ok dokie.

life is funny in that somehow it manages to present simular experiences to the same people, and sometimes these experiences follow one another so very closely on our time-line – they’re bound to make the experiencer think to him/herself "Whoa – Deja Vu!"

the interesting thing is that people react differently to the same experience, and what may start off seeming deja vu-ish turns out completely differently.

an example as I experienced it yesterday:

I went over to a friend’s place yesterday and witnessed the aftermath of an ‘argument’ (for lack of a better term) between he and his wife. apparently he hadn’t had the time to get down to pay his cable bill by the due date, the cable got cut off, and the family was unable to view the tv-goodness they are accustomed to. her reaction was to ask why he hadn’t gotten the bill paid, among other things, at a very loud volume. another guest was present to witness the argument, and there was a decidedly awkward feel in the house.

after visiting, I returned home, hoping to see the results of stanley cup final game and check email. I found after turning the tv on that my cable was off as was my internet (i have the delight of having the same company for both services). I shrug, get cleaned up for bed, and opt to read a book instead.

it turns out jellybean had previously arranged to get my cable and internet disconnected and transfer her service to my place (she’s an employee and thus gets better rates than I would).

when she got home, she approached me with "I’ve got bad news". Hearing this I braced for news of the death of a family member or the possibility she’s eloping with our scuba instructor, but she instead informs me that while my disconnect went through, the transfer of service didn’t, thus we are out cable services for a while. I simply hugged her and told her it was ok, knowing I wouldn’t die without either service, and we carried on a normal conversation afterward at a comfortable volume.

two different reactions to nearly the same experience.

this reminds me of our recent discussions involving disaster planning in the case of a highly contagious death causing illness for our school board and it’s technology. the meeting attendees conversation continued for some time with some considerable worry about what would happen if none of the technology team could attend to their positions, how children would still attend to their education, and how we could even begin to plan for such a disaster. After much back and forth, my boss put this simple question to the attendees to end the planning session :

"If I am a parent during the outbreak of such a disease, what am I going to be most worried about?"

I answered "Not dying?". Planning meeting over.

In both examples, some consideration needs to be taken to really think about the appropriate priority and response for the situation. I really feel too much effort is spent reacting to the wrong things, and certainly in the wrong ways and amounts. More often than not, we cause more stress for ourselves and others over-reacting! Take the time to judge situations and how important they really are in the grand scheme of things and you might be suprised at how much smoother your life flows.