Just Sayin’: Why Me?

We’ve all said it at least once in our lives. Usually having to do with some terrible circumstance that has befallen us . . . An auto accident, a loss of job , a major illness, financial setbacks . . . . even way before that, I’ll bet at least once or twice in your childhood you wondered why it had to be you  who had to stay home from your favorite field trip just because you had the measles, or why it was you  who got thrown out at third base.

Well, I want you to know that there are not many days go by that I don’t wake up with that question on my mind. Why me?!   What did I do to deserve this?

First of all, I’m climbing out of a comfortable bed, not only that, it is a bed  with clean sheets. How many millions of people around the world  sleep on  a mat on a dirt floor or even outside in the elements? Including those right here in our own community.

Next I have not only clean water, but clean hot water. Not only that, I turn a faucet and it is there. I don’t even have to carry it from a well or out of muddy stream bed. . . . Why me?

I stumble to the kitchen where there is  electricity with which to brew my coffee and heat my breakfast, if I so desire. I have clean dishes. I have the choice of various  breakfast products. . . . Why me?

I have central heating and air conditioning . . . Why me?

I have an auto and am able to buy gas for it . . . at the moment. I live where there are paved roads. My garbage gets picked up every week. I have adequate clothing. . . Why me?

I have reasonably good health. My children and their families have reasonably good health.  . . Why me?

What did I ever do to deserve to be born in this century, in this country . . . and not only in this country but in California . . . and not only California, but Northern California.

After reading the series that Doni ran regarding homelessness in our community, I realize that there, but for the grace of God, goes any one of us under a minor change of circumstance.

So, is this all awarded to me because I’m such a good person; because I’m so brilliant; because I’m so upstanding, generous and righteous? Yeah, right! Nope, I think I deserve all this about as much as the next person deserves to be overtaken by some calamity such as a dread disease; or the loss of  a child;  or some other more than horrible circumstance.  Good things or bad things, it is never a matter of what we deserve, (O.K, some of this is due to choices we have made.) rather it is, I believe, a matter of using each circumstance as an opportunity for learning.  If life is the the classroom, circumstances are the lessons. . Whether it’s good  or bad situations, it doesn’t matter. There is something to be learned from both ends of the spectrum. But,  I will also admit, the lessons learned at one end of the spectrum are a waaaay more enjoyable than those offered at the other end.

Final comment: I believe the ‘why me’ needs to be followed by gratefulness.

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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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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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Leon Nelson says:

    Hi, Adrienne…Loved your "Why Me?!" reflections, and have shared them with fellow Redding-ite, dentist, and backpacker, Nancy Huber, who just completed a thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT)! Her moniker for her 2,650.6 mile hike was "WhyNot?!" Amazing about Nancy: She completed a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2008 which was 2,656.2 miles!

  2. Thanks for a brilliant reminder, Adrienne.

  3. don williams don williams says:

    Amen, Adrienne. (It's me, Canda, on Don's computer) I wake up grateful everyday to have been born in this country, to the parents I had, with the opportunities for education, freedom, and all the amazing things we enjoy and so often take for granted. Great article. Thanks!

    Canda

  4. Avatar Grammalyn says:

    AJ, this was a wonderful article. When I am grousing about a car repair, the hot weather, or having too many activities to accomplish I try to remember to count my blessings. Every day is a gift. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Avatar Sally says:

    A wonderful piece!! A terrific reminder to not grouse over the small potatoes! Thanks for the nudge reminding us of our incredible number of blessings on a daily basis.

  6. Avatar CoachBob says:

    AJ, I ask myself "Why me?" Every time I see you show up to play the piano with the group. (Now, for the rest of you..that's just a joke)

  7. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    AJ…Why me moments catch you just when you least expect them, darn it. That's not what I said when this happened it was more x rated and not for children to hear. After a wonderful week of camping on the coast at Stone Lagoon Campground near Orick, our car took a dump coming back on 229w. The $150-dollar tow back to Arcada, should have had tripple A, was on Friday afternoon and Redwood Automotive couldn't get to it till Monday. We walked to the only hotel in Arcata and found they were full, but they called a motel on main street who had a room,$280 for three days, ca-ching. Almost broke by now, I felt like standing on the street with a sign reading,"Please Help,Stranded!"

    Desperate by then, a good friend fronted money to get us out of Arcata that paid for a $50-dollar plus labor electric module that had fried. On the way back a tire separated and I had to put on that little hideaway donut tire. More x-rated expletives and why Me's, but it was good to get back to our little house on the prararie. Holy crap, why Me?

  8. Avatar Juanita Echelbarger says:

    Ahhh, gratitude! It comes from a full heart, a wise heart.