I have never cared for the opening line people use when greeting me, "So, what's new with you?" I realize it's a reasonable way to begin a conversation, but I tend to feel put on the spot, as if the question is loaded with an expectancy for something out of the ordinary and requires an equally out-of-the-ordinary response.
Now, I have to admit, although my life is very pleasant most of the time, it is also quite ordinary most of the time. I haven't been away on an exotic holiday, nothing untoward has happened to me or anyone I know, and the little joys and pleasures I may experience from my every day routines and rituals -- alone or with others -- don't seem to be the fodder for opening conversations.
Of course, I could tell the person how I enjoyed playing with my kitty cat as she chased the string around the room. But, first of all, it's not new information, and second, the person, unless a tried and true cat friend, probably isn't going to be as eager to know whether Miss Kitty played with her toys today or not.
So, what to do? I believe author, speaker and life coach, Valorie Burton of Rich Minds, Rich Rewards, shared a wonderful new question in her weekly e-newsletter I received this morning. Here's an excerpt from it:
What's the best thing that happened to you today?
"This is one of my favourite questions to ask people in lieu of the overused and often insincere, "How are you?" It's a simple, thought-provoking question. Ask it of others -- and once a day, ask it of yourself.
In my seminars and workshops, I often have participants ask each other, "What's the best thing that's happened to you today (or this week or this month ...)?" Most people have to think for a moment, but the response is always one that lifts spirits and puts life in a whole new perspective."
Now, doesn't that question create more opportunity for interesting conversation? To share more heart stuff? For me, one of the best things that's happened to me today was that I enjoyed a refreshing walk in the neighbourhood, breathing in all those earthy Spring smells and listening for the bird songs of the newest arrivals. I even chatted with a chirpy sparrow when I passed the tree he was perched in.
So, what's the best thing that's happened to you today?