Monday, June 3, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

Reflections on Life
by J. Binford-Bell

Last year was not an easy one. There were the usual struggles in life which lately seem to be economic and physical. Getting older on a fixed income isn't for sissies. But the big hurtle last year ways my age. A very small number of people in my family have made it past 67. Okay, I am just one day past that number but still it is past.

Mother and Dad both died when they were 67 (three years apart) from health issues. Somehow you get to overlook tornadoes that took my paternal grandmother at an early age. I was somewhat gratified to find out I am not the only person to obsess over getting through the age in which a parent died. But I figured I had a double whammy since both parents died at my age. And there were times I really was not trying that hard to make it to 68.

It was a tough year financially. Couldn't get or keep or get rid of tenants depending on where I was in that cycle of advertise, rent, evict and repair. My preoccupation with making the mortgage payment made it hard to allow my creative muse entry into my soul.

I won a few photography contests and sold a few prints but painting seemed beyond my ability or at least my soul. I didn't recommit my spirit to paint on canvas until just recently. Even have entered in a few shows. But it is hard to commit to memberships, subscriptions, diets, exercise plans, finishing the great American novel, or beginning that book of images and poems when you do not see continuing to 68. Hell, I didn't even see the need to get my free Medicare Wellness check up but I did get a tetanus shot after I survived the fall while gardening.

Mardi Gras, my aging standard poodle, and her health issues didn't help much. Nor did the bipolar winter. And let's face it, the totally imaginary spring. I probably read too much John Steinbeck in my youth because I was even linking my life to the drought. Maybe if I expired on some huge rock in the landscape it would rain, my chronically ill neighbor would at last die and free his wife, Mardi Gras would be young again, my ex-husband would stop tugging on my foot from the grave, and my paintings would be in great demand because I was the late and great undiscovered artist.

So it was a dark year. But then what highly creative person with a wild imagination doesn't have dark times. It can even be viewed as grist for the creative mill. I made it to 68. Happy Birthday to me.


  1. Happy Birthday! Interesting observations about making it past a certain age. My parents lived till 84 and 93, but I had a dear older friend who went at 68. She did indeed haunt me that year. Here's to a new solar cycle.

  2. This is a wonderful photograph, Jacqui! This is going to be your best year yet. I know it. :-)


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