I wear a lot of different professional hats. I write, as you all know. I run StageSource, a service organization for the New England theater community. I teach arts management classes at Emerson College. In addition to all three of those things, I am an arts advocate, board member of Sisters in Crime national, and Sisters in Crime New England, and I blog here and at Live To Write/Write To Live.
I am not alone in my multiple hat wearing career. Most people juggle, and add a personal life to the mix. Family, friends, and relationships all are different hats as well. Early in this new year I’ve been thinking about my hats, and what it takes to wear them all. Or, more precisely, how to wear them better in 2016. We’re only two weeks into the new year–there’s still time for me to figure this out. Important hat thoughts so far:
All of my hats are not the same size, type, or fit. That means, when I put on one hat, I need to become the person who wears that hat. Example–I am teaching a new class at Emerson this spring. School started this week, and I had to get my syllabus together, and do the plan for the first class. I’d taken last semester off from teaching, so I needed to pull out the right hat, dust it off, and put it on. Be in charge, have a game plan, and set goals for each class. It’s showtime, and I’m there to teach.
Being a writer is actually several hats. The act of writing is one thing, the social aspect of being an author is another. My writing hat is quiet, introspective, and not really fit for public life. My author hat comes with a smile, a pen, and bookmarks.
You can’t really wear more than one hat at a time and look good. This past weekend I worked at the ALA booth for Sisters in Crime New England. I brought bookmarks, but it became clear right away that I was wearing my Sisters in Crime hat at the conference. I could work in the “hey, I have a series”, but the purpose of the day was to talk about the awesome programs Sisters in Crime and our New England chapter have for libraries. When I am wearing my StageSource hat, my author hat is put away. I don’t hide it, but it also doesn’t fit at work.
Sometimes you need to clean out your closet, or at least put stuff away. You can spread yourself too thin. I don’t know that I am ready to toss hats, but I do know that before I put on another one, something needs to be put away. I am trying to be much better about goal setting and scheduling time in 2016. There are seven days a week, and 24 hours a day. Hats don’t add more time.
I love that I wear a number of different hats. It suits me, and my personality. That said, 2016 goal is to wear them a little better, and more mindfully.
How about you, dear readers? How do you juggle your hat collection?