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 (see below) and asked my family to fill it out a few days before Thanksgiving. I had a friend of mine take the answers from everyone and put them into one document. 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 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.
Getting to know my friends and family on a deeper level has been fun and heartwarming. 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?
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 [email protected]
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Getting to know your friends and family
1. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three foods and one drink (other than water) would you want an unlimited supply of?
2. If you were featured on the cover of a magazine, which one would it be?
3. What are the place(s) you still want to travel to that you have not (assuming perfect health and you had the money)?
4. What is a food or drink that you miss that you have given up for health reasons?
5. What is your favorite quote?
6. What is your life’s motto?
7. What are you most proud of in your life?
8. What were the defining moments in your life (i.e. changed the course of your life)?
9. What is the meaning of life?
10. Name a funny word.
11. If the ATM gives you $1,000 instead of $100, what would you do?
12. If you could re-name yourself, what would it be?
13. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?