Doing things for the sake of joy.

After I read “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis, one of the quotes from the book really stuck with me:

I reach for silly, creative endeavors that serve no real purpose other than joy.

The longer I live, the more people I meet, the more clients I have, the more blog students I teach, the more I notice that we never do things just BECAUSE.

I think we’re all so worried about being productive, getting things done, and I know I’m really guilty of putting off projects or things that don’t contribute to my monthly income or other financial goals.

Often, my crafts end up in my Etsy shop and even reading books I consider to be something that contributes to my bottom line because it improves my writing.

But in June, I randomly (and completed unexpectedly) got a $20 gift card to Michael’s in my email inbox. The week after Father’s Day, I was feeling particularly low and I drove to get some frozen custard and then headed to Michael’s.

I was determined to spend my gift card on something just for FUN. I roamed the craft and DIY kits without seeing much that looked interesting… but then I came across the shelf of coloring books.

My eyes were immediately drawn to an official “Golden Girls” coloring book. I picked it up and started flipping through the pages. The pictures were detailed; some were scenes from the show and others were various shoes, perfume bottles or their signature wicker furniture.

This was a good find! So, I decided to buy that along with a really nice pack of 36 colored pencils.

And I have spent hours, sometimes entire afternoons just sitting and coloring. It is so fun, and even a little bit therapeutic. Part of me feels like a kid again, as I was quickly reminded just how much I loved to color when I was younger.

I remember entering a coloring contest near Easter. It was hosted at a nearby drugstore and the picture was a bunny and an Easter egg. I remember carefully coloring it and my dad cleaned up a few areas with a pencil eraser.

All of the entries were taped to the walls in the store… and there were so many! And I won! The prize was a giant, big blue plastic suitcase full of new crayons. I was really sick when we went to pick up the prize, so I don’t remember feeling excited. But I had to be!

When seeking things to do just for joy, coloring might seem like an obvious option. But there are even little projects I have in mind (keeping them secret for now) that likely won’t make any money, or garner any attention, but I just want to do it for my own self… for fun.

Some other areas in my life where I find joy: gardening, cooking, putting on makeup even if I’m not leaving the house, making themed playlists, and listening to funny podcasts.

When was the last time you did something just for fun? And what was it?

Ever since I got my coloring book, I wanted to share the gospel on the blog — other people need to know how FUN this is! But part of the fun was keeping it all to myself and just letting it happen, without a deadline.

But this week has been admittedly tough. I don’t think I’ve wanted to say how stressed I’ve been for what is likely months, I’ve just been sucking it up and trying my best to keep on trucking.

And while, I’m going to keep on keeping on, this was a good opportunity to remind me that finding joy can be as easy as reaching for a coloring book and crayons.

No matter what kind of life you lead, sometimes it doesn’t take much to feel like your world is crumbling.

But I’m certain that opportunities for joy are right around the corner if you look — getting a glimpse of a gorgeous sunset, watching your favorite movie, making an almond milk popsicle for your cat (did it), organizing your nail polishes by color, or planning a trip you may or may not take.

Here’s to Friday, and hopefully, a weekend with a little bit of pure, simple joy.

For more life advice, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Instagram @Orangejulius7– where I share more of my daily life. Live in the Baton Rouge area? I’m teaching a Blogging Boot Camp this September. If you don’t live in Baton Rouge, you can always schedule a Creative Session with me!

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