that conforms to a much more narrowly defined existence.

This underlying and often not so underlying layer of “staying between the lines conformity” ultimately creates a picture where the colours match up(the sky must be blue) and the colours don’t cross over those tiny lines that define the shapes on the page. The result is a picture that all can see and recognize what it is.

Remember though, as a toddler, when starting to colour there were no rules. There was nothing to confine or restrict the crayon crashing across the page in the colouring book.

Did you care? NO!

You were simply being you; being who you are; having fun and living life. You were creating a masterpiece.

But at some ripe age as an adult or even a bit earlier, the mindset of “colouring between the lines” can take us down a variety of different rocky/tree root strewn and foot catching stumbling paths:

  • do what’s safe or easy
  • don’t be unique or really different
  • be perfect
  • don’t bend the rules
  • keep your creativity in check; no individuality
  • don’t make a scene
  • stay in your comfort zone; take no risks

If that’s where we’ve ended because we’ve been herded into “colouring within the lines,” we can often find ourselves saying, “trying that won’t work” instead of actually seeing if it will work. Or “it has always been done that way” as the only reason to not try and do things differently.

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“Colouring between the lines” can bring us to be a near-perfect rule follower, not willing to step out and “bend the rules” a bit. You’re afraid to take or make a path of your own.

You study and become an accountant(not to disparage accountants), but deep within you; your soul aches and your heart cries and screams that you need to be a writer; an actor, or make pottery. And you know it’s true because you feel and live the ache of your soul and the scream of your heart each and every day.

But how often do you simply end up living life – “painting by numbers.” Number 5 is blue; number 7 is green.

Rigidly colouring within the lines leaves you afraid to be who you are, cut off from your creativity, resourcefulness, and genius.

Source – Unknown

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You see, each of us(and that includes you) was born to create a masterpiece.

And that “masterpiece” is us as an individual.

But in order to create that masterpiece, we need to at times and often all the time “colour outside the lines.”

Life may or may not be a “big wonderful and yummy bowl of cherries,” but it certainly is a big box full of brightly colour crayons.

Regardless of what people around you or even what society says, it is okay to “colour outside the lines” and along with that, it is also okay to use every colour in the crayon box.

In fact, to create “your masterpiece” you’ll need to use each colour; mix them up a bit(make the sky green), and to say “to hell with the lines on the page.”

Live life to the fullest. You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece. Laugh some every day. Keep growing, keep dreaming, keep following your heart. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

~ Albert Einstein

Now is the time to open back up that box of crayons that have been put away over the years.

Get out there and colour with “child-like freedom.” Use the brightest and wildest colour schemes you can think of.

Bring perspective to life and things that only you can bring.

You are different, unique, original.

Be you – the world needs your masterpiece.

— with love —

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Photo Credits: Pixabay and Google Images