I’m away from home; seven and a half hours away, for Spanish Certification training. Today’s class is over, and I’m back in the hotel. I’ve cranked up the heat so the air is cozy. I’ve turned Seinfeld on so there’s some familiar noise to fill the silence. There are four hours left until bedtime, and I don’t know what to do.
It’s not that I don’t have anything to do– I do. I have 400 pages of nursing text to read, 15 pages of Spanish text to read, and 2 pages of homework that are due tomorrow. It’s that I’m out of my milieu, I’m not with “my people,” and the stress of nursing school & Spanish exams has made me feel small. I’ve even found that I’ve begun to enjoy going to bed (something which I always enjoyed putting off) because when I’m sleeping, I don’t have to do anything. Don’t have to study anything. Don’t have to worry about anything.
Everybody has these times. Times when life gets to be just a little too much. Too many responsibilities at one time, too many things on the calendar, and too many roles to play. If you are in this situation, my hope is that you are in it for the best of reasons, as I am. If I do everything right, I will pass two more nursing classes next month, I’ll become a certified Spanish interpreter, and I’ll give a great presentation in Portland. These are things I’ll be very happy with, if I just try very very hard for a few short months. The stress comes from being blessed with many opportunities, and I must keep that in mind.
Still, as the light dims outside and I stare out the hotel window at an unfamiliar town, and there is no cockatoo or chatty 12-year-old to distract my senses, no dishes to be done, and none of my favorite TV shows recorded, the room is so quiet, the location so strange, and it feels like the clock has stopped so that my feelings can fill the space around me.
This is when some color is needed. Not always literal color, although that’s good, too. What I mean is, that which makes life beautiful. These things often come with ritual, like tea on weekend mornings after sleeping in, or changing into comfies (sweatpants & sweater) when you get home from work. These last few days, the “color” in my life (the simple things which have made me happy) has been:
- My Mom sent me a $50 Starbucks card via e-mail for my birthday
- I tried Korean food yesterday & have left-overs for at least 3 days
- I found the Safeway in town & filled up my hotel fridge with apples, kumquats, ginseng green tea, coconut water, antioxidant drinks, and a few other items which I want to give their own numbers, here below;
- A fancy new hair brush which claims to be anti-frizz
- “Simple” makeup removers, which are extra special because one of my favorite YouTube personalities, Ingrid Nilsen, uses those same ones
- Herbal Essence rose hips shampoo & conditioner for nostalgia; I used it in my youth & the smell brings me back & makes me happy.
- My husband’s and my favorite Olay moisturizer– because who doesn’t love moisturizer?
- I organized my M&M’s today, and that made me happy.
Sometimes, you just gotta put some color on it. Put some color on your day. Put some color on your life.
There are many ways to put color on it. Meditation, morning walks, painting your nails, taking a hot bath, playing with your pets, teasing your family (in a good way), playing an instrument, wearing mismatched socks on purpose (or is that just me?), sitting still in your garden… and then, there’s yarn stuff! Yarnies love color;
Using colorful top;
Dyeing with color:
And living in our colorful little knit worlds;
So, my friends, find what brings color to your life. When your day feels long, hard, and grey, put some color on it!
~What brings color to your life? Let me know in the comments!~