Slice of Life Tuesday: Walk & Talk

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!

Take care.

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!

5 Thoughts

  1. My sister has been my walking/talking buddy since the pandemic started. We both agreed that we would be “in it together” and her support has meant so much to me through it all. If we don’t walk, we get together to knit or sew for an afternoon. The time “making” has also helped with handling stress. I wish you all the best.

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  2. Last week, the stressors got to me and I could not even talk to anyone. I walked alone and it felt right. I am glad that you have one friend whom you walk with. One of my friends and I said that we would walk together weekly but life gets in the way most of the time. Cherish your walks.

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    1. I like my solitude and spend a lot of time “in my head.” But, I am grateful I have this friend to walk with. My family is 900 miles away. She is as close to having my sister here as I could ask for. Her family is here. I tried walking once a week with another friend but it didn’t work out as well. I think we were lucky to find our groove and obviously, both of us feel it is important enough to make the committment each week, with only occasional exceptions. I know I’m lucky. Thanks for your comments.

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  3. Walks with my best walking buddy dwindled as she began to fight Alzheimers. I was asked to speak at her memorial service this fall and I composed my thoughts around our walks as I invited everyone to join us (virtually) on our walk.
    Yesterday, I called a friend that I used to teach with as I walked by her house. She donned mask to come join me for the return trip to the library. I’m not so fond of walking when it gets colder, but that may need to change this year. I’ve loved getting outside most days. And I’ve learned to enjoy walking alone too.

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    1. Wow! I am so far behind in thanking readers for comments! I apologize! I am glad you are finding some other people to walk with. It’s sad about your friend with Alzheimers. But, walking is good for the soul! I do walk all year, despite the fact it gets really cold here in Wisconsin! The friend I usually walk with has been exposed to the virus at work, so we are not walking until she is done quarentining. I do have another friend who is interested in walking and we’ve done it two weeks in a row now. Thanks for stopping by! Stay safe!

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