Lately I’ve been thinking about the kinds of conversations that make me the happiest. As longtime readers might remember, I’m not a big fan of small talk. I’ve learned how to do it fairly well over the years, but I always breathe a sigh of relief when the conversation moves to weightier topics than what kind of weather we’ve been having.
My list (probably) won’t be the same as yours, but these are the types of things I hope to discuss more often in 2016:
Did you know that….
For example, did you know that all of the members of a wolf pack take turns playing with and looking after baby wolves? They also share their food with pups who are old enough to eat meat.
I’m most interested in factoids like this that are related to science, history, and nature, but my ears perk up every time I hear this phrase because there’s such a good chance I’m about to learn something fascinating.
An anecdote like this one could lead to a discussion on anything from that funny thing so-and-so’s kid did with their dog last week to what happened in Yellowstone National Park after wolves were reintroduced there.
What would happen if….
One of my favourite things to do when I’m sitting quietly somewhere is to think of unlikely – but usually not impossible – situations and then figure out how I’d get out of them.
Occasionally, crucial parts of the subway system in my city shuts down for a few hours or a day due to flooding, mechanical issues, or other problems. What would be the best way for me to get home from neighbourhood X in that scenario? If my first choice route isn’t available for some reason, what’s another good way to get home from that area?
Sometimes I do add in conditions that don’t actually exist in our world – e.g. vampires – to see what solutions my mind can come up with when, say, it isn’t safe to be outside at night.
No, this isn’t an anxiety thing on my part. I don’t worry about what would happen to me in any of those scenarios, I simply enjoy pushing my mental map of how the streets are laid out and where certain landmarks are located as far as they can possibly go. Spatial skills aren’t one of my strong points, so I enjoy practicing them when I can.
What did you really think of….
My husband and I tend to like different styles of art and genres of fiction. There is overlap between us, of course, but I find it a lot of fun to explore what it is he loves about action movies and I love about the postmodern realism movement in art.
When you look at the world through someone else’s eyes, you’ll often catch things that you hadn’t noticed the first time around. I’ve found that this is even more true with people you don’t know well yet.
I’d love to know what’s on your lists. Let me know in the comment section below!