Our evening conversation normally starts with “How was your day?” On a good day, when I still have some energy, it leads to a decent recap. This question undoubtedly comes up because I know that my wife is trying to get me to engage and share. But I don’t talk much. On most days, I believe that I can adequately answer the question with either “fine” or “not that bad.”
It’s amazing what a simple change in the question has done.
After a little lesson from Paul Ford, my wife and I now start our evenings conversation with: “What did you learn today?”
This has taken us, or more specifically me, out of the “rote and ritual” and encourages us reflect on what we accomplished with our day. As Ford wrote, “the question assumes that this was a day unlike the one before…a day of signal.”
It remains a predictable prompt during our evening, but we now we feel a bit more like kids in school. (I happened to like school.) Actions and events are new, and even simple recaps of the day’s headlines become cause for more interesting discussion. The problems of the day have become less of stumbling blocks to our routine, and more about challenges to solve and how we grew from our new knowledge.