Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Highs and Lows

There is a silly movie starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer called The Story of Us.

It tells the story of a couple at the beginning of their relationship, their gradual demise, and ultimate redemption.

All-in-all, fairly standard romantic comedy-ish stuff. Its cheesy, heart-warming, sad, and funny. Its not going to win any awards but I love the movie dearly and we re-watch it every couple of years.

But there is one thing about this movie that has truly changed my life.

The concept of the High/Low.

Theres a scene at the beginning where the two main characters are having dinner with their kids. Each person takes turns telling what their high (the best part of the day) and their low (the worst part of the day) was.

At some point, years and years ago, Jane asked me what my High/Low was. And then I asked her what her High/Low was.

And when the kids were big enough, we started asking them too.

Now its just something we do at every meal. Everyone takes a turn and tells their High/Low. When we have guests that we really love, they participate too.

I'm sure everyone has asked a kid, What did you do today? and gotten a curt Nothing. in return. Framing it as a High/Low makes it so much easier to respond. And telling those anecdotes often turns into larger stories and deeper discussions.

I've learned more about Jane, my kids, and my friends from these brief moments than at just about any other time.

So thanks to a silly movie for opening a window into the lives of the people most dear to me.