Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year's Resolution Is Something That Goes In One Year And Out The Other.

As 2010 comes to a close, I would like to share with everyone, my annual holiday missive with everyone. Here is the card that I sent my family and my extended family this holiday. There has been one chance since this was issued. Please see the Editor's Note At The End.
Wow! Is it just me or has this year been a collection of aphorisms strung together like Christmas lights? (“ bulb goes out, the rest stay lit…”)

Strike while the iron is hot.Or, to be more accurate, ‘drive while the roads are cold.’ I spent December with Dad and Flo while Dad was recovering from surgery last year. To get back to the office in time for work on the fourth, I had to drive on New Year’s Day. It was 17-Below-zero when I left. But the timing was good as the next day it was 30-below and snowing! Back at work, in a meeting on January 4th I discovered that my position was about to be outsourced. I'd have five months to train the company taking over my job and get prepared to leave the company I had been with for nearly twenty-one years.

Trouble is only an opportunity in work clothes. Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was by the outpouring of support and assistance in my career transition. A number of old friends, colleagues, and even some clients came forward with suggestions and offers to forward my resume. I was truly touched by the number of opportunities that presented themselves via the various contacts I have made over the years.

When life gives you lemons make lemonade. My severance package was a pretty good one; about twenty-one weeks of regular pay and benefits. Plus there was a bonus for staying on and training the Indians to do my job and I had five weeks accrued vacation time so I decided to take a sabbatical. My position with Harris terminated on May 30th and I spent all of June on the road visiting family and friends all over the country. It was very nice. It was while I was at the beach with friends that one of the leads I had been given came to fruition.

God gives every bird his worm, but he doesn’t throw it into his nest. Your friends might get you into the interview chair, but it is what you know that will land you the job. So just nine weeks after leaving Harris I started my new position with Pilat Media. They are a competitor of my old company and I am doing much the same thing I was doing before.

Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Less than two weeks after starting my new position I was off to London for training. Within a month, I had turned-in my first new spec. Now, about five months later I have been chosen to do the business review for a new client. I have to study-up, the client is in a market I have never worked with: Australia. (Please see note below.)

Life is what happens while you’re making other plans. While I was up at my parent’s place in the summer, my brother noticed a small scab on my forehead. Denis suggested I have it looked at. He was absolutely right to have been concerned. It was a basal cell carcinoma. Ironically, I was having it biopsied the day that my dad was diagnosed with a signet ring carcinoma in his esophagus. I had Mohs Surgery in September, Dad has had a round of Radiation and Chemotherapy.

There’s no place like home. I headed home to Minnesota between their two blizzards this fall. I spent a week with Dad and Flo visiting, and helping out as they prepared for the family to arrive for Christmas. I could not make it home for the holidays as my vacation schedule at my new company didn’t allow it. We did open the presents on Christmas morning via telepresence though, it was pretty cool. Everybody else made it home so Mary set-up her laptop and we used Google Chat to establish a video conference. It was almost like being there—but I got the whole pot of coffee to myself!

No vacation goes unpunished. While I was on my trip to Minnesota a few weeks ago, my laptop decided that it was time to give-up the ghost. It was a few years old and had been giving me trouble intermittently. The first morning I was there, as I was trying to post to my blog, my PC refused to start, or to give any indication that it knew what I wanted it to do so. The motherboard had given up and died. I bought a new PC and spent a disproportionate amount of time over the last couple weeks trying to get all the things I use installed and all my data transferred from my backups. Compounding that, I returned to a huge stack of new things to do at the office when I got back. Needless to say, The Bergquist Family Calendars that I do for my relatives didn’t make it out in time for Christmas and this Christmas card has become a New Year’s card!

All who would win joy must share it; happiness is born a twin.I am very happy to share that my doctor has said that the surgery to remove my cancer went well and the scar is mending nicely. The nerves damaged during the surgery (I could not lift my eyebrow for weeks.) I am even happier to report that Dad has come through his cancer treatments with flying colors and, as of the last time we talked, the Mayo clinic has declared him cancer-free.

The love of your family is life’s greatest blessing. The family is doing well. Mary and Corey are well and happy. I’ll be working on a new website for Mary’s company soon. Denis and his family are all well. I have not had the fun of seeing them since this summer, but everyone was well and had big plans for the summer when I saw them. Chip is busier than ever, he and his family have been doing some travel to South America. I am happily ensconced in a new position that I am loving! I’m slated to spend February in Australia, another continent that I can cross off the bucket list. (This brings me to four of the seven with only South America, Asia, and Antarctica left to visit.)

Everyone smiles in the same language.” So, that’s what has been going on with me for the past year. To boil the year down to twenty-five words or less, “Dad recovered admirably from his surgery last year. I'm doing well in my new job. The family is doing well. Have a Happy New Year!”
“Happiness is good health and bad memory.” I hope that your 2010 was a good one (or at least left no ‘lasting scars’). Best wishes that 2011 will be safe, happy, prosperous for you, your family, and friends!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne
Don Bergquist — December 31, 2010 — Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Editor's Note: Things change fast in this industry! The trip Don was expecting to take in February, I have just discovered (within the past day-or-so) has been reassigned to another Business Analyst. Don will now NOT be headed to Australia in February.  Certainly other interesting challenges will be headed Don's way in the coming year. Watch this space for updates as they become available. 



Anonymous said...

No Australia? Well I suppose that's good and bad. Saga certainly dodged a bullet there.

Happy New Year, Don!

Cathy W

Don Bergquist said...

Good morning, Cathy - And Happy New Year!

Yeah, at this point it appears that Australia is off the table for me. So Yeah, Saga has dodged a bullet.

I hope you guys have a Happy New Year and that you will enjoy your upcoming travels!