Before the pandemic began, I had a standing date with a friend to walk once a week. One week we’d walk through my neighborhood and the next week we’d walk through hers. Depending on our route, it was about a 3 mile walk. During that time we’d catch up on each other’s families then move on to issues we might need to get off our minds, things that were stressing us, or just try and brainstorm ways to solve the larger problems of the world, or of our small community.
I cannot remember when we first started walking but we’ve been doing it for years now. We became friends when we both chaperoned a high school band trip to Florida in 2010. Our eldest children were both in band, and we formed a fast friendship during that trip. Over the years, our families have become friends as well and our walking continued like clockwork every week. Sure, our walking date got rearranged for hair appointments, soccer games, vacations, and the occasional doctor’s appointment but usually just put off to a different day during the same week.
But, when the pandemic started and social distancing guidelines were suggested, I was the one that balked at our walking. My friend, a chemist, was still working full time. I, on the other hand, had retired last fall and my husband had retired the year before that. I felt it was best if we put our walking on hold. In all honesty, I was uncomfortable with doing it. I did not want to expose her and also did not want to be exposed. So, we stopped our weekly walk and talk earlier this year.
Since our “break” which lasted several weeks to months, we resumed walking this fall. Our walk is outside and we both need the support our friendship lends us as an outlet for stress. Have you noticed that stress is cyclical? I think it is. For some strange reason, I’ve been less stressed during this crazy time. Most of it probably has to do with K-12 schooling being done for my boys. And, as I wrote in a piece last week, I cannot “control” anything about the pandemic except for my own actions.
So, during the walk and talk sessions with my friend, some weeks it is my stress and frustrations that are vented and some weeks they are hers. Occasionally, we both are tired and frustrated and take turns letting each other vent about life. It’s an important role our friendship plays for each other.
So, when husband asked me to go with him to deliver a handcrafted desk to a customer tomorrow night, I declined. I reminded him that I’m having my weekly walk-talk date with my friend. I’m trying to be there for her, just as she is for me. He understood.
Do you have someone you can rely on to talk to? I hope so. It’s important to be able to talk about life – our hopes, dreams, fears, stressors, failures, and successes. Let me know how you handle this in the comment section today!
Today is Slice of Life Tuesday. Thanks to TwoWritingTeachers.org for hosting this weekly forum. I look forward to being a part of this group each Tuesday!