Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to be a mess from the get-go? One day the other week. It seemed there was just a perfect storm of little set-backs gnawing on my sanity beginning even before I arrived at the office.

Toward the end of the day, I opened a small pile of mail. I’d been getting a lot of mail in the last few weeks due to the Halloween coloring contest. Honestly, it’s nice to open an envelope that doesn’t contain a bill or limited time credit card offer.

Each envelope was opened and each entry was checked to make sure it had all the necessary information – name, age, address, phone number, etc.

Then I came to an impressive entry. I mean, you could tell the child who colored the page took a good amount of time with staying inside the lines, consistently coloring in one direction, adding brown highlights to the cat’s fur (which they chose to color mostly black), and using multiple colors on the moon and blank background.

I folded down the bottom of the entry page to see how old the contestant was – surely it would be someone in the 9/10 age category. Or maybe a very talented pint-sized Picasso. Whoever it was, the child’s entry was going to be difficult to top. I mean, I’m not sure even I could color like this youth (I’m not the best at coloring in the same direction).

The name: Child at Heart. Age: 62. No other identifying information expect to note the person colors to reduce stress and had fun. They thought I would get a kick out of seeing their age.

The only identifying information on the envelope was a first initial and last name, which I won’t print here. I will mention not only does this person have great coloring skills, but impeccable handwriting.

Seeing the Halloween coloring contest entry made my day a bit less painful.

It made me smile and realize not everything about the day was awful. Additionally, it reminded me to take time to relax more often.

As a person with anxiety, relaxation can be difficult to come by when constantly worried about issues big and small. Not only that, it seems our society is obsessed with being busy; it’s almost as if we feel the need to fill our schedules and then talk about how busy we are as if our level of busyness implicates some type of social status. If you are constantly busy at work, it’s seen as being productive. If, however, you report it’s a bit slow, society may view this as being lazy – after all, there is always something you can be doing at work.

When I have a day off, I tend to think about what I was able to accomplish with my extra time. Did I do the dishes? Did I plan out what my work week was going to look like? Did the turtle get a bath? Did I grocery shop? Or, did I watch an abundance of TV, read a book or take a nap? These last three things make me feel as if I didn’t accomplish anything during my free day.

But, we need those days where we aren’t busy. I spent last Sunday reading a book and doing some dishes and laundry; last Saturday the most productive thing I accomplished was going to the movies. It was nice to have some time to not be busy; to relax and just enjoy two days empty of needing to accomplish any real work.

But it was the coloring contest entry by a 62-year-old that reminded me to take some time to relax.

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