Gratitude Sunday: Foibles And Faux Pas

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.


Sunday Haiku
Yellow face bends earth
bound; chrysanthemum heavy,
stem weak: supplicant.

Sunday Musings
In the past, when I was employed, I was subject to annual performance evaluations. I disliked them. They were meant to help you in setting goals and moving forward into the next year, but evaluations usually felt more like having to answer for a poor report card whether you met standards or not. Then self evaluations were added. You did the self-eval first and brought that to the evaluation meeting.

No matter how hard I tried, I always struggled to find the words to describe my weaknesses. I know I have weaknesses but describing it in so many words, on paper, felt too much like showing private parts of me, like those awful dreams where you realize you don’t have clothes on and you are in public somewhere like work or school. I suppose the point of the exercise was to improve yourself, but when reviewed by a supervisor, it felt much more like revealing a short-coming.

Now, I don’t know if this reaction at work was my issue regarding anxiety and self-confidence, or if this was a supervisory style or a combination of the two, but self reflection never hurts whether you can put it into words or not. I’ve had a whole summer full of self reflection.

I love words. Any words, all words, words from other languages. I read dictionaries. I love old words, new words, and archaic words. I love words I’ve generally known the definition of and then actually look them up to find the definition is so much more fitting than I thought.

Like the word foible. Because my supervisor was not a psychologist or a spiritual adviser, I never felt comfortable sharing my deepest and darkest, which really has no bearing on your work anyway. I am not a criminal, nor violent, nor the owner of what I would call major character flaws like sociopathy, so none of that was relevant. And none of her business anyway, unless my behavior exhibited those character flaws.

I would, however, discuss my foibles, defined as minor weaknesses or eccentricities in a person’s character. Everybody has these. One I’m most critical about myself is my tendency to have a messy workspace, sometimes seen as a sign of brilliance, but I always admire a clean and tidy workspace. I just don’t seem to be able to keep mine that way hard as I try.

Even better is being the Mistress of Faux Pas. Faux pas is a French phrase defined in English as an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation. The plural, or many faux pas, is spelled and pronounced the same way, though some people say the plural is pronounced with a hard z sound at the end of pas. In French the way to tell the difference is the article placed at the front; rather than le (the, masculine) or la (the, feminine) we would use les (loosely, those, either gender), as in les faux pas, indicating more than one.

I want to keep my mouth shut, but then it flies open and I can’t seem to twist that foot around in it fast enough. Et voilà, faux pas. Brain puke. I really have tried to put a bubble around my head so my mouth won’t spew. And usually the blurt isn’t nasty or obnoxious, just dumb or thoughtless. I’ve tried numerous techniques to keep the lip zipped, but sometimes the mouth engages before the brain does. Oh, how I admire the person who never seems to say the wrong thing.

You know what’s weird? The mental head slap I experience after the mouth blows off. Then I can’t get an apology out fast enough. Apologies, however, do not erase what was said and don’t usually make it all better.

If you let people know in advance you are an opinionated, blatant, and straightforward person, do you think they might cut you some slack? Not these days when people are offended by everything. I’m offended by stuff too, but I’m not going to hold it against you. We might want to re-think being offended by what people say. It could be a boring world if we all agreed on everything.

My faux pas expertise is related to my inner child foible. The body ages but the mind remains ever youthful. The brain can be 19, 27, 36 and any other age or combination of ages along the way. Maturity is a myth disguised as adulthood; it’s merely chronological aging.

Because I am older now I have many inner children. The internal conversation goes rather like this with variations and musical interludes along the way:

My inner 2 year old: “NO!”

My inner 3 year old: “Why?”

My inner 4 year old: “I don’t wanna. You can’t make me”

My inner 5 year old just cries because she doesn’t understand mean and bullying people and doesn’t have the words to explain the feelings.

My inner 9 year old: “Let me do it.”

My inner 12 year old: “No way.”

My inner 14 year old says whatever comes into her head and mouth.

My inner 16 year old: “You’re kidding. You are all idiots.”

My inner 20 year old: “I waited so long for this and this is adulting?”

My inner 30 year old: “The society I live in is crazy.”

My inner 40 year old: “Really? I can’t.”

My inner 50 year old: “I’m old enough for people to respect me now.” Not.

My inner 60 year old: “Invisibility is a great super-power. Nobody cares or listens anyway.”

You can see why I have a messy work space. My children don’t know why, and my adults don’t care. What matters is if you get the work done. Even better if the work is done well. Every day you own or live with every bit of it: good work, inner children, foibles, and faux pas. Remember every other person around you owns the same stuff.

When we evaluate other people, we could cut some slack when needed. We can learn to overlook foibles, because we are thanking the universe we aren’t having to deal with major character flaws. When we evaluate ourselves, we could lighten up. The damage society has done you won’t matter in a few years. Whether I’m working on improving or not, forgive me my foibles and faux pas. I’ll do the same for you.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A great big yellow chrysanthemum. yellow-chrysanthemum-11 A fiery array of reds, oranges, and yellows. dscn1658 Some hot red maples. dscn1631 Burgundy leaves and creamy white grass seedheads. dscn1768

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Liberal Arts (2012, rated PG – 13) a fun little college movie with a plot twist. * The Family Fang (2016, rated R) with Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman. A couple, who live their lives through performance art, uses their children as props, then perform the ultimate in art: orchestrating their own deaths. Did they or didn’t they? * Season 4 of Scott and Bailey (2015, not rated), good old BBC Brit-mystery with women as the main characters. These female detectives do not go around investigating while trying to balance on stiletto heels; they wear flat shoes one can actually walk or run in.


Currently ReadingWhen Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (2000, philosophy) by Pema Chodron. Learning the value of impermanence, letting go of hope, and living fully in the moment. Not easy. * The Golem and The Jinni (2013, fiction) by Helene Wecker. How I admire authors who can weave magic out of words like this story.


This week I have been grateful for:

  • A lovely day at the beach with my sister. We walked in the sand, found some nice rocks, did a little sight-seeing and shopping, had lunch together, and arrived safely back at home. So nice to spend time together.
  • Admiring a hedge full of fat vermillion rose hips outside the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook.
  • The cooked crab my sister bought for me to bring home from the coast, and savoring every bite without sharing.
  • A phone call from a woman whom I missed terribly. I had served her over the counter at my last place of employment and developed a talking friendship. I’d been clearing my desk to find the scrap of paper her address and phone were on. Evidently she was feeling the same and was able to locate my number and called out of the blue. I’m so glad she did. Now I have her information in my address book which is harder to lose than a little slip of paper.
  • Being able to hear the campus clock tower chiming the college song at noon, because the wind is just right.
  • Grey, rainy Oregon days matching my mood.
  • Having the opportunity to help a friend start a new business.
  • Art. Knowledge. Truth. Beauty.
  • Nature. The sky. Trees. Green growing things. Clouds.
  • Rain. Sun. Wind.
  • Birds. Squirrels. Crickets.
  • Herbs. Spices. Ripe fruit. Fresh vegetables.
  • The son and the hubster laughing together in the next room.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.


Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Careers, Education, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: Foibles And Faux Pas

  1. piratesorka says:

    Hmmm… Fall is beautiful and the colors are splendid but I am not a fan of Fall not at all..
    Fall in High school was the absolute worst ( yea so its not a proper use of worse, I don’t care) Stupid football games and even stupider high school dances after the stupid game especially the stupid of stupid dances ” Homecoming”. Never did understand the concept of “Homecoming” even after becoming a high school teacher. Ridiculous.. Most of all I really truly HATED those dammable chrysanthemums the “cool girls with boyfriends” had.

    See? Fall brings out the worstest ( still not a word, stilll don’t care) most petty part of me. Now days I’m not even a fan of the stupidest worstable excuse of a flower.

    Don’t get me going on the color orange these days. Bah hUMBUG.


    • sassy kas says:

      because we could see the truth then (and now) about homecoming = popularity contest. The mums were all about who was favored and who was not = labels. Those delineations were and are divisive and not what our world needs. I never got a mum, you never got a mum, and yet our voices are still here crying “foul!” And really, it’s about the money, sales of mums and other high school/college promotions are all about raising money for the school and school programs. It just feels like the wrong way to do it, by pointing out difference of social class, or popularity.


      • piratesorka says:

        I have to wonder how they do Homecoming these days. The high school I taught at had great “flaots” done by class and I don’t remember any damm mums. One of my unfortgettable memories is of a girl who was Homecoming Queen with her shoes off, crown off and she was sweeping up the floor after the dance. That girl had class


        • sassy kas says:

          Some schools now have student bodies who are voting against all the homecoming fol-de-rol, especially the homecoming courts with Miss and Mister Popularity. I prefer the people who are willing to humbly serve as a form of leadership, rather than riding the waves of popularity, which is mere happenstance. Change is in the winds.


Play Nice and Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.