Monday, July 6, 2015

Too Stressed To Color

I've been under a lot of stress lately, for reasons I won't bore you with. It's affected the way I live my life. It's disturbed my daily routine.

For example, I typically eat four bowls of cereal for dinner, but in recent weeks I've only had two bowls. I just haven't had the appetite for more. 

It's the stress. It's completely suppressed the joy I derive from the simple pleasures in life, like consuming half a box of Rice Chex at 7:30 p.m.

I'm not sure how to manage the stress. I have options, too many to count -- I could read a book, learn an instrument, play a sport, practice yoga, and so on -- but they all come with their own risk of stress. What if I choose the wrong book to read, or the wrong instrument to learn? What if I'm no good at the sport I decide to play? What if I can't find my yoga mat? I can't handle uncertainty.

Several friends have suggested that I speak with a therapist. I'm not sold on the idea. I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to afford it. The mere possibility of having to pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for therapy stresses me out. That's a lot of money. That's a lot of boxes of Rice Chex.

I'd prefer a more cost-effective solution, one that wouldn't interfere with my cereal-eating diet. As luck would have it, I may have discovered a more cost-effective solution at 2 a.m. this morning.

I was watching the first Terminator movie on a random cable channel when I was introduced to this infomercial:

I'd never heard of Colorama before, but I was intrigued. Artwork that will melt your stress away? Can artwork really do that? I remember suffering dozens of panic attacks as a kid in art class because I couldn't stay between the lines. I frustrated my teacher to no end, which upset me to no end. My art didn't melt away my stress or her stress. It caused stress for the both of us.

I've never been much of an artist as an adult. My last honest attempt at creating artwork came in 2010, when I designed the cover for my book Shane Presents Shane's Empty Thoughts: Based on the Empty Thoughts of Shane.

The cover of Shane Presents Shane's Empty Thoughts: Based on the Empty Thoughts of Shane (still free on iTunes!).

I wanted a cover that reflected the book's title. As you can tell, I put in little effort to create such a cover in Microsoft Paint. I understand my limitations. My art is more MoMa than the Met.

But the purpose of Colorama is not to impress others or to sell them on something. It's to "create something wonderful and relax." 

It should also be noted that Colorama only costs $12.99, plus shipping and handling. Far more reasonably priced than your average therapist. And would I create anything at a therapist's office that I could frame or present to a friend as a gift? Not likely.

By 2:03 a.m. I was seriously considering ordering the Colorama. But then I started to think some more. What if the free deluxe pencil kit does not have the colors I need? What if I can't keep a steady hand while coloring in bed or in the car? What if I still can't stay between the lines?

As of this writing, I have not ordered the Colorama. I'm not ruling it out for the future, but I need more time to think about it. In the meantime, I'll look for other ways to melt my stress away, and look for other late-night infomercials. Maybe I should learn an instrument....