Some ladies in my community wear makeup to water aerobics class. They don’t like to get their coiffed hair wet either.
If I were still in my 30s I might make fun of them for that … but we’re all getting older, aren’t we?
They look nice when they leave the fitness center – unlike me, with my wet hair clinging to my head.
They really are nice ladies. They’re very solicitous of my health and well-being. They laugh when I wave my arms and dance to the music in class. They notice when I’m not there.
I try to get my exercise without splashing them.
My limbs are working hard but I keep them below the water. When we do movements that might make waves, I put more distance between me and them.
Today one of them asked how I was doing.
Her hair and makeup are perfect, but there’s a little bend at the edge of her smile. She’s old enough to have lost a lot of people.
I give a small smile back, bobbing with the music. I’m trying to be honest about my recovery, to bring out what’s happening inside.
“Well… I’m mostly OK,” I tell her, “but it’s up and down. Some days I’m fine, some days … aren’t so good.”
She nodded. We kept moving with the beat.
Then she said, “Life is like that.”
And smiled. That little bend at the edge.
“Yes,” I said. “You’re right.”
Up and down.
In time to the music.
Today’s penny is a 2015, the year I started doing water aerobics.