April Jeppson: Always take time to nurture your inner child

Published 8:45 pm Friday, October 6, 2023

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I usually skim through my previous week’s article to see where I “left off.” As I was reading about my mother and I’s adventures in painting, I couldn’t believe that was just last week. It had to have been two weeks ago — right? I checked my planner and alas, it was just seven days ago.

April Jeppson

I will have you know that the balloon/flower technique was not as easy as the lady on TV made it out to be. I went in with high hopes and left with giggles and confusion. By the end of the day we were utilizing all the different techniques we had picked up along the way. Adding different liquids to our paint, using a blow dryer or straw, rolling a balloon over the top, it was actually quite freeing.

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I was nervous at first to paint in unorthodox ways. I believe rules exist for a reason. The thing with art, however, is that there really are no rules, only guidelines and those only apply if you’re trying to replicate something. Having a fairly non-creative day job, this was definitely an activity that was good for my well-being.

It’s funny, I had something completely different on the docket for my article today, and yet I feel compelled to continue my thoughts on the importance of having a creative outlet.

There are so many rules in the world. Formal ones like stop signs and societal ones like chewing with your mouth closed. As children, we aren’t held to these standards just yet. We aren’t expected to use silverware, and no one judges us when we decide we no longer want to wear pants when we’re in public.

Being able to do something creative where the process and the outcome have no bearing on your paycheck or acceptance in the world — it’s magical. Painting for the fun of painting and just allowing the brush or my fingers to guide the way, is a portal to the childlike wonder of my youth. When I’m driving alone in my car and have the ability to sing with the same level of passion as if I was performing at Carnegie Hall, same effect.

Think about it. How often do you allow yourself to just play and be carefree? If you’re like me, it’s not as often as it should be. Can you imagine just how pleasant the world would be if we all took time to nurture and encourage our inner child?

So I guess that’s my new goal. I need to find time to just have fun or be silly. My youngest is 9, and she’s going to love this journey for me. In fact when I tell her, I’m sure she’ll gladly hold me accountable.

“A child reminds us that playtime is an essential part of our daily routine.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.