Do you know what your husband believes to be the meaning of life? Do you know how old your dad thinks he would be if he didn't know how old he was? Do you know your sister's life motto?
These are a few of the questions that I posed to my family last Thanksgiving. I created a document with 13 questions on it and asked my family to fill it out a few days before Thanksgiving. I am attaching the document that I created, Do You Know?, for your reference. Feel free to use it or create your own with additional or different questions. I had a friend of mine take the answers from everyone and put them into one document so that I could play along too. I printed out a copy for everyone. After we enjoyed our turkey feast, each of us individually wrote down our guesses of which family member said each of the answers. We then went through the questions as a group to find out the true identity for each answer. It was fun, heartwarming, and informative. And, it was not as easy as you might think!
How often do you talk about these kinds of questions with your friends and family? Too often we are caught up in what is going on for us (or others) in the now and that drives our conversations. There is nothing wrong with this, but sometimes it is a good change of pace to talk about broader and deeper life topics. You may learn a few things that you did not know about your loved ones. A few years ago, Table Topics cards came out which are great conversation starters. There is also a book I bought years ago, Talk to Me by Bonnie Sose, that has over 2,500 questions covering a wide range of topics.
Research shows that people with a strong social network are healthier than those without. What better way to nurture your social network than to have honest connections with people. This year, try to have real conversations with your friends and family. It will warm your heart and make you feel closer to your loved ones. I loved learning that my 72-year-old dad feels like he is 62 (should I be concerned that my 44-year-old husband feels like he is 13?), and that my husband thinks the meaning of life is to "Leave the world a better, happier place than when you entered it."
Do you know what your friends would re-name themselves if given the chance? If not, it may be fun to find out. Why not try it this Thanksgiving? Report back and let us know what interesting things you learned about your friends and family.
Dina Colman is an integral health coach and writer. She has her MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University and her Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education from John F. Kennedy University. She has an office in Danville where she works with clients to live an integral life of health and wellness. She founded Four Quadrant Living, providing information and motivation for healthy living through nourishment of the four quadrants of our lives—Mind, Body, Relationships, and Environment. This blog is from the Relationships quadrant. Contact Dina at firstname.lastname@example.org