The water was the perfect temperature in the YMCA pool, the other students in the water balance class were amicable, and the instructor Cindy was lively and motivational on more levels that just physically maximizing the class for us. I was enthusiastically paddling through the moves of the class, with my usual, occasional loss of balance, when Cindy philosophically quipped, apropos of nothing that I had noticed, "It takes a team to live a life." That literally stopped me in midstride. I instantly realized that instead of trying to work harder to carry my heavy life tasks alone, I need to find a team to help and encourage me; my old team having gone into the nursing home, died, become demented, or simply become overwhelmed with the staggering burden of aging, leaving no one available to me to talk, to laugh, to relax, to help, to advise.
Then, I do not know how Cindy intended it, but she called out in class to ask me what my profession was. I sat up straight on my swim noodle and replied, "Sociologist, Demographer, and former Artist". With twinkles in her eyes, Cindy said, "You are still an artist!" I was flattered and pleased. In this brief conversation before the class Cindy reminded me of my professional status, she affirmed it. And I realized that I want to recover my accomplished demeanor in public, somehow I must set aside the hanging head, the hobbling, shuffling feet, the sad, gasping face, my weight on my cane. I do not know how I can physically accomplish this, but I want to do this as soon as possible, for pride and pleasure in my last decade(s) of life.
Thank you to Cindy, the initiator of my team for the final years.
Caption: It Takes A Team To Live A Life.
poolside philosophy by Rella, as in Cinderella for fun, Cindy for real
image by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019