One houndstooth Stetson, please

I’ve been a voracious reader ever since childhood, the kind of a girl who’d hide under the blanket with a flashlight just to get in a few more paragraphs before going to sleep. In my opinion, this is mostly a good thing, but I think it has had a few less positive aspects to it. Like most people, my reading influences me. I love detective novels, especially stories of private eyes. I’m drawn to these stories because of the puzzles, the adventures, and the way that complex problems can be fixed in the end. The world’s issues don’t wrap up as neatly as that.

I’m also drawn to them because of the code of honor that many of these solitary investigators have—the notion that once a man gives his word he sticks to it no matter what. I think this came out of the early ties between the western and the mystery. I still believe in this notion, but it’s also had a negative impact in my life.

I tend to say yes to things very quickly, always eager to volunteer or help out. I’ve been working on this, because my agreeable nature gets me into trouble. I end up not leaving myself enough time for personal projects or relaxation time. I’ve learned a lot in these last few years by watching wise friends, and I no longer believe I have to stand behind every yes I’ve ever uttered.

I was planning to participate in the Fremont parade this weekend, and it would have been a lot of fun. I’ve thought a lot about my personal energy reserves in the last few days, and I’ve decided I’m not going to go. It’s not a Hell Yes! so I’m going to make it a Hell No!  I still believe in having a personal code of ethics, and if I was going to play a crucial role in this effort I would march on Saturday. One mistake I’ve made in the past—and in more areas than one—is in trying to see things in a black and white manner. Rules of honor should not be black and white. It would be a lot easier if they were, because the thinking woman has to consider all options and make some messy decisions along the way. I feel it’s worth it in the service of the greater good, and I’m going to keep streamlining the process. Gray IS the new black and white.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

130. Examine your commitments and your attitudes around them. Are you allowing guilt or a sense of duty to keep you from doing what’s best?

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