Sunday Dec 23, 2007

Putting 1st things 1st

The last several weeks leading up the end of June and end of December seem to be beyond hectic at Sun. We set bar obnoxiously high within our individual charters and more often than not the bar is cleared but, not without an insane amount of blood, sweat and tears. Not without an insane amount of stress. Sadly, I can't say that I've come anywhere near mastering the art of patience and grace during these times to the degree that I'd like to.

I moved a photo of my grandparents from the piano (when I play, they are the perfect audience to look at), to my desk. It serves as a powerful reminder of how to behave with grace, respect and never-ending optimism during tough times -- and let's just say that my woes are nothing compared to raising 10 kids in the face of a depression, severe racial and religious intolerance, rampant disease, none of the appliance conveniences we have today, etc.

Their hardworking gene has been passed on through the generations as well as their love and dedication of family. I suppose the countless distractions of today make it easy to lose focus on what's most important, but I fully realize it's my responsibility keep the priorities in check.

Taking care of yourself and your family is a core value of Sun. Not many people know this, but during my first month at Sun, I offered my resignation when my child contracted a bone infection & required hospitalization for a week. As we began the hospital admissions process, she was understandably upset. I promised I wouldn't leave her & I held true to that promise, but it meant resigning from the job I had coveted for a long time. I called my boss's boss to resign (my boss was on vacation at the time). She told me my resignation was unnecessary & to take care of my daughter. Going out on a limb for me when I hadn't had time to prove my value, is something I'll always be grateful for.

I love Jonathan's response to the question of "What's your greatest extravagance?" during a 2005 Churchill Club discussion. His answer "My kids. Period." In the same discussion he said "If you take your work home, if you take your work on vacation, if you take your work into your kitchen, you've made a choice. Every one of us makes choices on how much we want to allow the network to invade our lives. Burnout is a choice."

So, on that note, I wish you a relaxing, peaceful holiday season spent with what matters most in this life...the people you love. These are the times that'll be gone in a blink.
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Sr. Community Engineering Program Manager/Acting Director for Sun's external social networking sites (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.). Skrocki's personal blog, LinkedIn.

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