I’ve had some nice feedback on posts that have been on The Rack, but–as Ricky Ricardo would say–I still got some splaining to do. Tonight, as the family is tucked and sawing logs, I thought I’d give a little more insight into what I had in mind.
Honestly (I want to see you be brave…sorry), that part of my tagline–hat aficionado–was largely a reflection of my former job. While there, I wore a great number of metaphorical hats, experience that I cherish and will never regret. However, the hats that I wore the last several years had a tendency to not stay on the hat rack at work…they came home with me, way too often. Sometimes, I would wear a work-hat home and have to change it, while driving. Sometimes (more often than I care to think about), I’d have to remove my sleeping cap and put on one of my work hats while I walked from the bedroom to the living room…or back to the office.
Looking back, I can think of nine distinctively different hats that I wore in my former position. Some of the duties that came with those hats have been split among three people, since I left, and if I have one wish for my successors it is that they are able to take off the hat and leave it on the rack at work, as often as possible.
For now, I have been realizing that I have lot of hats at home, too. It is funny, to me, how my need to stretch myself over many disciplines has manifest itself in literal as well as metaphorical hats. My wife will attest to the great number of literal hats in our house, yet I find a use for nearly every one of them. You know what, though? I’m not nearly as stressed when I have to take off the student hat so I can put on the fitness hat in order to wear my dad hat a little more comfortably. I’m proud to display my Coast Guard Auxiliary hat next to my writer hat that sits on top of my (dusty) musician’s hat. I have more hats on the hat rack at home than I ever had on the hat rack at work, each hat representing a responsibility that teenage Tony would have never dreamed of.
I know people with decidedly fewer hats than I have: Firefighters that wear one hat to and from work, and gladly put it on in the middle of the night, and talk about wearing it when it’s not on; farmer’s that wear one hat as soon as they get up at the butt-crack of dawn, and wear it until they reach the dinner table, that evening; soldiers; police officers…all wearing a work hat proudly and passionately. To each of them, I tip all of my hats and sincerely say, “Thank you.”
We all wear hats, every day. Even those that we only think wear one hat have so many hats that we don’t even know about. I think, for me, it’s time I stop complaining about all the hats and embrace the journey that each hat took with me. It’s time to stop being so arrogant that I think I’m the only one with so many hats. It’s time that I realize that perhaps the reason I need so many hats is because my head is so big. It’s time to feel proud about whatever hat I’m wearing…and stop complaining about it being too tight.
…but, before I do, it’s time to display tonight’s hat, and display it proudly. Proudly wearing the fan hat, let me congratulate The Kansas City Royals. Enjoy wearing your World Series Champions hats!