Today I had the opportunity to visit Plaster Fun Time with my cousins. Plaster Fun Time is a plaster painting place where artists of all ages can have fun and express their creativity. The first step is choosing what you want to paint. You then choose your paint, let it dry, and choose the finish you want (pearl, matte, shiny or sparkly). We all had a great time this morning, and watching my little cousins let loose and get creative really made me think.
It's important to be a kid, always. As I mentioned, the first step at plaster fun time is choosing what you would like to paint. The prices ranged from 12-25 dollars. While my cousins were excited to see all the fun things they could choose from, we ushered them over to the cheapest wall of selections and gave strict guidelines that they must choose something from that wall. I thought in that moment, when was the last time I didn't pick something out because of how cheap it was? When was the last time you didn't stress about money? While it's important to be frugal and a smart spender, the glow in their eyes when they saw a huge plaster statue of their favorite characters was a great reminder to relax a bit and live in the moment. Life is not ALWAYS about the price tag.
While in the end we stuck to choosing things from the "cheap" wall, that didn't matter to them. They were overjoyed to paint a plaster slice of pizza and a gum ball machine. They said they'd save their money so that next time they could paint something bigger. They taught me I shouldn't always worry about the cost of things and do what makes me happy, but they also reminded me to be grateful and find good in the smaller things. Both kids were thrilled to be there, so painting one of the smaller options didn't concern them.
When it came time to painting the gum ball machine and slice of pizza, I sat down beside them and painted something myself. As a perfectionist, this is when I learned the most important lesson of the day. It's okay to paint outside the lines. The youngest of the two cousins picked out the brightest, most fun colors. No they didn't match and they ended up mixing them all together anyways, it didn't matter to them. The older one more accurately picked out their colors and got to painting. Both however, didn't paint perfectly in the lines. They mixed colors here and there, but they were both SO proud of what they had made. I, on the other hand, was stressed out of my mind because the pattern I envisioned didn't come out exactly how I wanted it to. Everything wasn't spaced out evenly and the layer of solid blue was streaky.
Like many people, I often find myself stressing out about minor details like these in all aspects of my life. What ever happened to just painting to have fun and being silly, and creative? What happened to feeling pride in anything I've put time and effort in to? Over the years I've lost that magic, the magic that kids have to forget about a price tag, to feel exuberant over little things, and to paint outside the lines.
I'm thankful to have had this experience that is serving as a reminder to stay silly and always be a kid at heart. I think the world needs more lessons like this. Kids have a lot to teach, and adults have a lot to learn.