Coloring Inside the Lines

Modern life has few boundaries.

The mountains and oceans that used to hem us in through their pure geographic monstrosity can now be crossed with a few hundred dollars and a few hours to spare. Friendships and even romances can be cultivated around the world through Skype and Google Translate. A burgeoning author no longer needs connections or a kiss from fate when Amazon is ready to publish the book for nothing more than a promise of a share of the riches. College courses stream through our phones, bringing advanced knowledge to anyone who is willing to put forth the effort. The “glass ceiling” may still exist, but so do plenty of ways to break through. A lack of funds is no longer reason to avoid chasing your dreams; simply create a Kickstarter campaign and let the public fund you.

There are few firm limits imposed upon us. We live in a world that is overflowing with possibilities. It’s the life equivalent of a mile-long cereal aisle at the grocery store, overwhelming us with the available options that surpass our known interests. It can be paralyzing, because selecting one means eschewing all others. Ironically, too much choice often leads to no choice at all because we are paralyzed by possibility.

Boundaries create comfort.

I spend my days with teenagers, a group that is constantly fighting against the boundaries placed upon them. In my first year of teaching, I found opportunities to give them tasks with no boundaries. Almost without fail, the lessons failed. Presented with no limits, rather than exploring, they simply froze, their pencils held high above their blank white pages. Through trial and error, I learned how to craft assignments with enclosures large enough to allow some freedom yet small enough to provide some constraint. I constructed boundaries that were firm, yet flexible for those that needed more freedom. And they responded by taking pencil to paper, the guidelines urging them forward.

One of the reasons that life after divorce is so overwhelming is that the boundaries have been removed. Your life has gone from a coloring page where you were filling in the existing shapes to the petrifying possibilities of a clean sheet of white paper.

Start by setting your boundaries, sketching out the guidelines that you want to operate within. Make them firm small enough to push you forward, yet flexible enough to allow you to change course. The more overwhelmed you are, the more rules you need. It’s comfortable to color inside the lines. And then, once you have found your footing once again, let the color fill your life. Lines be damned.

Thank you for sharing!

3 thoughts on “Coloring Inside the Lines

  1. SassaFrassTheFeisty – Indianapolis, IN – I'm a mother of two-mostly amazing-kids. This is my journey towards healing from the ruin of my marriage and 10 year relationship to my kid's "dad", my stories of dealing with really good and really bad days, learning to cope and move on. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 with mania and ADHD-look! Something shiny!!-and Postpartum Depression. I love completely and passionately. Just don't piss me off, because I'll burn that bridge-and I'll stand on it and watch the flames consume everything. Sass 101 First-As my name suggests I am a Feisty Lil Thang. I tell it like it is. It is no holds barred on my blog. If you expect fluffy puppies, rainbows and sunshine, exit Stage Right because it ain't gonna be here. If you expect no cussing and positivity, and that I pray to a God or deity, exit Stage Left. That's not here either. What's here is real, honest, raw and truthful. This is my journey through the last 18 months from the separation of my husband and the JOYOUS roller coaster my family has been on. Oh yes, I did forget to mention-I am a sarcastic quick witted one. Sasscasm is trademarked by the ever Butch Blah. Don't mess with her Dragon, he eats assholes for breakfast. We have a tribe here that is very exclusive-seriously. If you're lucky enough to enter, you are worthy enough to partake in our Femme Speak. If not, just nod your head yes, and move on. I have Bipolar 1 with mania and I cycle into depression 2 times a year. This year has been an exception to the rule considering this year has just been shit. I've been to my local psych hospital twice in less than 10 months-once for depression, once for a psychotic episode resulting from over medication. YAY! Piss on that shit. If it hadn't been for Blah, I never would have gone. Thank you Blah. I lurve you! I have 2 kids-a boy I call NSLM-Not So Little Man-because Anxious Mom has her LM. Didn't want to steal her LM's thunder :) And I have a daughter referred to as Monkey-it's self explanatory. They are also referred to as my Heathens-yes I can call them that because I gave birth to them, I know them and they act like Heathens at times-just thank the Good Lord they aren't Hellians or I'd be in jail. I have an almost 5 year old purebred Red and Black German Shepherd named May-she's momma's baby, and Monkey is on her THRID guinea pig in about a year-thank her dad for that one. This one is S'mores and he's a wheeker and fat and fluffy. My kids and I live with my parents, because I'm not stable or healthy enough to work and live on my own. I have FINALLY found my magic pill cocktail-for now-and I have clarity for the first time in my life. I no longer use the word "stable" I use baseline. I've been on a lot of meds over the years, and since the last med I was on and overmedicated I have become med sensitive-SUPER YAY. I'm good at recognizing side effects and can tweak a med time better than a dr. Not cocky, just fact. I'm that in tune with my body. I'm also very emotionally charged. My emotions have always ruled my decisions, and I don't see that changing, but I am now better to stop and think things through before making a decision-some of the time. I'm mouthy, but I have a huge heart of gold, and I get hurt easily. And when I talk about people on here in my life off of WordPress they get their own special nicknames. DB-Douchebag. BBFL-Best Bitch For Life-My best friend in Alaska that I HOPE I get to see soon. EG-English Gentleman-a guy that I've bee talking to for a year that lives near Scotland and is on an 8 month trip around the world, and will be stateside in January. I can't wait to meet him in person! Cute Neighbor Guy. There were two guys that were named for the states they lived in, and I think I've deleted everything about Florida but the last post-Thank you Andrew for the title, you brilliant dictionary, you. Then there are my most supportive friends here: Anxious Mom, Andi, Zoe, Diane, Morgue, Blah, Chris, Sparkly Pants ;) Victo, Tessa, Bipolarfirst, bp7o9, Vic, Kitt, Leslie, and my newest BUDDY Andrew. I know I've forgotten some people and I SERIOUSLY apologize given the state of my brain haze, I hope you don't hate me!! I know you don't, I'm just overly dramatic. No I'm not...yeah, yes I am. ;) So, if you can't handle my sarcastic tongue and my cursing that can make sailors blush, the lobby exit is in the top right corner with a little X. That being said, I hope you new arrivals aren't just looking for blogs for numbers-this isn't that kind of blog. And I rather like interactive people on my little slice of the crazy pie-well, more like peach cobbler because it's my favorite but ANYWAY. I don't follow back just because you follow me. I may not be too picky about my food, but I'm picky about my men and the blogs I follow. With that, I shall bid you Welcome to Sasstopia, and may you stay to be among my Sassafrains. Reggie my Pegacorn is tethered out back as he doesn't do well with new people. I shall be shining my spork launcher on the table, next to my melon baller and grapefruit spoon all soaked in syphilis. If you have any questions, fucking ask. I don't do vague. LOVE YOU! <3
    sassafrass20 says:

    Reblogged this on SassaFrass, The Feisty and commented:
    I need lines…just for now

  2. A lovely post.
    I’m so overwhelmed sometimes I just sit for hours playing with my hair worrying about the divorce the future getting older you name it. The page feels more like a paper making factory. Plans, ideas and boundaries seem impossible to apply. Then I get migraines and insomnia and feel even more paralysed.
    I’ll try to remember your words.

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