April Jeppson: Find those things that help you fill your cup

Published 8:45 pm Friday, April 5, 2024

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I had the pleasure of taking a painting class this week. I love art in all of its many forms, but painting is definitely my favorite artistic expression. In all fairness to pottery or marble sculpting, I’ve never actually dabbled with those mediums so perhaps I’d enjoy them more if I simply had more exposure to them. I doubt it though.

April Jeppson

There’s something magical about painting. There is so much variety depending on the paint and the brushes you use. I used to get down on myself if something didn’t turn out the way I thought it should. It’s frustrating when you can see something so clearly in your mind, but your hands just aren’t able to create it.

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I no longer put pressure on myself when I paint. I go in knowing that the end result will be a mystery, and I enjoy the journey along the way. I subscribe to the Bob Ross school of “happy little trees.” There are no mistakes in painting, just opportunities to learn and adapt to the ever changing canvas.

I learned a new technique in this class where we used squeegees and acrylics. I had seen the final product before, but had never known how to achieve it.

Watching the others play around with different colors and tools was almost as fun as actually doing it myself. Ideally I would have had a few hours and a few different canvases to play around with, but alas, I had other items to attend to.

I know that when I take the time to do an activity like painting, it improves my entire day. It lowers my stress and increases my joy. It fills my cup. Going for a walk outside on a sunny day, singing to my favorite music, even taking a nice long uninterrupted shower — these are all cup fillers. The last one might sound goofy, unless you’ve experienced the fun of raising small humans.

I actually forgot all about the class until a few hours before it started. I had wanted to go for weeks and got excited every time I thought about it. However as the date approached, I got caught up in my normal work routine and almost missed it. I even hesitated for a moment, wondering if I had the time to take an hour or so out of my day to do this.

I reminded myself that I needed to make the time because I knew it would pay me back 10-fold with all the mood-boosting benefits. People who truly understand the ROI of getting a good night’s sleep, exercise — heck even playing a game of cards with their friends — they prioritize these things. They make it work.

I’m excited to show my kids this new style of painting. I’m already looking forward to covering the kitchen table with newspapers so that we can make a creative mess. Playing with my children is also one of those things that fills my cup. So lucky for me and my co-workers, I’ll be able to come to work on Monday filled to the brim.

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