It's mid-April and I've just mailed checks to various local, state, and federal tax collection agencies. In the past, this is where I would lay face down on the floor and weep, crushed by the weight of financial obligation to my family, home, and country.
But there will be no tears this year. Because I am about to color.
According to the millions of adults who have taken up this childish pursuit, sitting down with colored pencils and a book of line drawings can turn a high-strung neurotic into a yoga frog statue. Coloring, they say, is involved enough to occupy your mind but not so complex to overburden it. The benefits come less from putting pencil to paper though than from the focus it requires. This is that thing they call "mindfulness" -- the Buddha-approved concept of living in the moment that's all the rage with people who buy food from bulk bins.
As a bona fide, fingernail-eating bundle of nerves, my plan is to test those claims with The Mindfulness Coloring Book, which lays open in front of me on the kitchen table. But first I've got to pick a page, which is harder than it sounds. There are a lot. I also need to pick a color to start with. Oh, and I should pick some music. Something thematic seems right. I go with Living Colour.