By Jeri Mae Rowley
HAT-CHECK On my mind lately are the many “hats” we wear. When I asked coworkers to brainstorm a list of their hats, responses came in torrent. At the drop of a hat, they identified: spouse, parent, child, sibling, friend, employee, supervisor, coworker, church member, community volunteer, neighbor, citizen, sports fan, club member, family nurse, chauffeur, cook laundress, housekeeper, bookkeeper, and peacemaker.
Any of these hats sound familiar to you? Taking an inventory of the hats in our lifestyle wardrobe is really enlightening—especially when we combine our hat inventory with an actual headcount.
HEAD COUNT Reach up with both hands and place them over your ears. What do you feel? Only one head? Me too!
HAT CHECK This month let’s inventory our hats and really look them over. Then, we’ll decide what hats are most important for us to wear often and wear well.
In the book, Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey says that Habit One is to “Begin with the End in Mind.” On your 100th birthday, are there any hats you would regret not having worn more often? Are there unimportant hats that are taking the place of the ones that really matter most to you?
On my centennial birthday, I hope my husband and kids are there. And, I hope that we continue to take delight in each other. I’d like to be celebrated as a neighbor who gave more to her community than she took. And, I’d like to be ready to meet my Maker looking back on my life with no regrets.
TOP HAT Habit Two is “Put First Things First.” So, if I want my family to actually celebrate my life, I’d better be sure that they always come first when I plan how I spend my time. This is a real challenge because of so many other hats come with “wear me now!” urgency.
At our home, we tried to communicate how important family time was by declaring Sunday “family day.” Years ago, my then three-year old daughter explained to a friend that the days of her week were: “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, “Cartoon Day,” and “Family Day.”
Another habit was to not answer a phone call during a family meal. People caught on. One of the kid’s friends left this message: “I know you’re probably eating, call me when you’re done.” Once my grandfather left this message: “Jeri Mae, this is your grandpa, pick up the phone!” And I did. The granddaughter hat was a very important hat for me. And he was calling at this time to “join us for dinner.”
Many of us wear the important hats of encouraging and supporting others. However, there’s a special hat I’m recommending everyone add to their wardrobe this month.
JUST FOR YOU Put on the “I’m Number One” hat first each day. This is the hat we wear when we do good things for ourselves like take a real lunch break, go for a walk, read a great book, laugh, take a fun class….whatever we need to recharge our emotional battery throughout the day.
Because, if we’re going to live well, we’d better exercise, eat right, laugh more, and get enough sleep. None of these activities have a sense of deadline or urgency, but they’re essential to being healthy and happy.
When you take really good care of “Number One,” (That’s YOU!) you’ll have so much more to share with everyone else.
HATS OFF Hats off to you for all you do for your family, your employer, your community!
Jeri Mae Rowley, MS Human Resource Management is a professional speaker and master trainer. She would be absolutely delighted if you copied this article and shared it with others. You can read more of her articles, and learn more about her many speaking and training topics, on her website: www.stressinadress.info.