Musings from The Rack

Last week, I mused how I’m not alone with my rather large hat collection. So many adults have a rack full of hats they have been collecting for years. Perhaps when our hat rack becomes busy with several necessary hats, we move from child status.

I miss child status.

This week, I don’t want to pontificate about my life. Rather, I want to put out a request to hear about your life, about your hats. I would love to have you consider doing a guest appearance on my blog, complete with a picture of your literal or figurative hat and/or hat rack (I nearly said a picture of your rack, but I thought I may get in trouble for that ☺).

If you’d like to be a guest blogger on my site, please send me an email with your blog entry to Tony@tonywassom.com. If I receive some interest, I’ll certainly be in touch with you and will let you know when your post will be on TonyWassom.com.

BTDub, if you’d like me to be guest blogger for you, let me know. I’m looking for some exposure, and I could use all the help you can offer.

I leave you with a picture of our tree, all decorated and lit. If you look carefully, you’ll see a pic of my boy when he was about seven months old, getting ready for his first visit from the North Pole!

Until next week,

T

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Musings from The Rack

BIBOMOI had a little issue, this week, that I did not like…not even a little. It involves a few hats, actually. What they are isn’t really necessary to the story. What is necessary is I tried to wear all of them at once…and I was defeated.

There’s something interesting about this paragraph. It once had details about everything that happened, Thursday. And, while it was therapeutic to type it all out, I really don’t want to share that part of my life on my blog. Sorry.

We all wear so many hats, all the time, and it’s a wonder how our necks do not snap from the weight on our pate. It is incredibly interesting, to me, that my little break happened during the first week of my IDS 402 class which is all about Wellness. Seems there were some areas of of my personal life lacking and throwing a big freakin’ wrench into the works. I decided to fix that issue…I didn’t like losing that round.

Budai

Budai

 

I saw a meme, recently, attributed as a hippy flowchart to problem solving:

Is there anything you can do to fix the problem? If yes: do it and move on. If no: accept it and move on. 

The little graphic at the top of this post is an acronym of essentially the same philosophy, coined by one of the greatest modern-day philosophers, Jimmy Buffett:

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move on.

Are you sensing a pattern? Life is way too short, man. It took me until my 40’s to get it, but you really do need to stop and take a whiff, every now and then (do it a little more often rather than a little less). I’m not advocating that we should be irresponsible, throw cares to the wind and hope for the best, and abandon all of our grown-up responsibilities. I am suggesting, though, we find a way to become and stay at peace so we can enjoy every millisecond. Stop taking pictures; enjoy the view! The memory will last longer if it’s felt and not just seen.

I’m looking at my boy, who fell asleep in the chair next to me, and I swear he has grown since I started this post. I hope I can start showing him the laid-back dad not the wound-tight dad. I hope I can get him to, when he’s frustrated, take a breath and feel it soothing his soul, his mind, his spirit. I hope I can rub Budai’s belly and remember the immortal words of Bob Marley, shown below. And, I hope I have in someway helped you.

Tomorrow is a new day. I can’t wait!

T

3 little birds

 

Musings from The Rack

The more I work on this blog, the more I realize how many hats I actually wear…well, metaphorical hats I figuratively wear. I also realize, more and more, I’m not the only one who has so many hats to wear. Sure, I may have worn one too many hats in my former job; however, donning the hats needed for everyday tasks is itself a task that most adults have to endure.

As I write this, I’m preparing to go to bed after spending the last few hours struggling with a plumbing issue. No, I’m not in need of a urologist…I mean actual drains and pipes. I have been wearing the homeowner’s hat. This particular hat is not the focus of this week’s post, though. It has only been a distraction from the hat that I have on my mind (see what I did there?). Today’s hat is the one you never see, again.

Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving, I received the news of a death in my extended family. Not someone I’m related to, but the father of family by marriage. You’ve seen me gripe about my former position and I have, perhaps, eluded to how that position took away from me more than I want to admit. One of the things I was unable to do (while in that position) was attend certain family obligations. This time was different. Having absolutely nowhere to be than with my family, I made the ninety minute drive to spend a scant half hour with family and give my heartfelt condolences for the loss.

There’s a hat we all wear when someone dies. It’s a dressy hat, one worn with dignity and respect for the grieving family in the time of their loss. How often have I not thought, though, about the hats of the deceased. Where do they go? Does someone else pick them up and give them a home, allow their purpose to remain?

I looked at the John Deere ball-cap in the casket perched next to the pillow and realized that I would never see that hat, again. In a very literal sense, since the hat was being buried with the decedent, no one would see that hat, again. But, he wore so many hats: Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, farmer, worker, veteran, friend, in-law…just to name what I know to be true. The hats unknown to me may number in the hundreds, for all I know.

And now…they are just hats.

His daughter told me his death felt like someone reached inside her and ripped a part of her away. I tried to say the right thing. I tried to be empathetic and sympathetic at the same time. I tried to let her, her brothers and sisters, her whole family know that I wished there were something I could do. In the end, all I could offer was the half hour.

The trip home was a reflective one. How we react to death is mirrored by what we believe about  life. I thought about the John Deere hat and wondered what the rack would look like withoutScreenshot from 2015-11-28 01:07:46 it. By the time I got home, though, I could only think of one of my favorite quotes. While I don’t think it would have helped at the viewing; while it may have sounded like the same kind of know-it-all advice from well-wishers; while it may be simple, it is also powerful, and I hope my pain-stricken family can find peace in it’s simplicity.

Farewell, HR. I am better for having met you.

T

Musings from The Rack

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Ugh!

Yep, this is what the Dad Hat looks like.

Okay, in all fairness, it doesn’t always look like this. In fact, I’d say it rarely looks like this; however, we remember the stress more easily than we remember the routine. This week, the routine was disrupted, and this week’s picture is rather fitting (and also why I didn’t post on Sunday night, as per uzh).

Last Wednesday, my boy had surgery. It wasn’t anything overly concerning–outside the fact that any time someone is under general anesthesia it’s a concern–but, the nights that followed the procedure took their toll on me. He slept in the living room so that we could ensure his head was propped, and I slept in my recliner where I could see him at all times. He did great! I slept like crap four nights in a row. So, after several nights of worry, along with our large family Thanksgiving gathering (yesterday), and the literal pain in the back that rounded out the trifecta, my wife insisted I relax and get a good night’s sleep. After a few Guiness Draughts, I was out! That being said, I apologize for the tardiness of The Rack, this week (last week, if you prefer).

No intention of making this a long post. The most important point to be made is how proud I am to wear this hat and I’ll proudly wear it, the rest of my life…even when it looks like it did, last night.

I love you, little t!

T

 

Musings from The Rack

Today, I spent much more time in the home office than I wanted, working on end of term assignments. Good news: I finished everything! Bad news: I neglected my boy for the bulk of the day. So, as I write this, I’m feeling like a bit of a heel for making him endure another lonely Sunday. I only hope that–one day–he understands why I didn’t get to spend as much time with him as he would have liked.

That is not the hat du jour, though.

I had a great opportunity, Friday, to spend some time with a couple of the gentlemen that I worked with, the last few years. In fact, they are two of the three that have taken over my responsibilities, since I left. And, though we were meeting socially and as equals, I still felt overwhelmed with how much they appeared to still respect what I had to say. It was so much fun to share drinks and fellowship with them, and it reminded me of a hat that I wore while I was their boss: The Counselor’s hat.

12270432_10205108355528115_1172813898_nNow, the hat in the picture has been altered to protect the innocent (that would be me…don’t want any trouble), but under the big smiley face is the logo that graced every day of my life for the past several years. Looking at all of the metaphorical hats worn, while I was there, the counselor hat is one that I think gave me some of the greatest rewards.

The longer I was in my leadership position, the more my opinion was trusted and the more my input was requested by those higher on the perch. And while advising on ideas and strategy is so rewarding, I think counseling those in my charge came with even greater rewards. It saddens me that much of the work I did from my seat may be nullified by someone only interested in managing, not leading. But, I did my best to impart whatever wisdom I had so the program I took over and grew would maintain its integrity. I’m certain that can happen, but it may be a little rocky.

If I may put on the counselor hat beneath the hidden logo, once more, I think I would try to impress just how important it is to be a good leader. You see, I always had employees that went out of their way to help me, but I truly feel that it was because I did the same, for them. So, here’s some bullets to bite. I hope the list helps, at least a little:

  • You’re not given respect; you earn respect.
  • Don’t tell someone to do something; ask them to help.
  • Get your hands dirty (and your shirt, your hair, your new pants that you just bought, etc).
  • Expect the best from them and that’s what they’ll give you.
  • Remember that your desk is also a dining room table.
  • You may do a thousand wonderful things, but they’ll remember the one thing that was bad.
  • Meetings make you stupid(er).
  • You are not their friend; you are their boss.

There’s a lot more bullets that accompany the counselor hat (like what to do when they are sitting in your office, crying, and miserable with work and/or home life), but some of that knowledge you have to learn the hard way. Of course, any good leader that I’ve had always gave me a long rope, but I always knew it wasn’t so I’d hang myself. It was so I could find my way back if I couldn’t handle things on my own. Consider the rope there, and whether you use if for security or suicide is up to you.

Good luck, guys (and gals).

Auf Wiedersehen!

T