Just Sayin’: Of Failures and Foibles

Note from Doni: Readers, please join me in welcoming Redding resident Adrienne Jacoby and her column, “Just Sayin’ ” to A News Cafe.com’s family of contributors. No doubt you will recognize Jacoby as one of the this site’s most frequent commenters; always witty and civilzed and wise. She has so much to say, it turns out, that she had enough to write her own column. Today is the first of what we hope will be many more. Welcome, and thank you, Adrienne.

Failures and foibles.

We all have them, you know. In great quantity and variety. And what’s one person’s failure is another person’s foible. I guess that’s the beauty of being human. The infinite variety and combination of failures and foibles. I bettcha, if you made a list of your top 10 foibles and your top 10 failures and asked a number of your friends to do the same, it would astound you how many of your “failure” items ended up on other people’s “foible” list . . . and visa versa.

So what’s the difference? My explanation, supported by Webster’s . . . kinda . . . is that a foible is a forgivable little misstep. As for failure, we all KNOW what that one means. We all have the emotional scars to show for our failures.

So, what does all this matter? We all look out on the world through our own assessment glasses. We make judgments according to our experiences. We all weigh in on our own and each others’ shortcomings . Makes me wonder what kind of difference it would make if we concentrated on our own and the world’s LONG comings. We all have those, too, you know.

Somewhere along the line we need to realize the for every failure we have a talent; for every foible we have a strength. OK, maybe not a straight-across tit for tat, but it pretty much evens out in the end if we allow it.

So, let me suggest that when you get through making your list of failures and foibles, you also make a list of strengths and talents.

Oh, I’m not suggesting you sit down and make literal lists (although it probably wouldn’t hurt), but the next time you’re beating yourself or someone else up for this or that, allow yourself to acknowledge some redeeming qualities.

I guess what I would like to encourage is a little forgiving generosity, not only for those around us, but for ourselves, as well. Rose colored glasses, you say? Pollyanna? OK, perhaps. But let me give you this: Those of you who view the world through black-and-white polarized lenses may live a simpler, but way-more-painful life than those who seem to reside in the maybe fringes.

Besides that, just think how boring it would be to live in bland perfection!

Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes . . . she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Chamberlain, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

Adrienne Jacoby
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years. A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
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21 Responses

  1. What a treat to wake up to your wise and optimistic voice, Adrienne! Thanks for the timely reminder. Beating myself up for NOT being ready for the upcoming holidays is my current pastime. I will try to concentrate on what I AM doing (learning Silent Night on the fiddle) and take your words to heart. I look forward to reading more.

  2. Avatar Viki says:

    The would would be so changed (in a positive way) if everyone would follow your very wise advise. I'm looking forward to reading more from you. Welcome.

  3. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Adrienne

    Pollyanna is great. So is your column.

    Doug

  4. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Adrienne, I love your new column. I tend to forget my failures as soon as possible and blame them on someone else. I'm a content optimist and try to be fair to all people and small furry animals.

    Welcome young woman and welcome to your column on Doni's anewscafe .com.

    • Avatar gamerjohn says:

      I am the opposite. The losses and screw ups stick with me while the wins and achievements roll off since anybody could have done it. Its hard to change.

      • Avatar Adrienne Jacoby says:

        Dear gamerjohn: Well, my tho't is this: no matter what our innate bent seems to be (my cross is disorganization) , we always work at moving toward the middle. Hard work? You bettcha!! Worth it? You bettcha!!

        Good luck . . .

  5. Avatar Canda says:

    Adrienne, Your column is delightful! I love your wit and wisdom. I find it enlightening to think back on some of the "failures" in my life, and realize they were indeed blessings. Of course there are also plenty of times when I thought a particular decision was the right one at the time, and in retrospect… well lets just say I'm shaking my head at some of my life decisions. Thanks for the reminder to forgive ourselves. I needed that! I look forward to reading your columns, Adrienne. You're the best!

  6. Avatar Cindy Allen says:

    Gotta tell ya, you rock! Sounds like AJ, looks like AJ, and by golly, it is AJ. Good job in getting the point across to me. Gotta tell ya, I AM the good guy! Thanks for confirming.

  7. Avatar Lyra says:

    Well, said, by a wise lady! Balance, balance, balance and the serenity of acceptance!

  8. Avatar CoachBob says:

    AJ: Isn't it enough I have to put up with you every Monday, but now in print, too?

    Let me close with: If you don't find me a piano player for the end of the month it'll be a FAILURE, not a FOIBLE!

    (Love Ya)

  9. Avatar Laurie E-F says:

    AJ: Thank you for sharing this site and your optimistic column. You brought a smile to my face first thing this cold morning and bring back fond memories of teaching with you and how you were so able to inspire your protege(e)s. I need to share this with my "glass half empty" mother and use your wisdom as a reminder to keep myself "full". I look forward to ingesting your weekly insights during my new-found retirement.

  10. Avatar FiddleStar says:

    AJ! You do have a lot to say and the world needs to hear it. I'm glad one of my wisest teachers and dearest friends has a forum for all her wonderful words…

  11. Avatar Pris Brutlag says:

    OMIGOSH AJ

    I am living in living color—you're article helped remind me.

  12. Avatar lavenderlady says:

    Hi lady,

    Glad our common friend forwarded your link on to me! Well said…how fun to have you blogging!. I'm bookmarking.

  13. Avatar Toni Wilder says:

    Adrienne, so glad to read your wise words. I no longer live in Redding, however, it is good to hear from familiar faces. Keep up the good work.

  14. Avatar molly mancasola says:

    Oh yes!!! Adrienne, discovering your column was like having a little surprise package of goodness delivered on my doorstep! The only thing better would have been for you to stop by for that promised visit..

    Thank you for sharing your grace ~ and for always being such a kick in the pants. I look so forward to reading more.

  15. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    What a great article Adrienne! Your energy, and enthusiasm and joy draw people to you like moths to a flame. You've picked a great venue for sharing your thoughts and ideas with the wide world. We are listening!

  16. The Shasta Court Reform documentary project had me away from my favorite site the past couple of months and I am just getting to read your very cool "Just Sayin'" column. Thanks for the re-focusing of my lenses, Adrienne – I needed that!

    I have so enjoyed your many comments over the years; this seems such a natural place for your jasm, wit and thoughtfulness:

    Welcome to the site!!

  17. Avatar Stan says:

    The key to the gateway of wisdom is to know that you don't know. Could this be a foible that cuts down on failures?