In April, I will turn 60. (I'm going to assume there's a collective gasp of shock and surprise at this point.) In honor of what feels like a big day, I'm going to do something a bit different on the blog -- I'm going to post 60 essays on random topics, everything from love to chocolate.
OK, you're right. That's not much of a gap. How about everything from love to calculus?
Along with the Post 60 essays, I'll probably toss in a few regular creativity tips and recipes. You never know. I'm almost 60. I can do what I want.
For now, let's launch Post 60 with one of my favorite things in the world. Eye contact. Mmmmmmmmm. You know that feeling, when you're talking with someone who is looking directly at you -- not at his phone. Not at her nails. Not glancing around for the waiter.
Eye contact lets us know the other person is really seeing us -- or at least trying to really see us, hear us, understand. Eye contact connects us. And that, my friends, is huge. We all want to feel connected. Truly, it's more than a want -- it's a need. Connections are essential to our humanity.
Not surprisingly, sustained eye contact can also lead to love. There was a terrific article in The New York Times this week that talked about psychologist Arthur Aron's study -- an experiment that succeeded in making two strangers fall in love. Part of the study involved answering these 36 questions. The other part? Four minutes of eye contact.
Children get it. If you've ever had a child, babysat for a friend, or gone to a public pool, you know kids aren't shy about yelling, "Look at me! Look at me!"
Of course, kids have more sense than adults. We clearly lose brain cells along the path to 60. Children understand, on an intuitive level, the importance of eye contact -- of being seen for who they are and what they do.
In honor of my special year, I'm taking a tip from the research and the kids. This year, this week, today, I want you to look at me! Look at me! And don't stop there. Look at all the fascinating people around you. The cashier at the grocery store. The colleague two cubes over. Your significant other.
This year, this week, today, make everyone feel significant. Make eye contact.