No Lifetime in the Pool


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.

6 thoughts on “No Lifetime in the Pool

  1. I hope there are some truffles out there:)

    I had to laugh at this .Sometimes we do deceive ourselves with that magical thinking ,don’t we.

    Yes, it’s been amazing the truffles I’ve found once I started looking. And yes, magical thinking does me in more often than not, but one can still have hope – yes?

  2. “Itโ€™s not Lifetime television, itโ€™s just life.”

    Do you know how many times I have to remind myself of this life-is-not-fiction fact? I have actually gotten angry at people because they departed from the script that was running in my head.

    In times of trial, I often find that it’s not so much a silver lining as silver glimmers. Or silver truffles. Find them, hold them close, and think of them often.

    Silver truffles. What a beautiful idea.

  3. Don’t expect to find that special “old lady” on your first trip.
    She’s probably there somewhere – give her a chance – maybe she needs you just like you need her. As long as the therapy does help otherwise it’s worth it – right?

    Not really. When you’re feeling stressed, the pain gets worse. So I am now crossing water aerobics off the list — at least for now. That “old lady” will just have to find me on dry land.

  4. You don’t really like the Lifetime movies, do you?

    Your story reminds me of pulmonary therapy a few years ago. Most participants were old enough to be my parents/grandparents and I felt very uncomfortable. It was required so I continued, of course. I did become friendly with the group and was sad when I completed the rehab. And it made me feel great! You know what to do.

    I’m glad you met some new old friends (or old new friends?). As for me, I don’t know quite what to do yet, but I am not giving up (except for water aerobics).

  5. Awww, how true. I remember a wise person telling me a long time ago that she lives by a Chinese proverb that goes:

    “Expect nothing.”

    She gave me a charm with this on it and it really had a profound effect on me. I mean if you expect nothing, then everything you get in life is a gift.

    Now, if only I could find that old charm! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Finally getting my life back on track and taking time to read again, and what do I get for my effort? This amazing truffle. Cannot thank you enough for your wisdom. Sorry I’ve been incommunicado ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad you’re back and bringing me the truffles….

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