Glass Houses

I woke up this morning thinking about my North Carolina family.

And no, this isn’t their house. This is the house in Rogers, Texas, where my maternal great-grandmother grew up. We have some Southern on both sides.

I don’t seem to have any digital pictures of my North Carolina family — my dad’s family. This is because I haven’t seen them since I’ve owned a digital camera. We aren’t close, I suppose you’d say.

We used to be. Or, rather, I thought we were. After my dad died when I was three, my mom and I moved to Denver. My grandparents, though, continued to be a huge part of my life, with gifts, cards and regular phone calls. My Uncle Rocky was quite a bit younger than my dad had been. By the time I was paying my regular summer visit to my grandparents, Rocky had met and married Beth. First Josh was born, when I was 12, and then Gaven a few years later.

I’d always thought of myself as close to them. In a role-reversal, I now showered them with Christmas presents. And I didn’t mind that my grandparents now had other grandchildren to love and pet — ones right there, too. They told me that they loved me at the end of phone calls. That I was in their prayers. They came out to visit Denver once, to see the Air Force Academy and my dad’s grave. I went back to visit a number of times over the years.

The last visit was when Grandmother was dying. Grandad had died a few years before, quietly, just as he’d lived.

I would say things changed after that, but I know it’s really that I just see things more clearly now.

When people say you’re in their prayers, they don’t always mean that in a nice way. Over time, I came to understand that they see me as godless. I’ve been judged and found wanting. I first realized it when Beth wouldn’t let David and I share a bed in their house, though we owned a house together and had been together for years at that point. I suppose I knew in an abstract way that some people are bothered by the living in sin thing. It’s always been a bit of a joke to me since, so far as I can tell, a blessing by God or the Government provides no guarantee of joy to a union.

After that, I noticed I didn’t get invited to weddings or graduations. Not even announcements.

The only one I really talk to much anymore is Gaven, who chatted me up on FaceBook. He told me he reread my book and felt like he got more out of it the second time, since he was more grown up. A flattering thing to say, because it makes me imagine there are depths to what I wrote. Then he said he wanted to read my new novel. I said sure, but warned him it contains sex and magic and pagan things. He’s studying to be a pastor, to the great joy of his family. I wonder who he’s really doing it for.

He and I haven’t really communicated since that conversation. A planned meeting when I was in his neighborhood abruptly fell through.

I suspect I’m firmly in the Bad Influence category.

Sometimes I wonder about love. My grandparents loved their tragically deceased son, so their love for me was all the greater for that, the last vestige of him. I think Rocky’s love was similar — an extension of the love and loss tied to his brother, stewed with resentment and regret. The boys, well, they loved me as children do. An exotic cousin from the West. Perhaps it’s only natural that they grow up and move on. And I’m not really part of their family. Maybe Grandmother’s death dissolved that last link.

I wonder, too, about religion. I just don’t remember it being such a big deal when I was younger. Now, for some people, it’s everything. It’s us or them.

And here I thought it was supposed to be about love. Faith, hope and love. But isn’t the greatest supposed to be love?

Real Passion

It’s been retro week on Facebook.

What, you didn’t know??

We were to replace our profile pics with ones from when we were younger. My problem is, I haven’t scanned in any of my old photos and the ones I used to have out are boxed up. Not from moving laziness, but on purpose. We like the clean walls of this house. And, with the way the views fill the rooms, it doesn’t look right to have too much stuff inside competing.

So I was judicious in what I’ve hung up and put out. Those old family pics from when I was a kid? Eh. In the archives.

But one of my sorority sisters has been clever enough to scan in some of our old photos and sent me some.

So now I’m cruising on nostalgia. That guy in the photo was my Great Passion. Fantastic lover, stand-up comic and alcoholic. He broke my heart twice. I have a long-standing rule of never getting back together with someone after the break-up. I firmly believe that whatever caused you to break up in the first place will still be there. He’s the only one I violated the rule for and, guess what?

I suppose sometimes you have to test your own rules, to verify the truth of them.

He’s since fallen off the face of the earth. I sometimes wonder if he’s self-destructed. There’s another one I wonder about sometimes. Another passionate and dysfunctional relationship. Must be a theme.

I remember when a counselor told my mother “we seldom marry our great passions.” Which I think is true. The men who give us the roller-coaster ride of passion are not usually the men who are good for the day-in/day-out routine of grocery shopping and alarm-setting.

While I know romance novels are about the fantasy, this aspect sometimes bothers me. When the relationship is SO turbulent, romantic and passionate, I sometimes get hung up on whether the happily-ever-after will stick. For me, I really need to believe in the reality of the story, to really enjoy the fantasy.

Funny — when I started this post, I didn’t intend to converge with Allison’s post today, though I did read it while writing this, and while chatting with her on IM. Interesting how the mind works that way. Of course, she also had to point out that she was in 6th grade when this photo was taken. Which just means she was a snot-nosed brat when I was a sophisticated young woman.

That’s the other thing I’ve learned from nostalgia: it’s easy to look back and think how young and pretty I was then. Something I didn’t know. I didn’t think I was, at all. It’s another way to bend what’s real, our perceptions of ourselves. Now I just try to appreciate how I look, since I know I’ll look back later and wonder why I worried that I was too fat or too pimply or what have you.

Maybe part of the trick is embracing reality for what it offers. David cooks dinner most nights and is a lover to me in a way only someone you’ve been with for almost twenty years can be. When I have early meetings, he brews Earl Grey for me and puts in in my favorite thermos.

It might not make for the stuff of novels, but it is truly romantic.


Yesterday I was telling my mom about the implosion of this project we’re working on and how there’s a lot of blamestorming going on now.

She loves me and thinks I’m brilliant, so she thought I made up the word. Which I didn’t. It was on one of those email lists a while back along with one of my other favorites “the Dopeler Effect,” which is the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

At any rate, this one guy just hasn’t done what needed to be done. Maybe he just never had the ability. And now other people are being drawn into it like a giant black hole of failure. Okay, just a little black hole of failure in the grand scheme, but with tremendous sucking power, and I mean that on every level.

Meanwhile, in the online literary world, there are a couple of writers who’ve recently imploded, one published, the other trying to be, both for the same issue: reviews.

Readers and writers watched in horror as a writer reacted to a one-star review of her book on Amazon with increasing anger. She has since deleted her comments, which was the wise thing to do, but it was far too late as those of others remain.

The book review blogger, Katiebabs, has now posted this story about an unpublished writer who has posted her, yes, unpublished book on Good Reads and asked for reviews. She wants to create sufficient buzz to ensure a publishing contract. The catch is, she’s asked readers to refrain from reviewing it unless they’ll give it three stars or more. The post on Katiebabs has an interesting conversation between readers, writers and reviewers in the comments.

The thing is: we all have to meet standards in our work. It doesn’t really matter if the standard is fair or if it’s just someone else’s opinion. You can’t bully people into saying you did a good job. Or whine your way into it. “Blamestorming” is a funny word, because we’ve all been there. It’s easy to free-associate reasons for why things didn’t go the way you want them to.

We watched Earth last night. Which was stunning in its beauty and devastating in showing the indifferent cruelty of nature. I ended up crying for the deaths of a baby caribou and adult polar bear who couldn’t get at the baby walrus. It makes no sense and yet I want everyone to win.

Have I mentioned I’m a sensitive soul? Yeah, even David laughs at me, rooting for both sides.

But, like the earthquake in Haiti, it isn’t God who did it, nor was it the Devil. It just is. Some hits are harder than others — sometimes a person loses everything, sometimes your feelings are hurt or your work reputation is damaged — but we all take them.

What’s important is taking them with grace.

Taking the Long-Cut

There’s a surprising amount of road rage in Santa Fe.

Surprising because there really isn’t that much traffic and, at about 70,000, the city isn’t large. But people drive fast and they honk and they curse.

Yesterday, a man in a glossy white pickup on the interstate behind me became so enraged that I wasn’t passing fast enough in the left lane, pulled around me to the right and wedged into the barely there space between me and the car I was passing. He rolled down his window to slip me off, to ensure I could see, since he had tinted windows.

I thought: he’s had practice at this.

I confess that it distressed me. People who know me well know that I am not a slow driver or an oblivious one. On the one hand I’d say that all he did was anger himself and ruin his own day, but as I watched him zoom up to the next left-lane lagger and ruthlessly tail them into submission, I knew that he also bit a little chunk of happiness out of my day.

One of the guys I’ve been working with in downtown Santa Fe on this project we’re doing for my day job, lives in the same rural community that I do. It’s a 15 minute drive to the Plaza from here and you can pretty much take either the interstate or the two lane that parallels it, Old Las Vegas Highway. You can take Old Las Vegas Highway to Old Pecos Trail to Old Santa Fe Trail and it spits you out right into the Plaza.

On a blizzardy day, wondering which was the better bet, I asked this guy which route he’d taken, if he’d come down the interstate or Old Santa Fe. Right — I meant to say Old Las Vegas, but I got mixed up and can you blame me?

He said, “Oh I refuse to go down Old Pecos.” Shaking his head in disgust, he added, “I take St. Francis in.”

This is the next exit down and a big four-lane divided road. I understood that he was telling me he doesn’t like the slow winding of Old Pecos. And there are slow drivers on it. Tourists, too. You can see above how it curves in narrow twists between the adobe houses. This is where Old Pecos ends and Old Santa Fe merges in and takes over.

(When I stopped on my way home yesterday, to take this picture, a man came out of the house to see what I was doing. I said, oh, I just want to take a picture of Old Pecos and he shouted back, actually Old Pecos is behind you and now this is Old Santa Fe. I just gave him a cheery wave.)

The thing is, I love to drive down Old Pecos. Even after it ends. I love the winding and the adobe and the wooden signs. I don’t care that the drivers go slowly.

(Okay, this one day, a woman driving an enormous SUV with Texas plates drove very slowly and pulled into not one, not two, but three different little entrances, stopped partway, and backed out again. None of us could pass her, of course, cf. narrow streets. By the third aborted attempt I lost my patience. Not that she ever knew it.)

Yesterday I stopped to take this photo, because I knew I wanted to talk about this. Our early morning meeting had been unpleasant in several ways. People are facing difficult decisions. I still smarted from getting the finger. So, since I was already pointed that way, I drove back on Old Santa Fe Trail. I thought I’d see where it went.

It wound back through the hills, past lovely houses and ended up back on Old Las Vegas, way far down, and just before the turn I need to make to get to our community.

It soothed me.

I know I can’t run away from conflict. But I must admit, it felt good to be where the aggressive people weren’t, if only for a short drive.

Loving That Road Less Traveled!

Okay, no I’m not quitting fiction-writing.

Apparently yesterday’s post came across just a little too dire, because a number of my fiction-writing pals contacted me privately and expressed alarm.

Which is really wonderful of them.

And that’s probably why need communities like this, to keep you going when you start to flag. Business and art have such different goals, such different ways of operating that, for some of us, it’s difficult to do both well. I recently read that Jennifer Marks, who does that great song “Live,” (thanks to Kev for sending it to me) retired after her first music tour and is sticking to songwriting. Actually it’s in one of the comments on that video. We all make choices, and some prioritize quality of life.

So, all I’m saying is, I’m trying to back off the rabid biz aspects. I’ve unfollowed a number of agents, or stopped reading their blogs, because the snark makes me unhappy.

I’m a sensitive soul, you know.

But I also sent out a query last night to a friend’s agent. In putting it together, I realized how close I really am. Obisidian has finaled in four contests and won two. Three agents and two editors have read the full manuscript. And, as one of my writing buddies pointed out, I’m still working through the top echelons. I haven’t even gone to second tier yet.

What I did do was slow down.

That was needed — I had to do the Ruthless Revision. (Oops – I might have promised not to mention it again? Sorry!) And then with the waiting while people read it. Now I just need to ramp up keeping it out there. That’s not that hard to do.

Meanwhile, I get to do the fun part, too. The writing part.

That’s what’s in my heart, no matter the genre.

Forever Stuck on the Road Less Traveled

I may have made a mistake.

I know, I know — we can crack all the jokes we like about writing it on the calendar, etc. But I’m begining to think I really miscalculated, becoming involved in this whole genre thing.

When I first began writing, and I really trace this back to grad school, since I don’t believe childhood stories and adolescent angsty poetry really count, my work came out as essays. To get some relief from what had become the crushing pressure of my PhD in Neurophysiology program, I began taking classes with the visiting writers program.

And, oh, the excitement of those days.

I loved meeting the visiting writers, and the other students. I loved the workshops, the stimulation of it all. And they supported me in very useful ways. I learned to explore my new art. An artist’s retreat accepted me to stay for two weeks, I received fellowships and other awards.

And I was rewarded early on with publishing success.

I wouldn’t say the magazines fell over themselves to publish me, but it was fairly steady, from Redbook to Literary Mags, I published in several a year until, eight years after my first class, I held my essay collection, published by a university press, in my hands.

Then I stalled.

There were a lot of reasons. Mainly I couldn’t quite get the two nonfiction projects I was working on to gel. So I wrote a novel, Obsidian, about sex and magic. I thought, oh, I’ll sell this and the genre work will bring in the money so I can focus on the nonfiction projects.

Yeah, it didn’t work out that way. Even though one of the editors at a sci fi magazine I’d published with said that an agent would snap up a writer like me, no one has. One agent early on wrote me a letter saying how disappointed he was, because he’d loved my idea but then I’d gone and written it like some kind of literary book.

A few months later, I went to the RWA National conference, where my name tag identified me as unpublished. Because Romance Writers of America considers you published only if it’s in the genre. A month before, I’d been a featured writer on a panel at a book festival. At one lunch, I sat next to a woman I didn’t know. In fact, I did at every meal since I knew no one. I don’t remember her name — she was another unpubbed wannabe like me. At the end of the meal, she said she looked forward to reading my book. Foolishly, I pulled my essay collection out of my bag, saying I had some with me. She looked at me like I’d offered her dog shit and said, no, she meant my romance novel, whenever I got it published.

I sent my first query on Obsidian 12/20/07. Just over two years ago, for those keeping score at home. Admittedly, it wasn’t really ready for prime time then. Hindsight is 20/20. Meanwhile, a gal I know wrote a book while snowed in during December 2008, that she just sold in a three-book deal.

Jayne Ann Krentz wrote an interesting post on the FFP blog recently. She speaks frankly about writing as a business, which she’s clearly better at than I am. She says this:

DON’T GET TOO FAR AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Trust me on this. I’ve been there and done that and it rarely goes well. Back at the beginning of my career I tried to do a futuristic/paranormal. That very first manuscript had all of the elements that I now work with freely: romance, suspense and a psychic twist. I can’t tell you how many rejection slips the manuscript garnered. They all had the same theme: “Really enjoyed the writing but unfortunately there’s no market for this kind of romance.”

She could be talking about me. For some reason, no matter what I’m doing, I never quite fit neatly into what everyone else is doing. I didn’t in high school, I didn’t in my PhD program. I don’t now.

I really don’t think I’m doing it on purpose.

At any rate, I’m back where I was three years ago when I started writing Obsidian. Unable to sell my current project, I think I’m going back to nonfiction. I actually know where to take one of the two I was working on then.

I have learned one thing, that querying and selling have to be background activities. You can make yourself crazy if they’re your main focus.

It might be precious to say, but it forever and always must be mainly about the writing.

My Number One Pal

I’m working on being kinder to myself.

I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not for me. I get in these modes where I find I’m flogging myself for more work, faster, better. This is exacerbated by my community of writers who focus heavily on word count, some doing 4,000 words per day, another doing 20 pages per day.

I’ve found that I can reliably produce 1,000 words per day. I can do more than that sometimes, but not for more than, say, a week or do. But 1K works for me, what with the full-time career and other commitments.

Also, for the past year or so, I’ve been writing this blog. I started out trying to post every day. I didn’t make that goal. I posted 247 times in 2009. That’s 67.7% for those keeping score at home. Almost spot-on 2/3. And you know how the song goes, two out of three ain’t bad, right?

Fairly early on, I began taking Sundays off from the blog. Day of rest and all that. I’d like to tell you I spend the time studying philosophy or reflecting on my spiritual journey, but really it’s more about obtaining fancy coffee drinks and lolling. When I figure out how to make a religion out of this, you all can sign up.

Most days, I post to the blog first. I exercise, then try to keep the blog post to 1/2 hr. I started out trying to keep it to 300-350 words, but I find normally I write about 500-600. That seems to be where I end up. Then I switch to my book or WIP.

Work in Progress, doncha know.

I never called it that before I hooked up with the romanceys. The lit types always refer to their book or their collection, whether it’s done or not. It’s an interesting distinction. For the lit types, it’s always a book, pubbed or not. For the romanceys, it’s a WIP until it’s pubbed. Or maybe contracted.

Anyway, until just recently, I only counted my 1K for working on my book. And then I realized that, not unlike calling a book a WIP, I was devaluing what I write here. As if this is not part of my writing life, not part of keeping the writing juices flowing and honing my skills. Which it absolutely is.

Otherwise, it’s not worth doing.

So I revamped my Progress Count spreadsheet to include my blog word count at the beginning of this week. What? Of course, I have a spreadsheet, in which I track progress on everything I’m working on. Yes, it has formulas and calculates completion dates from today’s date. I celebrate this slice of Virgo in me and let her do these things to keep her happy.

This is why I know my blog tends to be 500-600 words. Which, when I get to count it, means I’m already more than halfway to my daily goal by the time I finish posting.

Which makes me feel good.

Then, when I turn to my book — right now it’s a novella — I’m already halfway there. And interestingly, I put in 1K words on that every day except for one, when I stopped at 891 because work called and I never it made it back. Right now I’m only 135 words shy of making 7,000 words for the week. I’ll likely do more than that, since I’ll work on the novella today.

People often refer to the carrot and the stick method of motivating themselves, usually meaning a combination of treat and punishment. This is actually a misinterpretation of the original saying, which referred to the practice of tying a carrot to the end of a stick and dangling it before a donkey’s nose to keep him moving forward. In that scenario, the carrot is forever out of reach.

With this approach, I gave myself credit, and carrots, early on in the process. And, son of a gun, it worked!

And the writing? It’s good, too.

Fantasies and Delusions

I was seized by a fantasy yesterday evening.

This happens to everyone, yes? That’s right, you’re reading or scanning Twitter or some such and this dream flies into your head of what might be.

Mine? That Neil Gaiman read my book and thought it was so great that I got to hang out with him and Amanda Palmer.

This is them on New Year’s Eve, from Amanda’s blog, from whence I obtained this great pic. I’ve been following Neil on Twitter and I feel like I like him so much. I started paying more attention to him around the time I wrote this post. He and Amanda have been publicly involved since midsummer. At one point, around this concert he tweeted something along the lines of “I’m making tea and Amanda is dancing in her scanties. we call this division of labor.”

I have a total crush on both of them.

I know, I know — it’s the false intimacy of the internet. In person they might be shallow and self-absorbed. Probably three days after I write this, we’ll hear some UK tabloid screaming that AFP has been dragged off to rehab and we’ll see a bedraggled Gaimain looking gaunt and haunted as he sorts out his finances.

But it was a bit of a revelation to me, because I’ve been sorting through why I want literary success so much. Forgive me for belaboring, since I suspect I’ve run through this particular soul-search on here before.

I count my blessings: I have a great life, a terrific loving relationship with a wonderful man; I have family and friends who love and support me; I have a career I enjoy, with fabulous colleagues and the best boss ever (and I’m not saying that just because I know she reads this) that pays me well enough for the man and I to have a lovely lifestyle; we have a gorgeous house in a beautiful place; I enjoy terrific health and I feel good about how I look. I want for nothing, really. I am happy. I see people struggling with dire health issues, with dysfunctional families, straining to make it economically and I count my blessings. I should be satisfied.

And yet, I’m not.

I have this wanting that claws at me. Sometimes it feels like it’s at the back of my throat, as if I’m longing to speak. Like spiders of yearning wiggling around in my chest.

I want that book contract.

It’s not validation as a writer that I need. I’ve got that with the essay collection, which makes me luckier than many writers. More money would be nice, but it’s not a huge consideration. Do I want fame, celebrity? I’ve never had much desire to be a rock star and I’m not hugely social, so I don’t think so.

I think I just want to get to hang with the cool kids. Maybe it always comes back to that.

Or maybe this is what it feels like when you’ve got the pyramid of needs handled. If I review my list of blessings, I’ve got the Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging and Esteem going. Now I should be all about the morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving….wait! This is the pinnacle? Acceptance of facts??? This is my reward for getting my shit together?

Hell, no wonder I just want to hang with Neil and Amanda!

Serendipity and the Whole Enchilada

“Is soup for lunch okay with you?” David asked me.

I said that sounded fine.

“But is that what you really want?”

“No, I want Harrys blue corn turkey enchiladas, but soup is fine.”

David jumped on the idea, though and soon we were in the car headed to Harry’s Roadhouse (thanks to for the pic!), just down the way. Never mind that I’m supposed to be on the post-holiday diet. Or that we ate at Harrys only a week ago. In fact, we’ve been eating there about once or twice a week. We were both feeling blue for no good reason. I’d dreamed the night before that one of the agents who has my manuscript told me all the reasons it wasn’t any good and would never sell. David is watching his last few days of vacation slip by before the semester cranks into gear again. We both felt like a bug was working on us.

So we went to Harrys and waited only a few minutes for a table.

The hostess seated us in front of a window and began scrolling down the shade to cut off the southern sunlight streaming in.

“Don’t do that for us — we like it,” I said. She looked startled and said “okay,” but left it down. So, I opened it again. The man at the table next to us was staring hard at me and started to get up. David and I both thought he was going to be mad at me for opening the shade again.

This has happened before. No, really. I’m a sunshine kind of gal. I love nothing better than to sit in the sun. It’s a mystery to me why people in restaurants ask to sit by the window and then ask for the shade to be drawn. An even greater mystery: the shade pulling request is always accomodated over the shads open request. Why? Why? Why? People act if I’m unreasonable when I say I’d like them open. Shade closing always trumps other desires. Rodent people rule the world.

But I digress.

I realized I knew the man staring at me — had known him all my life. I called them Uncle Tom and Aunt Susan when I was a little girl. Their third child, Andrew, is the “envy baby” — born nine months after I was, because next-door neighbor Susan on the base in Selma was so inspired by my birth.

My “what are you doing here?” was quickly replaced by the realization that, duh, they were on their way from Colorado Springs to Tucson, to the house they’re renting for three months, once again next door to my mom and her husband, Dave.

We talked over lunch — no need to move our little two-tops even. We were all amazed at the serendipity of meeting up. Though I told them I hadn’t missed that they planned to blaze on through Santa Fe without saying anything to us.

I called my mom to tell her on the drive home, but she was already on the other line with Susan.

Tom and Susan pronounced it a good omen for their sojourn to Tucson, that so many pieces fell into place for us to be at lunch next to each other. David and I returned home, much lightened for the good company.

It’s something for me to remember, that for all the times I’ve feared I’ve missed opportunities, for all the rejections that seem like the end of the trail, that the universe delivers gifts also.

When it’s meant to be, it will be.

Blink Blink

The other day as I was driving home, this woman pulled out in front of me.

I knew she was going to do it. I could see her from a ways off, watching the oncoming traffic to her right. Whatever it is that telegraphs what other drivers are going to do, told me that she’d already decided to go after that group coming from her right. She looked at me, now approaching from her left, but pulled out anyway.

She had already made up her mind, after all.

Much has been made lately of the split-second decision. The knowing without conscious thought, as in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. It’s an interesting concept, and I think Gladwell makes good points, in both Blink and Tipping Point, about how we decide, from life-mates to editors buying manuscripts. (Same thing?) This plays into what I was talking about yesterday, with how our brains filter information.

It’s important to be decisive. Without decision, you are paralyzed. Unable to act. And it’s nearly impossible to analyze all the factors that go into a decision in reasonable time to act. If you wait until you’ve analyzed every possibilty, every variable, the moment has passed.

Decision means to cut away — same root as incision, only you take it out instead of cutting in. You cut away your other options until only one remains

The important thing, I’m thinking, is that only one course of action remains for just that moment. If conditions change, you have to be ready to alter the decision. The lady in the other car made her decision, but she was then unwilling to let go of it when another factor, me approaching from the other direction, presented itself.

Much is made, also, of the ability to stick to decisions. To select a course of action and persevere regardless of obstacles. We’ve all witnessed the virtue in that. Countless stories abound of people who achieve great things this way. However, we can all think of people who persisted along a course of action regardless of the fact that it wasn’t working. If I decide to drill my way through a brick wall by banging my head against it, it’s likely my skull will give before the wall does, no matter how strong my resolve.

But then, it would be a bad decision in the first place.

I’m a fan of the bad decision, actually. I truly believe it’s better to make a bad decision than no decision. The paralysis of trying to make the perfect decision is excrutiating. The key is then being willing to constantly reevaluate the decisions I’ve made. To question the basis for them. Why did I believe my skull was stronger than brick at the time. Perhaps I should reconsider my assumptions.

It takes resilience and flexibility. Something that grows more difficult as we grow older. Just as our bodies tend to stiffen, so do our assumptions. Young people are sometimes derided for being flighty — changing majors and mates with flagrant flexibility. They are urged to pick one thing/person and commit.

Perhaps those of us who’ve gotten good at committing should be urged to reassess.