The Question That Empties Your Mind In Two Seconds Flat


A friend asked me one of those questions that instantly empties the mind of all ideas – you know the kind I mean?

Her question was, “What inspired you this week?”

I was surprised by how empty my mind suddenly became. I won’t say whether or not my mouth hung open while I waited for a thought – any thought – to come.


(( cricket sounds ))


But… eventually the gears started turning again, and I remembered a few things. Not big, earth-shattering moments, but interesting moments all the same. As I recalled them, I felt more connected with my life somehow, and refreshed by seeing the good. What a great exercise!

One of the small moments was when I worked with a young couple who had offered on a house. Their offer was conditional on the sale of their own house. They were so in love with this new property, and eagerly awaited the approval.

Someone else came along and offered though, with no conditions. The seller chose that offer of course, and my buyers had to move on. What I loved though, was the maturity this young couple demonstrated. They did not whine or mope or even complain. They took it in stride, wisely understanding that’s just life. They reminded me of that other sweet couple who seemed to know the secret to life’s happiness.

flowers for the grave

Probably the most moving for me was a meaningful moment I shared with a friend. She lives in Alberta, and we were chatting on the phone about my mom’s 70th birthday party. Two hundred people had shown up to celebrate with our family. She, on the other hand, was missing her mom that Mother’s Day week. She had wanted to place flowers at the gravesite in memory, but the grave was in Manitoba and she couldn’t make the trip. I offered to bring flowers to the site on her behalf. She was deeply grateful.

There I stood at the grave of my friend’s parents, lain side by side. Clasping a bouquet of Daisies, I realized how blessed I am to still have my mom. I can still hug her and touch her hand and hear her voice. We laugh and smile and celebrate together, and I know whenever it ends, it will feel like our time together was not long enough.

I laid the Daisies in front of the headstone, and imagined what it might feel like to do this on my own behalf one day. I felt a deeper empathy for my friend, and left with a refreshed appreciation for my family and friends, and for being alive.

Like I said, they were not earth shattering moments, but they did grab my heart in their own ways.

Now it’s my turn to empty your mind – what inspired you this week?


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