Normally, that’s fine.
Today, there was someone in each lane.
Now, we’re required to share a lane if necessary, but it can be a tight squeeze. Sometimes squashing my swimming into half a lane irritates my shoulders so, I was happy when I noticed that a woman looked like she was getting out. She stopped at the side of the lane and was stretching. I asked if I could share. She said, “I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
So I said, “Since you’re using the outside of the lane, I imagine you want me to use the inside of the lane.”
She said, “No. I’m using the middle. I’ll be out when I’m finished.”
I was a little confused. I used my kindergarten teacher voice. “We need to share.”
“There are five other lanes,” she said. “Share with one of them.”
She was stretching in one spot. She was about to get out. I stood there, giving her adequate time to think about our situation.
“Fine,” she said. “You’ve already decided that you’re not going to wait. So, I guess I’m done.” She stomped out of the pool. “It wouldn’t kill you to wait for me to finish.”
I watched her as she put on her robe, grabbed her towel and stormed away. At the door, she turned back for one last glare, as if to say, “Have a !%$*&@! day.”
I slid into the pool. The water was perfect.
As I swam, I couldn’t stop thinking about what she’d said. How did she know what would kill me and what wouldn’t?
I’m very sensitive about time. We only have so much. So, when I have to wait 10 minutes for someone who isn’t ready or I find myself in a situation where I have 15 minutes to kill through no fault of my own, I think about what I could be getting done. Waiting 5 minutes, unnecessarily for this woman to get out of the pool just because she didn’t feel like sharing a lane, would have cost me 5 minutes. Forever.
Eventually, I was able to do my meditative swimming and I know the rest of my day will be productive and good because, now that I’ve told you about my morning, I won’t let it take up any more of my day. After all, the time we use up, we don’t get it back. Better to do something good with it.