An Idea is Not a Commitment

Creativity can feel like a curse. There is simply not enough time in the world to turn each creative whim into an actualized thing you can see or hear or touch. Logically, we may only get around to a 100th of the things we can think because ideas are quick cheap, and the road to completion may take decades.

Still, it’s not to listen to the advice of William Faulkner and “kill your darlings.” My mind tries to hold onto all of these whims because I might be able to get to them “someday.” But someday never comes because there are a dozen or more new ideas the next day.

The Eulogy You Didn't Get, Grandma

Grandma Marion Manelius with Rick, Dan, and Rob

Marion's death came as a surprise to no one. She lived a long life and almost finished her 95th lap around the sun. She spent her last days refusing food and taking pain killers. She was foreshadowing her final, symbolic steps towards the doorway that separates this reality with whatever happens in the great beyond—when and where our souls finally untether from our bodies like a balloon being let go to drift off with the whims of the wind to their next destination.

Why Teams Need Their "All-stars" to Take Time Off

Brent was the hero of the IT department.

When shit hit the fan, he was the goto guy to fix anything and everything. Server outage? Get Brent. Security breach? Get Brent. He had an almost Jedi-like ability to diagnose and solve problems.

Nothing could get done without Brent.

Brent was the villain of the company.

When shit hit the fan, managers would rip problems away from other people and hand them to Brent. Server outage? Call Brent. Security breach? Get Brent. Entire teams of competent engineers would sit idly by.

Solidarity in Sobriety

Alcoholism played a catastrophic role in my family growing up. The number of times my parents were fighting while at least one of them was heavily intoxicated—maybe hundreds? It was like being in the movie Groundhog Day. However, instead of the hilarious antics of Bill Murray, my brothers and I had to always wonder and worry—was the times things really got out of hand?

Recurring Resets

I can't remember who told me this when I was in college, but I remember how much it stopped me in my tracks.

Be careful not to live your life on autopilot. Otherwise, you'll drift through each day in a daydream until, one day, you'll blink and wake up 40.

I recently celebrated my 39th birthday, so these words are particularly apropos. I've long known the value of things like living a purpose-filled life and the power of building momentum through unwavering habits.

3 Years Stuck in a Story

The past three years have been a painful yet critical chapter in my life. I will never forget it, but this story rented far too much space in my head. It is time to move on. I am ready.

February 5th, 2017. Emily, Evelyn, and I were driving home on one of our typical morning rides because our daughter was always awake and rearing to go before the sun. I received a phone call from my brother. Odd. He rarely initiates a call. Emily and I both shared an exchange of confusion before I picked up.

"…and Then We Die"

Well, we could go to Paris for a romantic getaway. But what if... What if we just happen to get there during a protest with the Yellow Vests. We could be walking down the street while minding our own business only to find ourselves on the wrong side of a SWAT team line. An outbreak of violence ensues, and as we try to run to safety. We get trampled over as people flee the tear gas. We barely get up, and then bullets are fired. We just happened to be in the crossfire…

…and then we die.

Unnecessary Dependencies

Young children can be exceptionally skilled at delaying bedtime. What should take all of 5 minutes can take an hour or more if you let it. Excuses can range from basic needs (e.g., "But I'm hungry! But I'm thirsty!") to every want under the sun (e.g., "But I want to watch one more show! But I need to finish building my fort!").

My 3 Words for 2020

2020 fireworks

My experience with New Year's Resolutions has always been lackluster at best. The reason? Without any constraints, I'd typically create several dozen goals, which would result in feelings of overwhelm. Worse, it was hard to keep each goal front and center within my mental RAM, particularly when life got busy. When I reviewed my goals at the end of the year, I would typically discover that I forgot at least half of the goals I set out to achieve. Needless to say, this was a discouraging way to end and start each year.