Why 40 Questions?

The idea of starting this blog came about in the shower, like many ideas do. It was another morning waking up tired, thinking about the full day ahead, worrying about lots of big and little issues that I have been meaning to do something about for a very long time, but still haven’t. “I can’t keep going like this,” I thought. “Something has to change.” I’m not one to be coy about my age, but really, at 41 you have to realize that if there are things you are hoping to do in life—learn the cello, organize your office, write a book, do a headstand—the time ain’t gettin any riper.

The idea that came to me between lather and rinse (don’t repeat, it’s a waste of product) was to start writing about it. A blog. Something that would call my attention back to those things I want to do more than I want to click through internet links all afternoon.

The trouble with personal blogs written by neurotic cerebral types is that we’re very good at unspooling ideas and theories at great length. When there are two of you, it gets better—or worse, depending on your point of view. My husband and I can turn an argument about a coffeemaker into a two-hour discussion about family of origin issues and how we carry on in the face of the ultimate meaninglessness of life. And then the coffee’s cold.

The idea of blogging with friends seemed like the perfect solution. In real life, we bring each other gripes, rants, and sticky wickets, and usually in the end it moves our thinking forward. Supportive “you go girl!” friends are great, but sometimes a great friend prods you a bit and says, “Hmm, I see it a little differently.” What I like best is when a friend asks that good pointed question that picks up the problem and sets it in a new light. Suddenly there’s an open window in what felt like a closed room. Good questions are amazing things.

Plus we can try to pick up each other’s slack when a full week means minimal blog posting.

So: 40 Questions. 40 is a shorthand for this “the time is now” time of life. Questions are how we keep things moving forward.

It’s my hope that as we get our bloggy feet under us we’ll keep asking each other questions—not just the three ladies of this blog, but friends and strangers, regular and irregular visitors too—and find ourselves moving forward in all kinds of ways.

For me, I’d like to get in the shower some morning and think, “I can’t wait to get to this,” instead of “I can’t keep going like this.”

We have some ideas that I hope will unfold in the coming weeks and months to help us shift into the next gear. Thanks to everyone who has been reading and commenting—some comments have opened a few windows for me already, and I hope now and then we can do the same for you.


About mina

Like a rock: sometimes hard, sometimes crumbly, occasionally brilliant, sometimes dense.

Posted on June 18, 2011, in advice, friends, mind hacks, questions, the interwebs. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Anytime something leads to fantastic discussion is a ‘win’ in my book, even if the coffee gets cold. I just recently watched the TED lecture by Damon Horowitz on the “moral operating system”: http://www.ted.com/talks/damon_horowitz.html. At one point, he takes 30 seconds of his TED time, to ask the audience to reflect on a current decision they have made and think about the reasons for making their final decision or choice. This is after he gives a brief insight into ideas by Plato, Aristotle, Mill, and Kant. How do you know you are doing the right thing? The resulting discussion that I had with my own family was incredibly fulfilling. Being in my 40’s, with kids that are old enough to really explore ideas, has brought a level of joy that I never thought possible…

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