Setting Money on Fire



She picked up the colorful package near the checkout aisle.  It had at least ten different types of fireworks inside the cellophane, each in its own brightly colored wrapping.  Some of the wrapping had writing on it – one of the packages said “snakes.”  She wondered how you could make snakes out of a firework.  Were they the poisonous ones?  Did you have to feed them and make them your pets after they were born from the flames?

She knew what sparklers were – mom had bought her some of those last summer.  She enjoyed running around with the fizzing stick as it spit off bright tongues of flame…but it didn’t last long enough, and it didn’t make a scary noise.  She wanted to see what the snakes looked like, and she wanted to know what the thing that looked like a rocket did when you set it off.  Mom wouldn’t want to buy this package of fireworks though…it would be a waste of money.  It would be almost like setting your money on fire, she supposed.  Except setting money on fire didn’t sound as exciting.

She knew that her dad would have bought them if he were around.  Dad wouldn’t have had the money to spend, but he would have found it anyway.  She thought that maybe this is what fathers were supposed to do – initiate their kids into the wonders of fireworks.  She suspected she could walk down the street tonight and she would see dozens of dads lighting fireworks with their kids.  Maybe she could watch, and see what the snake fireworks did.

With a sigh, she carefully put the fascinating package back on the shelf and went to find her mom.  She knew it would be time to head home soon.


Almost Time

I hit the pause button on writing for the past 10 months.  When I took on my new role at Microsoft, I knew I would need to fully commit to learning a new function, a new segment, and learning how to interact with a new set of business leaders.  I gave myself permission to fully focus on work and to avoid too much time dilution with creative pursuits, cycling, or social functions.  The successes I’ve achieved and the relationships built during this time are greater than I dared expect.

Now it’s time for re-balancing.  Time to get healthy, ride my bicycle, and endeavor to string words together in a pleasing fashion.  Perhaps time to celebrate with friends and co-workers.  Time to enjoy the summer, sit on the beach and read a book.  Time to visit family.  A new equilibrium where work is but one facet in my sparkling life.

I shared dinner with some friends last night, and one of them remarked that his career in the military  – over 20 years in the past – truly felt like a distant life.  The comment resonated with me — and I also resolved that it was time to make life less distant.

Here’s to a bright and varied second half of 2017!