"The enthusiastic, to those who are not, are always something of a trial." -- Alban Goodier

It seems I somehow sort of missed spring this year.  I was so busy complaining on my computer about winter that I forgot to go outside and check out what was actually happening. 

Going on vacation forced me to do a little de-winterizing, however, and with my toenails finally painted, I have begun fraternizing with my sandals again.  It's amazing how there are some friends you can pick right up with, even after a long winter, and hardly miss a beat.

On loan from the amazing sketchbook of Hannah F. Hinckley, 2011

Of course, the optimists in MN were wearing their shorts/sandals while they took down their Christmas decorations.  True story.  I saw it on my own street.

But I guess I tend to live on the glass-half-empty side of the street.  I'm more likely to wear my parka on the morning of the day I almost die of heat stroke on a sweltering afternoon run.  Then I can complain about the cold and the heat IN ONE DAY.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called 
cynicism by those who have not got it.

-- George Bernard Shaw

Yes, I'm a definite cynic and even a curmudgeon, by some standards. Fast on my way to becoming a grumpy old person.

Therefore it is some kind of anomaly 
that I was actually a cheerleader in Jr. High.  

Rare footage of young Susan  in a strangely upbeat role

To this day I have no idea what would have possessed me to become involved in such a thing:  sickly-cheerful, smiley, uber-social, LOUD.  Actually, it would not surprise me to undergo hypnosis and discover in my regression that my motivations were really subversive --

destroy the cheerleading squad 
from the INSIDE . . .

I once wrote a poem that contained this line:

Suppose I were to tell you all the things
you do not see in me now

It's amazing sometimes to stop and think of 
where we have been, 
what we have been capable of, 
what could still be possible, 
and why we make the choices we do.

I like to be good at things, for instance.  Or I don't like to do them.  It's one of my main character flaws.  It has kept me from doing many worthwhile things.  It continues to hamper me in important areas. That's why my Creativity 365 challenge for this year has been so darn hard to kick off.

Yeah, it's the "do a drawing a day" thing.  I know we've talked about it.  Ad nauseum.

So here it goes: 
I am going to start on my birthday (that's Wednesday) and every day for the next year (starting Wednesday, which is my birthday) I'm going to do a little drawing of some kind.

Maybe I'll start an on-going little comic strip?  Maybe I'll repeat the ubiquitous kitty I drew to entertain my young children 365 times ? . . . I don't know.  But one year from Wednesday (when it will again be my birthday!) I hope I will be able to pronounce myself cured of this particular bit of foolishness and ready to complain about something else. (Hannah bought me a nice moleskine to commemorate the event, but I believe I'll start with a pile of scratch paper, if you don't mind.)

Oh yes . . . and did I mention it's my birthday on Wednesday?

I figure it's been awhile since the last Small Works Birthday Spectacular, so if you'll stop by Wednesday, I'll announce a blog giveaway at my birthday party!  And we can have cake together.  Which probably means I'll eat cake while sitting at my computer.

In front of you, but you won't mind because you won't see me, right?  
Which means I can have at least TWO pieces.

In the meantime, I'll try to poke my head outside and check out the lovely late spring action that is going on around here.  Maybe I can find something easy to draw.  Like a  tulip:

(Can that count as number one?)



Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Happy Birthday Week !~! Wednesday will come soon & then go and we will still be partying your birthday. What kind of cake will have a piece or two of this year, Miss Susan !~?

susan m hinckley said...

Thank you -- Any and every cake I can get my hands on, Lynda!

krex said...

Another year closer to yelling...."hey you kids, get off out of my yard "...congratulations from another cynic and thanks for sharing the Shaw quote...as if he was reading my mind...(if I was smarter) .

...spring in MN is just days of rain to create the lovely pools of water to breed our mosquitoes Baaaah, humbug .

Leenie said...

Haha!!!! Dig out those sandals, shave off the winter fur. The calendar sez it's spring even if the weather doesn't. There are some people here too who ignore the icicles and just wear shorts any old time. I had one of those "Oh, yeah, I don't need a parka when I go outside" moments today myself.

I'm going to get on your drawing a day bandwagon. I've gotten on and off several times already this year (that trip to the hospital put a lot of plans on hold). GOOD LUCK TO YOU and I expect to see samples from your moleskine sketch book in the very near future.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY in advance. And have THREE pieces of cake. I'll have some here in solidarity.

luanne said...

The *officiality* (yes, I just made up that word, because it seems perfect) of the Moleskine sketchbook would make me way too nervous to draw. Don't know how Hannah does it! And she does it so well -- love today's illustration. You Hinckley women are too funny.

But I look forward to the fruits of your new 365 challenge, and your willingness to publicly commit to it. And in honor of your upcoming birthday, I ate some extra coconut cake!

Amelia Poll said...

May is the best birthday month! I get to eat came for my birthday, your birthday, Grandma's birthday and even Madison's - all in one week! :)

I've decided that if I get a creative activity in every day, that I am good. I am currently working on a wedding gift for a friend which is an embroidered picture (which I can thank you and Hannah for making me want to stitch something) and so far working on it every day has just been a wonderful feeling.

I'm excited to see the fruits of your labors. It will be amazing, I'm sure!

Allie said...

That picture provoked a hearty belly laugh from me - I don't remember posing for Hannah! Oh Susan you just crack me up - I love this post! I can just see you plotting the downfall of all those insanely happy cheerleaders!

I am really looking forward to your new challenge. I don't know why you don't think you can draw - you can, and you have your own unique style, which is what all artists strive for! You'll be fine. Love the tulip.

Happy Almost Birthday - get busy celebrating, you can stretch it out as long as you want. I make mine last a week or two. When I hit 65 it's going to last a MONTH.

Alison said...

Oh Happy, happy day ....This day & every day all year. That's how it is out here in the desert ;) smirk...just trying to convince you to come over to the sunny side of life!

Kimi's birthday party was a wonderful success and I ate enough cake - Cold Stone sweet cream & raspberry chocolate cake and regular for both of your birthdays, in fact, I will continue to eat some for you tomorrow too. Are you impressed with my sacrifice?

Let me be the first to wish you Happy Birthday on your birthday since it is already past midnight in Minnesota.
Have a lovely day! Loved being with you! Ali

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