Stranger Days #48: Questions for Friends During the Pandemic

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Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Welcome to stranger days--my blog series exploring daily life, challenges in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and just sharing insights or thoughts about how to make it through these days.  

I've continued on my quest to create interesting questions to ask friends each day over the last few weeks.  I mentioned this in a previous post where I listed the 15 or so questions I had and here, I am extending that list with the newer questions in case you want to play along with your friends.  

How to Play the Questions Game
The practice is pretty simple.  Each day, send a question to as many friends and family that you think would appreciate and engage in the questions.  

Make it clear that you are asking but know they may not be able to answer.  The question is there as a way of starting a conversation, holding space for each other, or just letting friends and family know that you're thinking of them.  

Don't expect all of them to answer the question every day. I usually get about half the response and from that group, usually about half turn into longer conversations.  But what's fun about this is that who responds and what conversations emerge vary greatly.  

When it makes sense, compile answers and share back--but let folks know that you're doing it.  For instance, in question 24, I ask about a song that captures the moment for folks. I look at all the suggestions and compiled a Pandemic Playlist and shared it back with everyone, much to their enjoyment and amusement.  

In terms of platform, I've been using texting and Facebook messenger, but obviously, it's whatever platforms and communication tools that make sense to you.  

Some questions of mine to get you started:

  1. You have been granted 3 wishes (and, of course, no wishing for more wishes).  However, the wishes can't be for anything.  They must follow this formula: A wish that you do not benefit in the least (careful--you can't say something like "world peace" or "climate change resolved").  A wish that is ENTIRELY to your personal benefit and is non-monetary.   A completely ridiculous wish.
  2. What do you deserve a degree in that isn't actually a degree?  
  3. In the "Story Of Your Life", who would be a side-character that gets some attention?
  4. If you were told you had to create fan-fiction (written, audio, film, etc), what story would you create fanfiction for?
  5. What advice would your 5-year old self give to you, the adult that you are today?  (Careful with this one, people often read it as the adult today giving advice to the 5-year-old).  
  6. You get doused with a strange chemical and all of a sudden, gain a super-power.  But it's not a run-of-the-mill superpower like flight, X-ray vision, teleportation, or super-speed. It's a really weird and strange superpower.  What is your superpower?
  7. What is something at one point you wanted to do, but decided NOT to do, and now, feel that you made the right decision?
  8. The ends of bread.  The BEST part of a loaf of bread or the worse?  Defend your answer.  No waffling or being indifferent--take a stand!  :) 
  9. You can have a front-row (but fully protected) seat to a severe thunder and lightning storm in wide-open prairie OR you can watch the sunrise over a mountain range with a placid lake in the forefront.  Which do you choose and why?
  10. If you could walk into any painting (note: not a photograph), which one would you walk into?  Bonus points if you include an image of the painting OR a link to it.  
  11. This question is more of an activity. If you don't have time for it--no worries, but it's a fun lil exercise.  Ok, close your eyes. And listen and feel and determine, if you awoke right where you are now but couldn't open your eyes; what clues around you would help to tell you where you are.  You know where you are but what information can you discern about where you are without seeing it.
  12. What is a sensory experience (eating, smelling, listening, feeling, seeing) that often/usually triggers a positive memory for you?
  13. You've got an itch on your nose but you cannot scratch it or rub your nose against something to make it go away (or have someone else do it!).  How do you try to resolve or distract yourself from this annoyance?
  14. The next ten days is a COMPLETE blank slate. There are no work obligations, no familial obligations, no social obligations. You're completely free to do what you want to do.  What is the first you're excited to do when you wake up on Day 1 and what is the last thing you do before the end of Day 10.  
  15. What is something that you have learned to do that at some point, you did not think was possible for you to learn/do?   Bonus question: How did you get there?
  16. What is the most annoying song that you instantly need to change or flea the scene the second you hear it playing?  It has to be a song--not a genre, singer, band, etc. A specific song.  Bonus points if you link to the music video online.  
  17. You've been cursed (Ok, right now, it feels like we've all been cursed). But this is a legit curse--but one with a choice. You can choose to be vampire (old school--no glittersticks), a zombie (walker type--no sprinters here), a ghost, or a ghoul...which one do you choose and why?   
  18. Have you experienced any opportunity for growth or insight, for you personally, as a result of the pandemic? If so, what? And if not, any ideas on what the biggest barriers are? 
  19. What is a meal/dessert/food thing that you think you kick-ass at making?  
  20. What's a question that I haven't asked yet that you feel like answering?
  21. Who is someone in your life now, that you admire in some way?  (And what do you admire them for)?  Follow up challenge:  Let them know today that you were asked that question and they were your answer.
  22. What movie or TV show is best capturing this moment for you?  (And you can't fall back on Groundhog's Day, Outbreak & Contagion)
  23. What is something that always makes you laugh?  It can be a book, a video, a song, a person, memory, a type of experience, etc. 
  24. What's ONE song that you are enjoying, finding solace in, using to cheer you up or just say "FU Covid19"?  Bonus points if you share the music video link.  
  25. What's something that you say to yourself or do for yourself when you're struggling (either to get started with something, to complete something, to tolerate something, etc)?  
  26. Aliens have abducted YOU. No one else. They're not going to do anything weird, but they want you to guess why you were chosen. What reason could you come up with for why they chose you to abduct?

What would be interesting questions that you would want to add to this list?  What kind of daily or weekly practice have you established to check in with friends and family?

Take care. Be careful. Be care-filled.  Welcome to stranger days.

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