Monday, August 22, 2016

Birthday Things

Yesterday was my birthday.

Thanks to all of you who wished me well, sent me notes, called, or texted.

46 was quite a year. It was the year I noticed things.

Things like:

  • Hot flashes in the middle of the night leave my nightclothes drenched.
  • Four gallons of milk from Costco are suddenly heavier than I thought.
  • Moving furniture is no longer an activity I can do alone.
  • The ache in my left foot after hours of standing in flat shoes doesn’t stop for days.
  • Weight no longer disappears after a few weeks of hard work and conscientious eating.

I can no longer ignore it. I’m middle aged. Forty-six marks the year I first felt old.

There are other things, too.

Things like:

  • Decorating and repainting and updating and changing the house dropped on my priority list—almost fell completely off it.
  • Pool time and game time rose on the list.
  • I live for the times when my entire family gets together.
  • My skin fits better these days—tighter in some places, but that tightness doesn’t plague me like it once did.

I lack words to explain it. I’m comfortable. 46 marks the year I began to accept myself.

Funny. I thought these things were new this year. I just reread last year’s post, and I sounded about the same. And the year before that as well.

47--this is going to be a year to remember for sure. Instead of walking onto ASU’s campus with the tantalizing title of doctor dangling four years in front of me (like I thought it would last year), I find myself laden with essay tests to grade and lessons to present, being greeted with shouts of “Hi, Mrs. Denton!” as I walk across campus. A year ago, I never even dreamed this would be my life.

And here I am.

Things are changing around the Sanatorium. Kids are growing up. Kids are coming home. Kids are being born. Our family is growing and I’m here watching every moment with joy and gratitude in my soul for each of them.

I’m changing as well. My new job consumes me and fulfills me in ways I never knew I needed. I love it and I already love the kids I teach. I don’t like how work is changing some of my priorities and routines that have been my touchstones for years--sometimes even decades. Laundry is hard to tackle first thing on Monday morning now. Meals and grocery shopping (while admittedly a low priority even before this) have to squeeze in somewhere, along with signing permission slips, helping with homework and piano, and driving kids around. My camera disappears on my desk, buried under American History textbooks and misprinted lesson plans. And while I blog at least twice a week on my class’s site, Denton Sanatorium often sits neglected in cyberspace. My blog has become such a big part of me over the last eight years, and I’m always grateful when I record my family’s history. I can’t brush it aside; one necessary thing--I need to set new priorities in my new life.

47—new responsibilities. New roles. New things. But I can’t forget the old things—precious and dear. 


  1. I love this post. Life is indeed changing for your family, making room for so many wonderful new things to come. Enjoy every minute!

  2. Happy belated birthday! I'm 6 months behind you.....and I have been saying to my husband that this is the year I have felt old....middle aged. I have a few more aches and pains...I've noticed a change in my skin...I need glasses for the first time in my girlies have headed south...and I've never not been able to lose a few pounds when I put my mind to it. But like you, I'm comfortable with who I am. Here's to a great year! I hope you will blog about your new job and how you are able to manage all that you do...I would enjoy hearing about that! :)