Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Heart Pool Care

me, playing in a pool as a kid

Caring for my pool right now takes at least an hour every day (lately much more because [a] it has been raining every afternoon and [b] we're fighting a very mild-- knock on wood-- attack of algae). I hear once your pool is under control and you have the routine down, it can take as little as an hour per week. I do look forward to that because carving out an hour from my day without neglecting the precious time I have with my children is hard.

That said, I love my pool and I love doing pool care. I always hated yard work, and was never any good at it. Everything I wanted to grow died. Everything I didn't want to grow was impossible to get rid of. I found the heat unbearable in the summer, even in mild western Washington state, and a lot of sensory aversions were triggered by the work (as with other types of domestic work). I never felt strong or capable. G. liked it somewhat, but never had enough time for it, nor a natural knack really.

Now that we have far more pool than yard, I have a way to really contribute to our domestic life without wanting to leave my skin every minute of it.

Here are the top 10 things I love about caring for my pool:

10. It involves my brain. It involves chemicals. It involves science.

9. It makes me feel like I am outsmarting someone when I discover, for example, that the "shock" compound they sell at the pool supply store for $30 dollars for a few weeks worth of supply is really just 5.25% household bleach that I can get at the store for about $1.62 per week.

8. It is something physical...hard laborious work that I have to do in slow motion. You can't rush through it or it won't be effective. (Moving slowly seems to be my body's ambition in life, but I do like the feeling of being physical in any case.)

7. If I get too hot, I can dip my feet or dunk my head, as long as I am not applying chemicals (which is better done in the evening, when it is cooler, anyway).

6. It's impressive. People who look in the corner with all the pool equipment are overwhelmed by it just like I was at first. Even G. is still a little overwhelmed by it. But so far I am managing pretty well (knock on wood), which boosts my self-esteem.

5. I usually reward myself with a good swim after cleaning the pool. I LOVE swimming.

4. Even if I don't get to swim afterward, usually my family does, and it brings me soooooo much joy to be able to give this gift to them.

3. I really like the hum of the pool pump. It is soothing to me.

2. I don't have to get my hands dirty or touch too much stuff that trigger sensory aversions.

1. I can do it only semi-clothed, which is especially wonderful on hot and humid days when I can barely stand to get dressed to go to work, let alone to do physical labor.

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