For those of us who are Facebook people, you know there are often small surveys you can complete to find out if you know the slang used in a particular state or the foods eaten in different areas of the country. What would be interesting would be a questionnaire series to determine if an individual is a Planner or a Reactor.

For example, this past Saturday Graham and I participated in the March for Science at the state capitol in Salem, Oregon. Graham asked me early Saturday…what time should we leave? My mind automatically went into 30-minutes to drive there, 10 to find parking, 10 to walk from where we park and add a 10-minute fudge factor and there we had the time to leave the house. Do you do that? You might be a Planner.

GETTING OUT THE BREAD MAKER FOR PIZZA

I’m sitting here, past noon, thinking about pizza….and how can I work it out so we can go to a pizzeria after an evening meeting today when my husband (Graham) makes a comment about pizza. So I get off my butt and grab the bread maker and pizza dough will be ready in time for supper. Got the sausage out of the freezer, we have cheese, and there are some assorted other toppings in the frig. We’re set!  How about your supper plans? Do you have them in the works early in the day (out of the freezer the night before counts) or does supper prep happen when you get that hunger pang later? Your typical routine will very much indicate if you are a Planner or a Reactor.

When I lived in Connecticut and my two older kids were elementary school age, I often checked out the camp offerings when there was a fair in February. I couldn’t believe that action needed to be taken that early but found out it sometimes was the case that a special camp with limited spots filled quickly.

Years ago I planned a family trip to Nova Scotia. It was my youngest’s location of choice for his Golden Birthday Trip so he was involved and we started planning the summer trip in February. Good thing for the ferry, because the spots for cars were sold out by March. One of the planned events turned out wonderfully. We all like to cook so on our trips we usually try to fit in a cooking class for something local.

When I contacted the chef-in-charge of the cooking classes I found listed, he did not have his schedule planned out as far as July. He asked what I would like to learn. Well, I told him I knew how to boil a lobster but another way to prepare it would be enjoyed. Or perhaps, something from Acadian cooking.

We showed up for the class, held in a teaching kitchen space at a local supermarket chain. The regular attendees had left the front row vacant for us because they had been informed about our trip and the early communication. As the chef announced we would be learning some Acadian recipes everyone cheered and one woman said that they never would’ve been offered that if it had not been for us. Now, that isn’t even the end of the story!

A couple of years ago, about six years after the trip, I received an email from the chef. It was something he had mailed out to everyone on his list that he was changing the direction of his business. I responded that it was great what he was planning to do, told him a little about my business, Can-Do Real Food,

and then reminded him who I was. He remembered us and now we can compare local food concepts on Facebook. Amazing how a bit of planning made the world a friendlier and smaller place. 

Nice, but so what? All these things, being a tad late instead of early to the March, going out for pizza instead making our own, getting the kids into a certain camp, and even making a memory with a chef in Nova Scotia, have only small impact on our day to day life. But there are other more important issues concerning how the contrast between a Planner and a Reactor can influence the lives of many.

The concept of a happy marriage is more than happy bed partners. Yet many people forget to find out if they know how to TALK with one another and can work through disagreements.

The concept of raising healthy and well-adjusted children requires a lot of planning. When you react to your child’s antics, you tend to discipline in ways that are not as well thought out if, alternatively, you had planned that lesson before it actually was needed. How would you know the lesson would be needed? You simply remember your own childhood and think how you wish your parents would have handled it. Somewhere between what Mom and Dad did and what you wanted when you were a kid is the right answer, but merely smacking a butt when angry is NOT what will work long term.

                    THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF GOOD DISCIPLINE

The concept of leadership for any successful organization usually required that members of that organization have a way to have their voices heard. It means the leader has to be thoughtful, willing to hear all sides, and be well-educated in history, science and more in order to make decisions that are wise and sound for positive long term effect. Choosing such a leader also requires recognition that bluster does not indicate brains, that speaking his mind does not indicate an ability to get along with others, that being the king of the empire does not translate well to leading a system with others have strong voices.

                                                       THE MAZE OF LEADERSHIP

And so, now it seems that we must react because so many people did not plan well.

                                                                          ACTIVISM

Activism in a March for Science is but a drop in the bucket but amazing how many more people showed up to show that TRUTH and FACTS are needed….more than showed up for the inauguration. Activism is needed as you feel SOMETHING pro or con about a subject.

So, essentially, planning will ease your life from some stresses but being able to get moving in reaction to events is also something needed. We must be both–PLANNERS and REACTORS.

[Beth Rankin, who is often featured in Columnist with a View, lives with her husband Graham in McMinnville, Oregon. Beth is a multi-faceted, multi-talented person, thinker, entrepreneur, writer, crafter and activist.  We encourage everyone to sign up for Beth’s blog:  www.goingplaceslivinglife. wordpress.com.  We thank Beth for allowing us to share her thoughts with our readers.]