October is around the corner and with September’s passing will go an hour of coveted daylight. But with the darker days comes opportunity!!! Get home earlier, fix dinner and spend an hour talking to your family, roommates, friends. So often we don’t make time for meaningful conversation. Yes. We all talk ad nauseum about our schedules and the myriad things we need to do, but I find that to be more talking AT people—a dramatic itemization of why our lives are more challenged and stressful than anyone else’s. (A self-indulgence of which I myself am quite guilty.)
Because some of us occasionally forget how to talk to people without the help of an ipad, smartphone, or text-message translator (What the heck does BHIMBGO mean anyway?), I have decided to include a few suggested conversation starters with parenthetical notes regarding importance:
1. Name one thing you saw today, that did not directly impact you, that you wish you could’ve made better? (encourages us to think about the world outside our immediate sphere)
2. What were the three highs and three lows of your day today? (makes every day distinct, so they don’t barrel past us in one gelatinous lump)
3. What’s one thing you can do that will make tomorrow an even better day? (gives hope—which is always good—while also reminding us WE live life…life does not happen TO us)
4. What did you eat today and how’d it make you feel? (complements question #3…grumpy and tired people rarely check-in with the simplest of explanations…)
5. What’s in the news? (Don’t have time to pay attention to the news and chime in? Then we forfeit our right to complain about things later. Period. We teach our kids plenty well how to complain. How about sharing with them the tools to speak out productively?)
6. Is there anything I can do right now to help the people sitting around this table with me? (because really…it’s not all about us)
7. Share something you overheard that made you laugh. (encourages us not to be glued to a phone or music when we’re out in the world… and reminds everyone to chuckle once in while.)
Create your own list, borrow from this one, just talk with one another. Harken back to the days at dusk when moms would holler out at us that dinner was ready. Mealtime is such a great opportunity to be reflective and engaged. Be present. Turn off the distractions and really listen and enjoy one another.
Yes, there is homework, studying, and preparation for tomorrow to be done. And there always will be. But the people we gather with us as the sun sets, will not always be there. Just as we will not always be here either. So let’s pause with each fall day, even if just for a moment, and ask ourselves and one another, what did today mean for us and the people we love? what did it mean for the world? and how are they connected?
How well have I taken care of the world today?
How well have I taken care of myself?
Looking back on today alone, have I lived well?
Pass the carrots, please.
Send us a blurb about how you spend mealtime. What meaningful activities do you bring into your world with the coming of fall?
(BTW, if you REALLY don’t know what BHIMBGO means in text-speak, I hope you’ll enjoy the irony. BHIMBGO= Bloody hell, I must be getting old!)