Addressing the Elephant in the Room
Here we are in August 2020 still (at least partially) quarantining and we can't not stop talking about it when we meet up (virtually or not). And I really don't mind talking about it but maybe there are other things we can have a conversation about; not just during this pandemic, but in general.
What I mean is that so often when we have lunch with our colleagues, an after work drink with our friends or that evening talk with our spouse at the end of the day, it's how tired we feel, how annoying our bosses are, the lousy weather or some other negative energy thing that's going on.
Yes, these are important issues to discuss and we need to get things off our chest, mind and heart. It's perfectly fine, I have those conversations too, but what if I had a few subjects we could slide into when we get exhausted of these forever cycling topics.
Let's change the direction together, shall we?
1. “Which everyday routines have you changed since being at home? Will you continue any of them after this is over?” I’ve been a cheerleader for routinized living for a long time, and sticking to rituals and schedules during this uncertain time has allowed for retaining a sense of normalcy. I'm also an advocate of changing those oh-so comfortable routines with something new. Maybe these conversation can shine a light on something you haven't even thought about.
2. “What personal projects are you working on? How are they going?” Full disclosure: You don’t need to complete everything on your to-do list right now. Nobody’s forcing you to write the new The Lord of the Rings - trilogy, when your mind is mostly focused on survival. But it’s also wonderful to cheer on our friends and see where they’re looking to become better.
3. “Can I show (tell) you what I’m working on?” This gives you an opportunity to showcase that fresh loaf of sourdough that you’re proud of. Or maybe you want to give your friend a glimpse of the painting you're working on, because you kinda-sorta know how to work the brushes now.
4. “What new books have you been reading?” Reading is a mindful intention, centering, distracting, and there to lower your cortisol levels. It's a wonderful alternative to the also wonderful series binge watching.
5. “How did you meet your partner?” This is one of my favorite questions to ask not only my peers but I encourage people to ask your grandparents this question, the conversations that follow this are always unique, funny, loving and super interesting.
6. “What was your favorite vacation, and why?” Because we all want to go back to the seas of Santorini, the streets of Barcelona, and the Vineria Del Carmine, but it may well be a hot minute before any of us hop onto a plane. So, let’s use the power of nostalgia to transport us in the meantime.
7. “What three things are you most grateful for during this time of uncertainty?” This is a great reminder for ourselves and others to whip out those gratitude emotions which are crucial in times like this. And comparing lists might just allow you to realize the many things we have to be grateful for.
I am so grateful for essential workers, those how are in our grocery stores, hospitals, schools and care taking facilities. People who are driving trucks, working in warehouses and factories and companies that have allowed people to work from home.
There is still a long way to go before everyone is safe in this world and we all need to do our part, however small.
Lastly I am grateful for you, my fellow human, without you life would be dull and uneventful, even if you are only on the other side of my screen. Thank you.