Stories & Interviews
Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
As most of you know, for the past six years, I have been suggesting, urging, and even cajoling anyone who would listen to ask their loved ones what my friends now call, The One Magic Question. It’s a simple question really – just some version of the question I asked my mom when I asked her how I could be a better daughter. People have asked their moms, dads, grandparents, children, spouses and even in-laws. The answers have ranged from profound to mundane and have, I’m often told, changed lives just as they did for my mom and me.
Recently, I heard an especially touching story when I interviewed a busy executive mom, Patty, who asked her young sons The One Magic Question. She found out something simple and profound that changed her life and theirs. Interestingly enough, Patty was inspired to do so by Marshall Goldsmith, author and leadership guru; the same person whose words set me on my journey in 2005.
As we approach Memorial Day weekend and many are thinking about picnics in the park, I’m thinking about the beautiful Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium. It is an amazingly beautiful place with 15 full time grounds keepers to make sure it is a place whose beauty will always honor those brave Americans killed in WWII who rest there.
Over this Memorial Day weekend, I invite you to reflect on those who have given their lives for our country in wars over the years and to feel grateful. And, if you’d like to know more about Truman Roberts and see the Ardennes American Cemetery, read this earlier Memorial Day post.
I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.
It has been some time since I’ve devoted my attention to our Make Mom Happy by Mail blog and am happy to have a quiet afternoon to bring you up to date. As many of you know, I’ve been working on a book to share the concept behind Make Mom Happy By Mail with as many people as possible. That concept is simply to ask your loved one, especially an older relative or friend, “How can I be a better ………(daughter, son, friend, granddaughter, etc.)
I’m fortunate to be working with a delightful agent who has confidence in the book and has worked for several months to find just the right publishers and to put the proposal into the best possible form. Along the way, she suggested we change the title from Make Mom Happy By Mail to The One Magic Question. This made lots of sense to me because it really was the question that started our Make Mom Happy by Mail campaign and resulted in all the great things that followed. So that’s the new title, The One Magic Question.
And, with that as the title, I’m now starting our 100 People Ask The Magic Question campaign to discover how others would answer the Magic Question, “How could I be a better…….” The first few responses were touching. Here’s an example from a young colleague.
“I asked my mother what I could do to be a better daughter. She said, “You haven’t been in touch much lately. Call more often so that I know you’re OK and I won’t have to worry as much.”
My colleague went on to write, “I know that in recent months I’ve been so busy with my work life that I’ve been neglecting my personal life, but I thought it was only impacting me. But through your question, I now realize that it’s been impacting others as well. Thank you for the eye opener and the first steps to getting back on track”
I loved this response because it reminded me of how very simple most requests are and how easily they can be answered. It also reminded me that mothers and dads just keep worrying about the wellbeing of their children, whether those children are 6 months, 6 years or many times that old.
I invite you to participate in our 100 People Ask The Magic Question campaign by asking someone in your life “What can I do to be a better…….” Then, if you are willing, just send me a quick note telling me who you asked and what they said. I’ll let you know the 10 most often heard responses and more sweet stories in future blogs, as well as in the book. And I’ll be very grateful. Oh yes, you might also suggest that they ask someone they love The Magic Question – perhaps you!
Thanks for visiting Make Mom Happy by Mail. Be well and bring joy to someone you love.
Beth volunteers at three senior centers because she likes people and she likes to help them. I’ve know her as a volunteer for several years but really knew very little about her and was so pleased when she said she would be willing to be interviewed about what makes her happy. And just by asking a few simple questions, I learned so much about this interesting, charming and involved woman who is enjoying her life and helping others enjoy theirs.
Final Thought: Just asking a few thoughtful questions and listening to the answers can lead to wonderful conversations.
Please send me your stories so I can share them with others
Be Well and Bring Joy
Last week we posted our first YouTube video of Freda, a wonderful 86-year old who told us about her family’s tradition of spending every Tuesday evening together with games, food and fun for everyone. In this video you’ll meet Gerry, a writer herself, who spreads love to seniors in her own special way.
In the course of writing Make Mom Happy by Mail , I interviewed many wonderful senior citizens and asked them what their children do, or could do, to make them happy. I found them to be a delightful group of people; engaging, positive, funny, strong-willed, and just an overall delight to spend time with. I thought you might enjoy meeting them too. My first interview was with Freda whom I met in a ballroom dancing group. (She’s a great dancer!) I joked that I’d like to be just like her when I grow up. “My doctor tells me the same thing!” she laughed.