Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tuesday Coffee Chat: Trying Again

Rory Bore at Ink Interrupted hosts the Tuesday Coffee Chat, and this week she asks the question,   How do you handle your failures?  Are you a crawl back into bed and wait for it all to pass kinda person?  Or are you a jump immediately back on the horse sort? 

As much as everyone says things like "fail forward" and "if you don't fail, you aren't trying anything", failure is something i was trained from a young age to avoid.  Nothing but stellar grades and the best work were considered acceptable at all times.

It's not easy to go against the grain of such early tendencies.  In point of fact, it's almost impossible.  So for years i was afraid to start or do anything that wasn't an almost guaranteed success.  If it wasn't going to turn out great from the beginning, i generally didn't start it at all.

It took a lot of wasted years to overcome that early training and realize it is okay if something doesn't quite turn out the first time i try it.  A failed recipe, project that doesn't look like i imagined it should, or job done but not done perfectly is no longer a reason for self-flagellation and months of regret and going over and over what i did wrong.

Instead, it's a call to regroup and try again.  Sometimes, it's a call to realize maybe i wasn't cut out to do that thing, and it's okay, because i wasn't made to do everything.

These days, i'm not so afraid to try something new, and see how it goes, and if i enjoyed it, even if it didn't work out the first time, i either try it again, or am satisfied with the experiment.

One of my favorite quotes about failure is often attributed to W.C Fields, although no one knows the origin.  It goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  There's no use being a d*mn fool about it."

Sometimes, if it's important, and you really want to do it, you keep trying, and keep doing better every time.  Sometimes, you try it once and then quit.

Either way, if you learned from it, it's not failure.

In other news, i've been called up for jury duty again, and this time i'm having to slog through it.  My hope is to be done tomorrow or Thursday, but either way, if i don't get around to as many blogs, it's because i'm up to my ears in courtroom drama.

Today is:

All Hallow's Day a/k/a All Saint's Day -- Christian, and a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church; a recognized holiday (although not necessarily a day off work) in Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovena, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, East Timor, Ecuador, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Holy See, Hungary, Italy, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Monaco, New Caledonia, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of the Congo, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Wallis and Fortuna)

Apaturia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (three day Phratriai brotherhood festival; dates approximate)

Bulgarian National Revival Leaders' Day -- Bulgaria

Cake Appreciation Day -- while i can't find a reason or sponsor for this, i'm sure the Cake Appreciation Society would approve

Cook for Your Pets Day -- did the dogs lobby for this?

Coronation Day of Fourth Druk Gyalpo -- Bhutan

CrossQuarter Day

Day of the Innocents -- Mexico (first Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead)

Deepavali/Diwali(Festival of Lights) -- Hindu; Jain; Sikh (3rd day of the festival)
     Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja -- Day of Cows and Laxmi (goddess of wealth; day three of the festival)

Gooseberry Humble's Tummy-Rumbling Contest -- Fairy Calendar

Graveyards Day -- a traditional day to tend the graves of ancestors

I Am So Thankful Month begins -- before the "holiday" frenzy, spend not just a day, but a month, practicing gratitude

Haryana Day -- Haryaha, India

Independence Day -- Antigua & Barbuda(1981); North Yemen (Yemen Arab Republic, from the Ottoman Empire)

International Coaches Day -- no one claims to have started this; if you have, or had, a great coach in your life, let him/her know

Kalends of November -- Ancient Roman Calendar; also
     Pomonia -- Festival to Pomona

Kanhada Rajyothsaya -- Kamataka, India (Kamataka Formation Day)

Kite Festival of Santiago Sacatepequez -- Santiago Sacatepequez, Guatemala (kite flying in the graveyard to scare away evil spirits)

Liberty Day / D. Hamilton Jackson Day -- US Virgin Islands

Melbourne Cup Day -- Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia (154th running)

NaNoWriMo -- National Novel Writer's Month, write one if you have it in you!

National Author's Day -- US

National Family Literacy Day® -- US (but no matter where you live, turn off the tv, pick up a good book! National Center for Families Learning)

National French Fried Clam / Deep Fried Clam Day

National Vinegar Day

No Driving with Cell Phones Day -- the first law against talking on a hand-held device while driving went into effect in NY, US, on this day in 2001

Old Celtic New Year

Olive Festival -- Galilee, Israel (through the month, especially centered around Kawkab and Hurfeish, with open houses, oil production tours, feasts, lectures, concerts, dance performances, and olives galore)

Ozark Mountain Christmas/Branson Festival of Lights -- Branson, MO, US

Plate Tectonics Day -- birth anniversary of Alfred Wegener, who came up with the theory of continental drift

Remembrance Day -- Slovenia

Revival Leaders' Day -- Bulgaria

Revolution Day/National Day -- Algeria

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan -- Beginning of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, Hebrew Year 5777, at sundown today

Samhain -- Celtic, 3rd Station, and Wicca, Northern Hemisphere (Beltane in the Southern Hemisphere)

State Foundation Day --  Andhra Pradesh, India; Karnataka, India; Kerala, India

World Vegan Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

The Prime Meridian is set at Greenwich, England, 1884
Boston Female Medical School opens, 1848

Birthdays Today:

Penn Bagdley, 1986
Toni Collette, 1972
Jenny McCarthy, 1972
Fernando Valenzuela, 1960
Rachel Ticotin, 1958
Lyle Lovett, 1957
Dan Peek, 1951
Larry Flynt, 1942
Gary Player, 1935
Betsy Palmer, 1926
James Jackson Kilpatrick, 1920
Alfred Wegener, 1880
Stephen Crane, 1871

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Foreigner"(Larry Shue comedy), 1984
Hello Kitty, 1974 (condsidered her "birth date")
"Top Banana"(Mercer musical), 1951
Ebony Magazine(First edition), 1945
"Harvey"(Mary Chase comedy), 1944
"The Constant Wife"(Maugham play), 1926
"Emperor Jones"(O'Neill play), 1920
The Crisis: A Record of The Darker Races(Magazine of the NAACP, first edition edited by W.E.B. DuBois), 1910
"John Bull's Other Island"(Shaw comedy), 1904
Harper's Bazaar(Magazine, first edition), 1867

Today in History:

The name "Austria" is first used for Ostarrichin, 996
King John of England begins imprisoning Jews, 1210
The Duke of Brabant orders the execution of all Jews in Brussels, claiming they were poisoning wells, 1349
First exhibit of the works of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 1512
The Netherlands is hit by a flood disaster, resulting in the deaths of thousands, 1570
Shakespeare's "Othello" first presented, 1604
Shakespeare's "The Tempest" first presented, 1611
An earthquake in Lisbon leaves over 50,000 dead, 1755
The Stamp Act goes into effect in the British colonies, 1765
George Washington gives his "Farewell Address" and the Continental Army is dissolved, 1783
John Adams becomes the first Us president to move into the (still not quite finished) White House, 1800*
*Note: It was still called the Executive Mansion at this time
The first published reference to poker, as a Mississippi riverboat game, 1834
The Cape Lookout, North Carolina, lighthouse, which is still in use, is lit for the first time; its first-order Fresnel lens can be seen for 19 miles in good conditions, 1859
Passage of the first US Civil Rights Bill, 1866
First publication of "Harpers Bazaar", 1867
The US Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service) begins operations, with 24 locations, 1870
Edward Scripps and John Sweeney found Penny Press (now the Cleveland Press), 1878
The Gaelic Athletic Association is founded at the Hayes' Hotel in Thurles, County Tipperary, 1884
Dr. Roux of Paris introduces a vaccine for diphtheria, 1894
Nicholas II becomes the new Tsar of Russia, 1894
The National Geographic Magazine publishes its first picture of bare breasted women (from a Zulu tribe), 1896
The first Library of Congress building opened its doors to the public, 1897
Sigma Phi Epsilon, the largest national male college fraternity in the US, is established at Richmond College, 1901
Parris Island becomes the officially designated Marine Corps Recruit Depot, 1915
The Ottoman Empire is officially abolished, 1922
Seabiscuit defeats War Admiral in an upset victory during a match race deemed "the match of the century" in horse racing, 1938
The first animal conceived by artificial insemination, a rabbit, is displayed, 1939
American photographer Ansel Adams takes a picture of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico that would become one of the most famous images in the history of photography, 1941
The first issue of Ebony Magazine is published, by John H. Johnson, 1945
Charles Cooper of the Celtics becomes the first black NBA player, 1950
The first hydrogen nuclear device is exploded, by the US, at Eniwetok Atoll, 1952
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante wears a protective mask for the first time in an NHL game, 1959
The Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, with the largest radio telescope ever constructed, officially opens, 1963
The Motion Picture Association of America's film rating system is officially introduced, originating with the ratings G, M, R, and X, 1968
Honda becomes the first Asian automaker to build cars in the US, 1982
Serbia joins the United Nations, 2000
First part of the Gomery Report, which discusses allegations of political money manipulation by members of the Liberal Party of Canada, is released in Canada. 2005
Astronomers claim to have detected light from the first stars in the universe by studying high-energy radiation data, 2012
Australian scientists announce the discovery of three new marsupials in Queensland, all shrew-like antechinus species, 2013


  1. i'm like you - don't like to try new things for fear of failure. good luck with jury duty!

  2. Most of the skills I have came from failing many times and keeping at it. My early paintings were dreadful.

  3. Failure is defined by setting your expectations. If you expect to play golf and shoot par the first time out you will fail. If you expect to enjoy the challenge and slowly improve, you have a chance at success. If I expected to learn guitar and play for money at Madison Square Garden I am a failure. I still am not very good, but I improve every week and I enjoy it...SUCCESS!!

  4. No one is perfect and those that try to be are the most miserable people on the planet. Bless their hearts. I do my best and that's all anyone can ask. Excellent point here.

    Sorry about jury duty again.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  5. I was raised like you were, failure was not an option, so I learned to avoid trying anything I might fail at. As I've grown older I've reached a place similar to yours, try it once or twice or a few times, then if it still isn't working or a good fit, move on to something else. We need to teach children that failing is a learning experience, not a weakness or a sign of defeat! The only true defeat is never to try at all. Great post! XOXO

  6. The first thought that popped in my head, was that I was "jump immediately back on the horse sort." But, when I think about it, I guess it depends on the project. Since, I write for a living, my life is full of try and try again, but I never get used to the rejection. Some things I know I cannot do, but if I think that maybe I can do something and it is interesting, I'll go for it.

    This question reminds me of one of my favorite phrases by President Roosevelt, (Franklin)

    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

    That was fun, Messy. Have a great day or the best day you can have on Jury Duty. Just remember, it has to end sometime...:)))

  7. If it is a major failure such as hurting someone's feelings either intentionally or unintentionally I never get over it and would like to wear a bag on my head forever. Most other things I am learning to accept and try again.

  8. That's a great quote and I think that little truth nugget at the end is very important! Some people would keep trying to the point of bankruptcy or death -- and that's just lunacy. There's something to be said for determination and persistence, but there's also something to be said about being a fool too.
    And I try really hard to show my kids that it's not such a big deal if something doesn't work out. As long as you gave it honest effort, that's the important thing.

  9. Good luck with jury duty, hope they let you go quickly.

  10. Jury duty. Sometimes I don't mind it. Other times I can't wait to go home! LOL As for failures, I tend to jump right back on that horse!


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