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When Life Wins The Work/Life Balance Struggle

January 19, 2018

I’ve been working on this project for about 18 months. When we got ready to do the migration, starting in November, we had to migrate fives sites in five states in three months. And that was while taking time off for the holidays. It’s my project. It was quite a bit above my pay grade when it was offered to me. I jumped at the chance, naturally.

We’ve spent this past week migrating agents in Richmond, Virginia. The team will stay over the weekend and migrate the last of nearly 3000 total accounts to the new system next week. It will be the end of a long, hard and very enjoyable trip.

But, I’m not going to be there. I’m headed home to Utah for the weekend. And it’s not like I normally ditch work tasks for personal life stuff. I’ve taken work calls hiking up the side of a mountain in Utah. I’ve worked an outage call during a 22 mile mountain bike ride in Park City. I’m going camping tonight with the boy scouts and, like all our campouts, I’ll have my phone with me and deal with any issues that come up.

But, this weekend is different. I made it clear that I would not be staying with the project team. The fact that the team is fully qualified to finish up the migration without me is a comfort. But, make no mistake, I was leaving.

This weekend Life wins the “Work/Life Challenge.” My youngest granddaughter will be blessed on Saturday. And since the Mormon church has a lay priesthood, in an extra special experience, I will be the one to give her a name and a blessing.

My granddaughter almost didn’t make it. Three hours after she was born via emergency C-section in American Fork, Utah, she was on a Lifeflight helicoptor headed for Primary Children’s hospital. A very frail and very sick little girl. She spent months at Primary Children’s Hospital in the Neonatal ICU. The doctors were unsure what was happening. They did multiple tests and then more tests and still more tests. The sent blood work off to labs around the United States to try to diagnose her condition.

Finally, they narrowed it down to a rare genetic blood disorder. She requires blood transfusions every few weeks. She’ll most likely need a bone marrow transplant in the next year or so. Now, months later, she is a happy baby. She smiles and coos and is one of the joys of her grandparents’ life.

Tomorrow, family will gather at her parents’ house and the men who hold offices in the LDS Priesthood will take her in our arms and I’ll give her a blessing. A baby blessing is supposed to give some thoughts and goals for her to live by. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to say. Everyday she survived in those first frightening weeks, was a gift from God. Anything going forward is an even greater gift from Him.

I love my job and typically simply take it with me as I live my life. It’s not really an imposition. But, there are rare occasions, where my job is quickly and easily regulated to the “not really important” category. The kind of day where you say, “Twenty years from now, will it matter what I do today? Will what I do today be important a generation from now?”

Tomorrow is one of those days.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

  1. Patricia Nelson permalink

    We will be thinking of that amazing opportunity that we sadly will miss. What an awesome man you have grown to be. I’m so proud of you as a father and grandfather. They are fortunate to have a priesthood manlike you.

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