Appreciate the things around you 

Tanis avocado painting might help you appreciate the small things.

Tanian Schuttler

Tani’s avocado painting might help you appreciate the small things.

Tanian Schuttler, Editorialist

This past weekend, I sat comfortably in my living room watching the decorative white lights twinkle on the Christmas tree. I was resting in the perfectly wonderful grey chair, positioned just right in front of the window, offering the perfect view of the neighborhood. I felt so cozy.

All of the sudden, I felt a creative itch settle in my body. It was time to paint! I have always loved painting and it just brings me joy to know I am doing something that offers me that. Sometimes all I need to do is relax and painting can bring that to me, it takes care of me. 

I carefully placed my water glass on the side-table next to the chair, got out my first-time-being-used glass paint palette, and set everything else up neatly and accessible. I crawled under the cozy blanket sitting idly on the back of the chair and began to brainstorm. 

What do I paint? What idea can I muster up and feel that it is easy and worthy enough to be displayed on a canvas forever? What do I want to put into existence? 

I scrolled through my camera-roll for inspiration and found a picture I had taken that morning of the sun cascading over a beautiful avocado. 

I put a lot of work into it and dedicated my time to perfecting every detail and mixing the perfect colors. After a while, when I wasn’t even finished I decided I didn’t like it and I moved on. 

But just before I painted over it I took a picture. I don’t know why I just didn’t want the photo to be forgotten even though I didn’t like it. 

I then decided to paint a cartoon cake. The cake is cute, it isn’t bad, but it isn’t what I wanted. I feel now that I should’ve appreciated the avocado painting more. 

Before I fell asleep that night, I looked back at the picture of the painting of the avocado, and I realized that I actually really liked it and it looked good for being painted in a realistic style – which I’m not used to. I like it because there are mistakes but I tried something new because of how much I loved the photo. I took my time and added detail even though I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing.

It did not have to be perfect because that’s not what it was about. I should not hold myself to the standard of expectation and when I painted over the avocado, I was giving into the opposite of that ideal. 

I need to learn to appreciate the things I already have, the mistakes that lead to growth and loving the imperfections life has to offer. I should’ve chosen to keep it. 

And I know, it’s just a silly painting. But still, even a silly painting has taught me something new.