Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Focus on the Big Stuff

The computer technician is down in my guest house office and I have irritated him by asking too many questions. He's the best at what he does that I have ever found so I tread lightly. Recently I had a friend instal some added memory and as a result my computer went belly up. The friend said it had nothing to do with him. "Must be a ______problem," he said.

I called my computer guy and he came over and spent three hours fixing what my friend may or may not have done. Then the computer guy said this. "Would you coach a couple if several other coaches or counselors were also coaching them?" I said no, and saw what he meant.

The small picture is that I thought I was getting a break by having my friend instal the additional memory. The straight shot is, maintaining computers is a lot like relationships generally, you want to be sure you're all working from the same playbook.

What I often forget is the big picture. My wife is irritable but it has nothing to do with me. She's tired, parented out, frustrated by her own business, dealing with aging. The big picture is my love for her and her right to live her life, have her feelings, experience her frustrations without it being a statement about me.

How does this relate to the computer guy? Well, if I could see the big picture of his knowledge and care of our computers I wouldn't even consider having someone else put their hands on the keyboards.
Marriage is far more intricate and also simpler than my challenges with this computer and its software. The key seems to be to focus on one thing at a time. Paying attention to my anxiety rather than her challenges clears a path to intimate conversation in which I ask questions rather than speculate on her motives.

My friend who installed new software was oblivious regarding how our computers are networked, the impact his programs would have on our firewalls and the work we had already done in the area he was trying to correct.

Like marriage, he would have served me better if he had asked a few questions before assuming he knew what was needed.