Posted by: Jenn Latino
I pride myself on staying in touch with friends. I’m a relater (that’s relate-er not the misspelling of someone who sells houses). I coordinate phone dates with friends who live in other states. I email old classmates when I see they have won an award or published an article. I demand that we have (and therefore coordinate) a “girls weekend” once a year during which my best friends and I who live in Columbia, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Atlanta converge on one city for a weekend of PJs and vino. I call people on their birthdays-and I sing. I was Facebook before Mark Zuckerberg even dreamed of the “poke.” (Mom & Dad I will explain that reference later.)
Lately, I have been FAILING at my stay-in-touch efforts. With 2 classes and a few other fun fall commitments at work, most of my evenings are spent grading papers and lesson planning. Weekends are spent walking, and walking, and walking. As a result, my yard needs to be mowed. My hedges are half trimmed where I managed-post walk-to get through 3 of my 7 shrubs before the rain forced me inside on Sunday. My car needs an oil change. My hands need a manicure. My toes are still sporting the engagement party pink that I had put on for my Labor Day adventure in TN. My bathroom hasn’t seen a sponge in months. My “on hold” items at the library have been sitting on the pick up shelf for so long the ink on the hold slip is fading. Today I got an overdue notice for a book I haven’t cracked the spine on yet. Life happens! Sometimes, you can’t fit it all in.
One of my secrets to staying in touch when times are busy is to do a quick “Hi/Lo.” It’s a wonderful tool. It works with my nephews who don’t usually have much to say and are thrilled to just have to answer 2 questions. It works with students who otherwise give me blank stares when I say “How was your week?” And, it’s quick enough to send via text message or online chat to a friend.
Here is how Hi/Lo works. You share one great thing that has happened that day/week and one not so great thing. Easy, right? Your “highest” moment and “lowest” moment. It’s no substitute for a genuine conversation but it makes me feel a little less disconnected.
In the spirit of a quick check in, I thought I’d share a few Hi/Lo events from the week.
HI: I accomplished my longest training walk yet! 15 miles on Saturday. YIPPEE!
LO: Halfway through the walk I finished the audio book I was listening to. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was fantastic! It brought 20+ hours of listening pleasure to my walks over the past few weeks and I was terribly sad to hear it end.
HI: I got to break in my new raincoat (twice) and it was wonderful! Kept me dry. Didn’t make me sweat. I was totally cute in my Snapdragon Yellow-exactly what I wanted!
HI: Cooler temperatures! I repeat: COOLER TEMPERATURES!! Walking in 60 degree mornings and 75 degree evenings has put the pep back in my step. Even Riley is marching with her tail a little higher in the air.
LO: Dark mornings. I am counting the days until daylight savings time ends. In the meantime, I am wearing my headlamp on my morning walks. (Related LO: Wearing the headlamp has given me a zit-yes, like a 15 year old in puberty-on my forehead.)
HI: I had a friend join me for some miles on Sunday! My co-worker and neighbor, Karen, met me at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and took me on a new route for a few miles. I was so grateful for the company and Karen was a wonderful tour guide to parts of The Summit that I had never explored.
LO: The arrival of rain shortened my Sunday walk to about 9 miles when I had planned for 10-12.
HI: The arrival of rain shortened my Sunday walk to about 9 miles! (God bless Mother Nature for knowing just when I needed an excuse to stop.)
HI: The 3-Day is only 23 days away! I am not sure my feet are quite ready but I am very excited to see Team New Kids. I am sure that with my teammates by my side 20-mile days will seem like nothing. (Either that or I will convince them to carry me. There are 7 of them. They can manage!)
Here’s to wishful thinking!