My PowerAger friends demonstrate that learning never stops. When they retired from their careers, they took up new hobbies, part-time jobs, and community service. From kayaking to golfing to biking, directing charities and food banks, working locally and travelling far, they continue to flourish.
I have not strayed from my familiar pursuits. But the gift of extended time with the granddaughters broadened my experience. I learned to do the Floss and I can perform the Cup Song from Pitch Perfect. Give me white glue, activator, shaving cream and I can concoct a cloud slime. I know how to play Wii bowling and the live version of Among Us. The Norris Nuts feel like extended family. Once, I had a brief cameo on TikTok.
More aligned to my inclinations is the Three-Marker Challenge. Each participant gets a coloring page. Ideally, my son has printed three versions of the same picture from his computer. But any three coloring-book pages can work. The bin of markers is placed within reach. One at a time, we each close our eyes and select three markers. We must color the picture using only those three markers.
Coloring proceeds. Mickey Mouse might have purple ears, an LOL girl could end up with a green complexion, and a nature scene might look like vegetation from another planet. I appreciate how the limited palette requires experimentation in contrast and complement. Best of all, we can let go of what is the “right” color for sky, for animals, or even for skin. Artistry rules.
When I first engaged in this challenge, the girls made it a competition. Of course, the person using beige, brown, and gray had a slim chance to win. Peeking accusations sometimes erupted. On occasion I spotted one of the girls planting a particular color on top of the marker pile in advance. Lately, we simply present our results and relish our originality.
If life is like the Three-Marker Challenge, I do not qualify. I have been gifted a full set of broad-tip and fine-tip Crayola markers arranged in rainbow order. I have the colors to create any life I want. In actual life those who got beige, brown, and gray through the luck-of-the-draw face the coloring bias. How can anyone make an appealing life mural without access to the primary colors? We need all the colors to illustrate life’s nuance. No wonder some resort to cheating.
A few rule changes might establish more equity. Allow returns, exchanges, or trades. Or individuals choose three desirable colors. Maybe four. Even more radical, participants might share their markers. Surely, we can find a way for everyone to start with a basic set of eight.
Thanks to my granddaughters I now have a better understanding of Social Marker Justice.