Oh, Look at Me! I’m Growing Up!

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Julia Garstecki-Derkovitz

It started with a…

step click

step click.

I paused mid-step, searching for the sound. Nothing.

Step click.

What is that? Could it be?

Step click.

Holy cow! That is me!

Looking back, there were signs. I recall this exchange when a friend was visiting…

Me: “I really need some curtains. Maybe a balance.”

Friend: “A balance?”

Me: “Yes, you know, those tiny curtains that say ‘Look at me! I’m all grown up and mature with a real house and a real husband and real kids and a dog. And I even have décor on my windows.”

Friend: “You mean a valance.”

Me: “That’s what I said.”

Friend: (Sigh. And I’m pretty sure an eye roll, but I haven’t started wearing the glasses that my new eye doctor gave me. Which was another sign. I actually said-out loud, mind you… “You look young to be a doctor! Are you sure you have a licence?”

Between the clicking and squinting, the signs are coming. Suddenly I feel compelled to bore my children with tales that begin “When I was your age….” And I suddenly feel compelled to serve food from serving dishes instead of pots and the plastic containers they come in.

I am now thirty-nine and two-thirds years old. I’m not dreading the big 4-0. Sure, I now debate over tucking my muffin top in or letting it hang over, but the number 40 isn’t freaking me out.

Still, I’m not immune to what turning 40 means. It’s the approaching due date. And what have I accomplished? It’s feels like I’ve done all the brainstorming and research, but my project is due and I’ve got to turn all of my notes into something amazing. But what? A poster? A diorama? A play?

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’ve got two fabulous kids to show for my years, a good marriage and some friends. I wanted to be something. Suddenly I’m wondering why I didn’t run track in college. Could I have been one of those Olympic athletes? Maybe I can train and start a geriatric Olympics! Why didn’t I start writing sooner? Maybe I could have had a national column and go on a speaking tour! Maybe I could do both, if I wasn’t so tired by 9:00 at night.

Maybe if I get a great night’s sleep, I’ll get up and run before the kids wake up.

Step click.

Step click.

Sigh!

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Julia Garstecki-Derkovitz
Julia was born and raised in Rochester, Michigan. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University, she moved to Houston, Texas to teach fourth grade. That didn't last long, as she married soon after and became a western New Yorker. After working at The Boys and Girls Club in Dunkirk as the Education Coordinator and working in the Special Education Department at Chautauqua Lake High School, she found her way to Bemus Point Elementary School. While teaching fourth grade at BPE, she completed her Masters Degree in Reading Education and became an adjunct professor at SUNY Fredonia in the Education Department. After having two children, Julia decided to stay home, though she currently works as a Student Supervisor for SUNY Fredonia in the Education Department. This allows her to still work in area schools, while having the flexibility to be home with her son and daughter. Recently she decided to give her passion for writing a try and has found success writing for regional parenting magazines and national anthologies. In her spare time she attends classes at Buffalo State College, completing her certification in Special Education.JuliaGarstecki.com |Facebook