Today is the first day of spring and a time to celebrate renewal, love, youth, growth and most of all, hope. It’s a beautiful day here today so it seems as if even the weather is playing its part. To ring in this new season, we have a very fast little doodlewash of a baby chick. As much as I value the fact that I have a very youthful mind and heart, while getting ready this morning I had a very different experience. What once was a ritual of sprucing up and making myself even more presentable felt more like a maintenance routine one might perform on a well-driven car just to keep it running a few more years. I tried to think back to that precise moment when my beauty regime took this awkward turn, but I think it’s just been slowly happening over the last few years. The laugh lines I’m good with, because they are like little tattoos of happiness, but the other wrinkles that have appeared just remind me that I’m getting older. But when I looked closer, I realized those initially unwanted lines also had their purpose. They were story lines. Bits of my history collected there, proving that I’ve lived a pretty wonderful and memorable life so far.
True, I was caught off guard a bit and worried that the hourglass my face had become was slowly emptying at a horrible rate. I need more time, I thought. There’s too much that I still want to accomplish in life. Oh, you idiot, I thought to myself next, then just shut up and frickin’ get to it. Yeah, I’m not always super polite with myself as even my inner voice has very little patience. But it’s true. There are so many things that I’d like to do, and yet I manage to come up with excuses as to why I can’t do them right now. Time is usually the main culprit, yet I find time to do things that have very little value to my life so it’s not really the problem. Much of the problem is thinking that if I put the effort into doing something I’d love to try, would I actually succeed? Do I even know what success would look like if it happened? These thoughts immediately felt silly to me. Isn’t the very act of not doing something you’d love to do already an instant failure? Why was I worried about success when I’d already failed by not starting these projects in the first place.
That’s when I understood the true meaning of spring and the feelings that it evokes. It’s all about celebrating new life and beautiful changes. Even the unwanted changes to my face were still a sign that life, in all of its crazy wonder and complexity, is swiftly moving forward. There’s nothing to fight, it’s just a matter of riding the wave and moving forward with it. And, sure, going ahead and buying that pricey eye cream wouldn’t hurt either. But I left for the day feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle all those things I’ve been keeping myself from doing. I’ve no idea if I’ll succeed, but at least I’m certain I can’t truly fail. Like any truly wonderful story, I’ve found my beginning. And I’m excited to see how it unfolds. That old man in the mirror was wiser than I realized and I gained a new respect for him. He was whispering to me that there’s no time like the present to truly chase my dreams. The time is always right now. Anything is possible, at any given moment. Even that moment when you suddenly realize you’re no spring chicken.
About the Doodlewash
Mission Gold Watercolors: Permanent Yellow Light, Yellow Orange, Permanent Red and Vandyke Brown. Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Dioxazine Purple, Phthalocyanine Blue and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!