It actually started with work. As my supervisor realized that working from home reduced the opportunity for banter and small talk, we decided to implement a daily chat, preferably non-work related, but more focused on how we were all doing. We decided to find interesting questions to ask and I set off on finding them. The internet offers no end of rabbit holes to explore for interesting, silly, and inane questions. It proved a good opportunity to bring levity and learn a bit more about our team while finding our collective rhythm in this new working environment.
At the same time, I was circling around how to find some way to help my friends and to let them know that I’m here for them. While I have many friends that I see regularly and others who it might be 1-2 times a year, we were all in a situation where we wouldn’t be able to see each other for months. I also know that some of my friends would be more ok with this isolation than others; some have good social supports and others live more solitary lives. I care deeply about my friends and some will be struggling directly with the isolation and more directly with the economic impact. I realized that this daily ritual of random questions is something they too could enjoy.
I took to texting a goofy question a day with my family and friends and I must say, that it is quickly becoming the most delightful part of my day.
Whether I’m asking them, “What movie would be greatly improved if it was made into a musical?” or
“What mildly annoying curse do you wish you could curse people with?” or
“What would be the title of your autobiography?“, they each provide curious and thoughtful answers. Often, it stimulates further conversation and opportunity to check in about other things, but it also becomes just a gentle nudge to let them know I’m there.
As I’m mid-way into week 2 doing this, I think if I had one big realization about doing this, it is “Why didn’t I start this sooner?” I’m learning and connecting with my friends and family a lot and even in these socially-distance times, I am feeling my bonds grow with them. All of which has made me realized that I have not been as engaged and supportive with my friends and family as I would like to think. It’s hard to pinpoint or explain this without making this a much longer piece. But it boils down to using a simple question to set up a conversation in which we each learn about each other and in doing so, are inviting the other person more into our lives.
There’s so much more I want to say about this, but I just got a few more texts and want to read some of the insightful answers from the people in my life.