“What the heck do you do with all your time?”

Last year, I asked two of my friends who do not work this question: “What the heck do you do with all your time?”

One friend said, “Before you know it, it’s 4 o’clock, and it’s time for dinner.”

The other friend said, “I fill my days with all sorts of things. I am never bored.”

At the time, I couldn’t imagine not working full time.

Nevertheless, it didn’t stop me from asking the question as I contemplated taking an early retirement from my full-time teaching job at a university. That early retirement morphed into not fully retiring, but in teaching part-time at the college level. I’m cool with that. I still love it.

As for what I do with the REST of my time, both my friends are right. When 4 o’clock rolls around, I’ve dabbled in a LOT of projects. I am never bored. I write, publish, and market books. I blog. I attend Bible study & am making my way through Bible in a Year. I make social media videos and create posts. I talk on the phone with my friends. I meet people for lunch. I walk and stretch and ride the recumbent bike. I read. I try new recipes. I edit other people’s stories. I’m getting ready to have the house painted and redecorate.

And recently, after being inspired by many, many people on Instagram, I’ve taken up watercolor painting.

That’s right. Watercolor painting.

But you need to know this one thing about me: I can write books and tell stories, but I have absolutely ZERO artistic talent. I don’t know how to draw, paint, or sketch. I’m horrible at it.

That said, I’ve learned by watching others and listening to their tips. I still stink at it, but I’m trying.

And it is relaxing.

Over the last few years, my anxiety level regarding all things related to my back problems has risen. I am anxious about re-pulling my back on a daily basis. Painting has quelled that anxiety a bit.

Right after dinner, I sit at the table for an hour and I paint. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time…and now that I have the time, I’m giving it a whirl.

I figured I’d share what I’ve worked on thus far. Hopefully, with practice, I’ll become a lot better at it. I’m even considering taking a course at the Community College.

It’s really been a saving grace.

Enjoy these paintings from a novice. Let’s see where we end up a year from now.

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