Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Priorities and the PASS Summit

As most of you know, I am not attending the PASS Summit this year.  I had all my plans made, airline tickets, hotel, and a schedule laid out for the week.  Then during lunch on Friday my son’s school called to let us know that he had injured his arm falling off a swing during the lunch recess.  Of course, we thought nothing of it at first, thinking he may have sprain or minor fracture, then we got to the school and could immediately see that the arm was broken.  By the end of the day Friday we knew that Evan had a “nasty” displaced fracture of the ulna and a fracture at the head of the radius and that he would need surgery Saturday to repair everything, including having a plate inserted to hold the ulna in place. 

Even with that, I still held out hope that I’d be able to make it for most of the week.  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to leave on Sunday, as I had originally planned, so I cancelled that flight Saturday morning, but kept my return flight for the next Friday.  By Saturday afternoon I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it all, so I let my roommate, Mike Walsh (@mike_walsh) know and he took care of cancelling my hotel reservation for me.

We got Evan home a little after 7pm Sunday night and I have to admit that Sunday night watching the #sqlpass hash tag on Twitter was hard.  Seeing many friends getting together with people I haven’t had the opportunity to meet in person made me wish I was there.  As the week has gone on, yes, it’s only Tuesday morning, every day I realize even more that I made the right decision.  Evan is still in a lot of pain and I don’t think that there is any way that his mother, Alice, could have handled him and the other 2 kids alone without going crazy.  This is where priorities come in.  Even though the Summit is a great time and a great way to advance professionally, my career isn’t at the top of my list of priorities.  My priority list is: faith, family, friends, and then work.  My wife and kids need me to be home this week so that’s where I am.

I’m going to live the Summit vicariously through Twitter and the Live Stream of the Keynotes.  It certainly isn’t the same as being at Top Post, the Tap House, or any of the other events and places, but it’ll do.

Have a great time and I hope to see people at the SQLRally in the spring!


  1. Nice post Jack and you have your priorities in absolutely the right order. I hope Evan has a speedy recovery and the pain stops soon for him. You are definitely missed!

  2. You know in your heart you made the right choice. I'd love to be there, too, but I knew I needed to be at home. Sacrificing means giving up something of value for something of greater value. And that's what you've done.

  3. Wishing Evan a speedy recovery!

  4. Jack, I think you made the right decision and have a lot of respect for your priorities. We missed you and we'll make up for it next year.

  5. I'm sorry you missed the Summit but I really appreciate your staying home. Thank you honey!!

  6. Thanks for all the positive comments. I'm not sure if having the keynotes streamed live made it easier or harder to miss the Summit. It's funny because 2009 was my first Summit and until I went I didn't know what I was missing.

    Staying home was definitely the right thing though. Evan had a really rough time until Thursday. I know it would have been really hard to handle if I had been by myself, so I know Alice would have had a hard time alone as well.


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