On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

May 4, 1999 Permalink

Worry. We all do it. I remember reading somewhere that a large percentage of things we worry about never even happen. We worry sometimes about vague things, and other times about very specific ones. Sometimes this takes the form of a gut feeling that something just isn’t right, other times we know that things are not right. Either way we worry. I have actually met people that seem to need to worry, as odd as that may sound. They are natural born “worry-warts”. After thinking about this I have sometimes wondered that in the absence of something real to worry about, they would feel compelled to make something up! Anyway, I digress. What I really want to talk about is control, and how it relates to worry.

I think it is important to draw a distinction between what we worry about, in terms of those things we have control over versus those things we do not have any control over. When I look back to when I first became aware of Y2K, and the potential problems associated with it, I was intensely worried - for my family, for my friends, for myself--- This lasted weeks! I have calmed down considerably since then, and recently asked myself what was it that helped me the most to stop worrying.

What I recall now that helped me get over this was remembering the difference between things I had control over and everything else. Once I separated that out I concentrated on those things that I could in some measure control. It worked. For example, I was petrified that there might not be any electricity. I asked myself “is this in my control or not” and for me, since the options were not viable, the answer was “no”. As a result I asked “Well, what can I control that would reduce my worry about not having electricity”?

Then I started seeing a ray of hope. I quickly started a list of things that were within my means to do, that would Reduce the impact of this threat to the maximum extent I could. It helped. Big time. Having taken action to mitigate the problems associated with not having electricity, I felt better. I was not in control of the problem. I was in control of my reaction to the problem. This was repeated for each potential Y2K problem area that I was worried about. In each case, I asked the same questions, and took as much control as I could over the situation.

Prioritize and Prepare against whatever you are concerned about. This reduces worry! You may not eliminate your worry, yet you will be reducing it, which is important. So, choose what you worry about very carefully, with thought. Recognize where you do not have any control, and concentrate on taking control where you can - action steps to reduce whatever it is you are worried about. In my case it really helped. Maybe it will help you too.

—Rob Michaels, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 05/04/99

Ashton & I watched the 1/2 hour Dilbert cartoon show last night. It was definitely about Y2K!

We were laughing in amazed delight that the script ever got spoken on TV! It was witty and brought out the stooopendous imbecility of the pointy-haired inaction, non-comprehension, mockery, scarce resources, etc that contributed to and still stymie fix-it possibilities.

We thoroughly enjoyed it, and thought it was an excellent primer for any weeples not yet exposed to the Y2K issue. We liked the Mother whose home was stockpiled to the ceiling and who was out shopping at a warehouse with a moving van  ;^D

If we were conducting Y2K community meetings, we would open with that Dilbert show (sans commercials). The issues were exposed and humor always helps. Also seeing it bluntly discussed and the idiocy blatantly sploshed out front would help prepare the audience for all the hard-hitting factual articles discussing real risks that would be presented after the Dilbert intro.

—Ashton & Leska in Cascadia, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 05/04/99

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