I've been a lifeguard for five years. Four of those years have been spent at Prospect Park Swim Club. and while this blog will give off the impression that it's a lovely place that i never want to leave.... do not be fooled--I am THRILLED my last day is next week, and, if God keeps lovin' me, it'll be my last day there--EVER!
However, since i've spent an embarrassingly amount of time there in the summers of my youth, and still now, I couldn't help but reflect on this job today (while i was at work. confusing, right? it's almost like a double dream).
today I was sitting on stand. at my pool, we sit on stand for intervals of 20 minutes, so every other 20 min, i'm sittinnnn.
pic of the stand: (mind you--these pictures are from 2008...they are old!)
being a lifeguard isn't glamorous. you can expect the following everyday: purple-faced guards from yelling at children, trash juice being poured down your legs while throwing the trash bag into the dumpster, hosing off *disgusting* substances, burning your feet with chlorine because you're supposed to be scrubbing the pavement...etc.
BUT, besides the less-than-great moments at the pool, the ONE place I'm left to my own thoughts is on stand.
20 minutes dedicated to INTENSE people watching? yes please.
and with people watching, comes thoughts, and thoughts, and tons more thoughts. today i realized how fascinating my time on "the stand" has been. i've spent time sitting there laughing, alone, either at a kid who belly flopped off the dive who thinks they finally got their one and a half (when they actually didn't at all), or simply at a funny memory i was thinking about.
i've spent time there, silently thinking about my dreams, exciting myself into the possibilities of my future. i've added more and more to my bucket list, patiently waiting for when i can get down to journal these dreams. i've also reflected on how proud i am at what i've already experienced.
i've even spent time there, alone, crying. yes, i am admitting that i've CRIED on stand! hiding behind my sunglasses, i've even been able to reflect on the extremely painful memories... and while it's embarrassing, today i've realized that each summer, i have been able to come back to the pool (unfortunately), and climb up on to the stand, and grow more and more into the woman i am becoming.
this stand has symbolized so much growth in my life. i've been to four different continents and lived 3,000 miles away. but every summer, i come back to the same old town, on the same old stand, to think about the not-so same things, but the new, painful, beautiful, lovely, horrible, things that are occurring in my life. and no, i'm not saying i'm this put-together woman who figured out why certain things have happened to me. but what i am saying is that i'm grateful. i'm grateful that i have the opportunity to reflect and sit in pain. to make the ordinary days at the pool, boring times on stand, into times of prayer, questioning, and thinking. and normally these times for Christians happen while we have quiet times... (just intentional time with the Lord). and i have that. but what makes my time on the stand so interesting? Because i feel immersed in humanity--surrounded by hundreds of people who are either trying to interact with me or avoid me. i just feel ALIVE, i feel human. especially when i'm feeling a whirl-wind of emotions... laughing, crying, contentment, frustration
i'm just grateful to realize that, although PPSC nearly makes me want to poke my eyes out, those 20 minutes on stand, i am left with my thoughts and reflections on the different seasons of my life. i hurt and sin everyday, (pretty sure more than the normal person), but with that comes so much joy and growth. so for today, all three of you blog readers, i want to let you know i am grateful.