I keep looking for the sliver lining in the latest card I’ve been dealt: the happy ending, the Big Lesson. After three weeks, I’m thinking that’s enough time for God to look down and say, “Okay, yeah– so here’s the good part.”
Yesterday, I thought I might be on to it. After two weeks of serious pain and a disasterous round with a phsyical therapist that landed me in bed for two days, I decided to break down and try a dreaded water aerobics class.
I’ve seen the classes back when I used to swim laps. They are, as you might expect, filled with old people, generally out-of-shape, and arthritic or injured. Basically, people just like me.
As I drove to the club, I rallied around the idea of a new experience. Beyond some desperately needed pain relief, I imagined myself making a new friend, a friend that would change my outlook. She’d be old, beaten-down physically, but bright in spririt. She’d be spunky and wise, and I’d go to her house and we’d drink lemon tea in her garden and feed her many cats. I’d help her with grocery shopping and she’d teach me how to make the perfect pie crust. She’d tell me colorful stories of her life and I’d learn from them. I was looking forward to it.
The class was a total bust. It did give me some pain relief, but I was totally annoyed by the old people who only wanted to talk to each other about their trips to Florida. And because they didn’t want to get their hairdos wet, they didn’t move around a lot, which meant I had to navigate between their little cliques to get any aerobic benefits. And I totally felt sorry for myself the whole time. And then I was mad at myself for feeling sorry for myself and thinking ageist thougts instead of bucking up and being brave and kind.
Then I realized, it’s not Lifetime television, it’s just life. No lesson learned, no great epiphany, no kindred spirit in the pool. Just another basic day in the life of a basic person.
I’ve decided instead of looking for a big life-changing event, maybe my silver lining will come to me in tiny scraps and pieces that I’ll have to stitch together myself. Like a pig rooting for truffles, I might have to get down and put my nose in some mud to find them. And I’m feeling pretty piggish and muddy these days, so there’s got to be a truffle around here somewhere.