LAUNCHPAD: HOW TO BE HAPPY AT THIS EXACT MOMENT IN LIFE
May 29, 2019 // Written by Scottie Knollin
“What am I still doing here?”
Business Solutions Architect Colleen Holweger has found herself asking that question more than once. And, she’s fielded that question from others just like plenty of Team CoreLink’s current team members over the past few years. As the tech company finds itself in its final years of service, the idea of a loyal and long-standing employee would seem to be fleeting.
For Holweger, though, her journey is yet to be over at CoreLink. “One of the biggest reasons is the people, the culture, and my wanting to continue to learn.” Holweger has grasped on to CoreLink’s mission of providing optimal career development opportunities for its people by taking part in several Knowledge Cafes while always being open to new chances to gain new skills. “There is never a day that goes by that I do not learn something new.” Her sense of contentment in CoreLink’s journey and her happiness is infectious.
Holweger began her professional journey in September 1979 when she was hired for her first ‘real job’ with Blue Shield of ND in Fargo. “At that time, (the office was) kind of in the country, with gravel roads and a farm across the street. Men wore suits and women wore dresses with pantyhose and no open-toed shoes.”
An office setting at the time looked much different than it does now. “When I started, everything was paper and manual. I remember my first day, seeing piles and piles of paper claims stacked up on tables everywhere. All those claims had to be manually keyed on Cathode-ray tubes. There was no electronic media yet. It wasn’t until 1982 when we started getting personal computers and saving our work on 5 ¼-inch diskettes. Suddenly, there were no more typewriters or handwritten three-part memos. Providers would submit claims using tape and diskettes.”
In 1986, Blue Cross and Blue Shield merged and the new corporate structure offered Holweger opportunities to take on new roles and learn new processes. As she developed professionally, a new venture, CoreLink Administrative Solutions, was formed and in 2009 she transitioned along with the original CoreLink team. “I was completing my 30 years with BCBSND, though not retiring, but opening a new chapter of my life. I was placed in Production Support, which is now Service Delivery. (Through that) I have been able to work on what I am passionate about: researching, analyzing, and solving problems for our customers.”
Now in her 40th year of service, Holweger is a testament to powering through the ebbs and flows of corporate change. “There have been many throughout the years, but what has been created is a legacy. It has been quite the ride. We have been through a lot of ups and downs throughout the years. But, one thing is for certain; we have created some really wonderful relationships within CoreLink and with our customers.”
Being happy in the moment is, sometimes, a hard concept to own. In fact, in a recent profile in Glamour magazine, author Judith Viorst, whose most famous work is the iconic children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, discussed how she’s never loved her life more than right now at the age of 90.
In the article, Viorst sets out to figure out why, after all of these years, she’s happiest now. “It’s not that the days themselves now are so fabulous. My hair is thinning. My body is not. I can’t find my glasses or keys. And I spend so much time seeing specialists that, if they gave doctorates for going to doctors, I’d easily have earned a PhD. But still, I don’t hesitate. The best is not ahead or behind. It’s now.”
Like Holweger, Viorst has found joy in being thankful for opportunities, even more so now. “For cultivating gratitude for the good stuff in our lives, being aware of and even counting our blessings, brightens our view of who we are and where we are in the world - and can make us happier.”
As she quotes philosopher George Santayana, “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring,” Viorst surmises that it’s better to embrace the current and new rather than devote too much time to thoughts of the past, regret, or the forlorn future. And, like Viorst, Holweger reminds herself each day, “We stand our best chance of leaving a legacy to those who want to learn and that’s just what I wanted to do.” By finding time to embrace the now and embrace each opportunity to grow and learn, Holweger’s own legacy is one of happiness, contentment, and a fruitful sense of knowledgeable adventure.
“How to Be Happy? A Nearly 90-Year-Old Has Some Advice,” Glamour, May 28, 2019.