Cambrian: Slice of Life

Adult coloring club taps into Cambria’s inner child

Senior Library Associate Destiny Carter is in charge of the Adult Coloring Club, which is planned late spring through this summer at the Cambria Library.
Senior Library Associate Destiny Carter is in charge of the Adult Coloring Club, which is planned late spring through this summer at the Cambria Library. ktanner@thetribunenews.com

It’s almost the end of May. Soon we’ll honor our fallen veterans, our grads and our dads. And then, boom! It’s summer 2016.

What? How did that happen? I’m not ready! It was Christmas yesterday. And isn’t it still 2012?

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not. Years ago, some fiendish soul turned up the speed control on our lives, but the Grinch forgot to turn it back down again.

Ah yes, the circle-of-life treadmill: Breakfast. Laundry. Dishes. Tidying. Work. Spouse. Kids. House. Tidying. Work. Cars. Lunch. Groceries. Work. Doctors. Dinner. Cleaning. Dishes.

I do get it. We live blessed, busy lives. But occasionally I want to rebel. “Step away from the ‘honey do list,’ Kathe.”

I want an island of Zen-like calm, where I can silence the mental audio feed, turn off the self-nagging, leave the chores behind and really relax.

Remember relaxing? No deadlines, no appointments, no pressure? No chance.

I do relax. I enjoy nature and wildlife, laughter with family and friends. I read a lot (if desperate for material, I’ve even resorted to the instruction manual for the iPhone I bought five years ago). I could exercise if I can talk myself into it. I could do yoga or tai chi … not that I really know how.

But sometimes I want to do even less. I want to do absolutely nothing constructive.

I want to just be me. Not a reporter. Not a caregiver. Not a wife/mom/grandma. Not a responsible citizen. Not a volunteer.

Just me.

Soon, the Cambria Library will offer a way we can all do that with quiet socialization, gentle concentration and Zen-like calm blended with a lack of expectations, criticism or due dates.

It’s the library’s new Adult Coloring Club.

(Don’t snicker. It’s not polite.)

Library gets colorful

The Coloring Club, (which launches at 4:30 p.m. Friday), is for big people who would, every so often, really like to be little people again.

It doesn’t matter if you loved to color as a kid. Adult coloring is different. There are many intricate designs for us. Swirls and paisleys, multiple mandalas and various niche topics.

It has been hot trend for a couple of years. The Washington Post reports that an estimated 12 million — 12 million! — adult coloring books were sold in the U.S. in 2015 alone, and at one point last year, according to the New York Times, two of those books held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on Amazon’s book list.

Some scientists say the soothing art of filling in tiny shapes on a precise paper design can have great therapeutic potential, and the resulting relaxation could be good for your health (as long as those tiny shapes aren’t the ovals on your election ballot. That’s not relaxing.).

According to various reports, coloring can reduce anxiety and have other beneficial effects on the sympathetic nervous system. I guess coloring can be rather like meditation for those who’ve never figured out exactly how to meditate.

The Coloring Club gives adults an opportunity to shed their stress and focus on one simple task. Plus, no artistic skills are required to enjoy it.

Destiny Carter, Cambria Library senior library associate

But a coloring club?

Think of it as the 2016 version of a quilting bee, a sewing circle or a meeting of those who get together regularly to knit or crochet … with a healthy dose of a second childhood thrown in for good measure.

The club is part of the Cambria Library’s vision to provide its patrons with a wider range of services and opportunities than ever before, including more classes, lectures, demonstrations and clubs.

It’s working. A recent glass-fusing class filled up in less than a day! Senior Library Associate Destiny Carter is hoping to book the same class again in the future, for those who didn’t get into the first session.

Carter’s coloring club concept is that patrons can chill out and forget the job, the chores, the car that needs tires, the child (or boss) who needs everything yesterday, the fridge on the fritz. Spend a Zen-like hour coloring, filling in the design elements with colors that please you and only you.

You’re worth it. You deserve it.

“Modern life is busy,” Carter said. “We are constantly connected to everyone and everything by smartphones, tablets and email. The barrage is basically endless. The Coloring Club gives adults an opportunity to shed their stress and focus on one simple task. Plus, no artistic skills are required to enjoy it.”

You don’t even have to bring one of those best-selling coloring books to the club meeting, although you can if you prefer.

The library provides all the club’s supplies — coloring pages, colored pencils, markers and even snacks.

And what’s more, even though adult coloring is about precision, it’s OK if you want to color outside the lines. Really, it is. So just relax.

If you go

The first meeting of Cambria Library’s Adult Coloring Club starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 27. If successful, the club will meet at 4:30 p.m. on the last Friday of every month, through August (June 24, July 29, Aug. 26). All supplies are provided. To sign up, call 927-4336, or stop by 1043 Main St. The library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays).

Want to know more about adult coloring books? Here are some links:

http://cnn.it/1RaM0A0, http://nyti.ms/1MKvi9M, http://wapo.st/1NiAfai, http://theatln.tc/1kawiHr, http://bit.ly/1HZZ3Rd, http://sciof.us/1OKtigu

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