By Teresa Swartz Roberts
32. Copyright 2020
The indoor pool reopened this week. But I’m not ready.
The county is being careful. Only 10 people are allowed in the water at one time. Swimmers and water-walkers have to make an appointment with the front desk, and they are limited to one hour inside the building. The locker rooms are not open, but I think the lobby restrooms might be available on a one-at-a-time basis.
I’m still not ready.
I’m still wearing a cloth mask when I interact with anyone except my husband. My church is still having online services, although there is a drive-in worship service scheduled for the end of the month. I still put on vinyl gloves to disinfect my groceries.
And I need to shave my legs.
I know I’m not the only one who has let some grooming tasks slide while sheltering in place. I hear snide late-night comedians and perky morning show personalities talking about the informality and apathy that comes from staying home all the time. The running gag centers around whether anyone wears pants on camera for Zoom calls.
It’s funny. When I worked full time, I loved pajama days, which didn’t mean I wasn’t working from home or working on my home. Pajama days were some of my most productive days, especially if they were facilitated by a two-foot snow storm. I could be reasonably sure that nobody would be stopping by.
Now that I’m home all the time, I hardly ever put on pajamas anymore, opting instead to settle into my recliner at night in comfortable day clothes (usually sans bra, as last month’s entry “I put on a bra today” explained), rise fully dressed and move to my bed to start my exercises. I know that sleeping in the chair and starting my day by moving to my bed sounds messed up. It is. That’s one of the concessions I’ve had to make to Parkinson’s: I do whatever it takes to calm my body down so I can get some sleep. With the lock-down, I know that I’m not likely to go anywhere, so I shower and put on my clean outfit after working out.
I have to get dressed in order to stay motivated to be human. I don’t, apparently, have to shave my legs. What finally got me to do it was that I needed to use some kinesio tape on my knee, a technique my physical therapist taught me to coax my kneecap into its proper track. The tape works best on bare skin.
I was all set to shave, and you know what? It was too big a job. I figured I could shave only where I needed the tape. But then I would feel a little freakish, knowing that pulling up my pant leg to adjust the tape would reveal hairy ankles. Ultimately, I decided to do it in increments. First day, left lower leg. Yeah, that would work. Second day, right lower leg, then one thigh each day, armpits the next day, and finishing up with toes and missed spots. I would never be fully clean-shaven, but I would always be almost ready to go to the pool.
Sometimes you have to break down a job and be satisfied with getting it partway done. Sometimes making progress is enough. It’s okay if you’re not ready; it’s good enough for now to be almost ready.