I spent the day at the local pool with my family, where we splashed, got sunburnt, and ate way too many tuna sandwiches and watermelon slices. I have not hung out at a public pool in, well, twenty years. But it was hot, my kid is turning into a fish, and my partner is just getting over an illness and was not up for much. So we trekked down to the pool to wallow in the muddy grass and soothe ourselves in the chlorinated bathtub.
After a few refreshing rinses, I sat in my lounge chair and pulled out my book. I began to read. Slowly my mind wandered and left the page to hear shouting. Then a pause. Then more, of the same. It was the lifeguards. Guarding lives. I guess. It seemed to me that they spent more time yelling at children that saving anyone. After being there for five hours I simply could not handle any more loudspeaker shouts of "Did you pass the deep end test?" Or "Hey buddy, no piggyback rides." Or my favorite "Don't hang on the railing!" Ok, ok already.
These twenty-something kids seemed to take their job really seriously. And I should be thankful for that. They were simply keeping in line those unruly kids who were running on hard, slippery concrete surfaces, or roughhousing in the water, or didn't wait long enough for the previous person to get out of the way before going up the water slide stairs. They are there to keep us public people safe. But, I don't know... I sort of wonder if they were overdoing it just a bit?
Don't get me wrong, I like to follow the rules. I excel at discipline. I am stellar at schedules. I admire their quick on the draw responses, their keeping kids from cracking their skulls open, and their timely choreographed lifeguard rotations. But isn't there room for a little flexibility?
It's Thursday. Fourth of July. Not Wednesday, the third of July. As this is a Balance Wednesday post, I am a little shocked at myself that I am writing it today. Normally I would not have bothered this week, once I passed the Wednesday mark. Yet, here I am. Writing. It seems to me that the people at the pool were just having fun. Sure they might have messed up the rules a bit. But people are people.
I guess I am just saying that a break from the rules is called for sometimes. Definitely, don't hang on the ropes, but then again- is it the end of the world if a rope comes untied and the lifeguard has to retie it? Not really. Is it the end of the world if I post my Balance Wednesday on Thursday? Not really. Maybe we all need a little more having fun and a little less yelling at each other. Maybe we need to break the rules sometimes. Maybe we all just need a little more flexibility in our lives. I am pretty sure I do.