Growing up, I was really close to my Dad. (I still am.) We talked about everything.. but I only remember him yelling at me once.
Now don’t get me wrong.. I wasn’t a perfect kid.. so there were many times that he was disappointed in me.. and many times that he corrected me.
But he only yelled at me once.
It was my senior year, and I changed my college plans at least 5 times .. and my majors even more. And when I changed to a completely different field of study, my dad told me I was going to have to make a decision. And then he said something I will never forget.. “You have so many interests that you divide your energy too many ways.. and you will NEVER succeed at any of them.”
Wow did that hurt…
At the time? Yeah.. at the time I was mad .. and hurt. I mean why would he say something so hurtful. “..NEVER succeed..?”
Well?? I see what my dad was talking about …now…
I have always had a lot of interests. And I mean.. A LOT!! I volunteer for everything… and I never ask anyone to do something I could do myself..
I get really tired.
These days, I call these interests my “hats”..
There is my Mom Hat.. the one I wear whenever my kids are my biggest priority.. Chaperoning, rides to school, panicked calls from college kids, help with homework.. baking cookies…
I have 2 kids of my own.. and I have had 4 exchange students call me “Mom”… the most amazing of all my interests! These kids amaze me.
My Wife Hat.. (kinda self explanatory)
The Aunt Hat.. closely related to the Mom Hat.. the Aunt Hat is a nurturing Hat but in a fun way. These 17 nieces and nephews are blessings to my life .. and I love to put my Aunt Hat on and invite them all over for Cousin weekends. Hide and seek in the dark, swimming at midnight, shaving cream paintings, watching movies until dawn.. I wouldn’t miss this..
House Elf Hat.. All things having to do with the house.. There is the typical cleaning.. then canning veggies… making jams.. baking bread… caring for the birds.. gathering the eggs .. haircuts.. pool cleaning.. it seems like the House Elf Hat is always on..
Then there is my Author Hat, my Director Hat, my Exchange Student Coordinator Hat, my International Club Hat, and my Substitute teacher Hat.. my Research Hat.. OH .. and My Creative Hat..
I could go on and on..
And I realized my dad was right..
I am not really a success at any of them. I do not focus ALL my energy in any ONE direction.. and as a result everything is mediocre.
So this LAST year?
I tried to put some Hats away.. I put my Author Hat away during Musical season… I put my Director Hat away during off seasons.. I don’t take the Substitute teacher Hat home with me. I don’t even think about my Creative Hat .. most of the time..
But still I find myself not giving my “all” to the things that are important.. because my interests are still divided ..
So I am going to take this next year to put away Hats I can’t wear anymore.. and it will be hard (because I love ALL the jobs I do)..
…but if I want to make a difference in the world?? (And I know I do..)
I think I need to finally take my dad’s advice.