Almost instantly, I earned more “free time” minutes when I stopped my nightly booze habit.
At first, this felt as equally liberating as it was disturbing.
I was given the gift of time to just sit. Sober. Minutes that were previously fueled by a wine buzz viewing life through a messed up Insta-filter even when I wasn’t logged on and half (one quarter?) paying attention to real life started to successfully fade away.
I still needed something to fill that weird void though. I needed something that was a better use of my time but was also kind of mindless.
The classic vintage wooden blocks in my son’s room sparked my interest. They were previously owned by some kid in the 80s. The ones that were written and scribbled on had character, but they always kind of annoyed me.
I took a paint marker to one of the blocks to see how I could refresh the look.
The results were not amazing.
Nevertheless, I totally appreciated the tactile and visual experience of paint on wood. I discovered my new void-filler.
A few online transactions later, I acquired supplies and found a flow.
I got lost in the lines of doodling.
It became something that I had control over but didn’t at the same time.
I could still half-pay attention to my surroundings as the paint pen and the lines did their thing.
Focusing on something real and tangible couldn’t have come at a better time with so much of the workday devoted to online platforms due to virtual and hybrid teaching.
It helped me reach a few breakthroughs in reflecting on my relationship with adult beverages and doubled as a stress reliever.
So yes, now I have stacks of these things; trinkets and tokens that are mini maps of my brain activity at the time.
I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with the collection but I do know that having them is way better than having regret and repercussions from unnecessary nightly cocktails.
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA