Glad Hatter


maddening hats

Urgency Day 213

500 Things Items 279-81: Hats

  • History: Attempts at winter warmth and cuteness
  • Value: Achieved neither, darn it
  • Parting Pain: Hoping both for others, so no pain
  • Un-possessing: Donations

At various points during this project and this last year, I have employed a sticky metaphor to suggest my current state of mind:

I am the glue.

I am unglued.

Each has been true.

I am the glue in my family, coordinating and choreographing our lives; wearing many hats, to mix metaphors. It’s familiar role-playing, role-juggling for most parents, requiring:

  • The chef’s hat;
  • The chauffeur’s hat;
  • The chambermaid’s, the charmer’s, the chaperon’s hats…

…and a few dozen more the juggling of which can result in one’s feeling decidedly unglued.

Why am I seeing the Mad Hatter right now? And what was in his glue?

For me, for this last year, feeling unglued was less about the great amount of work to accomplish than about the devastating lack of work to accomplish. For one year, 2 months and 12 days we were seriously under-employed.

And now, we aren’t.

(Let me take away any hint of contraction, for we are expanding, we are exhaling.)

And now, we are not.

We are not under-employed. We are employed. I will not crow about this.

I will fall to my knees in gratitude for this change in our circumstances and for the overwhelming generosity and kindness that has sustained my family. But I will not swagger or gloat.

I will pray for a quick recovery for the many who are waiting, still, to exhale.

Sighs, short and frequent, were exhaled…

One must be so careful these days.

(T.S. Eliot, from The Waste Land)

Thank you. Thank you. Shantih.


5 Responses to “Glad Hatter”

  1. Donna Says:

    Could it be that you hopped up and down with such joy that your hats fell off? Personally, I’ve always thought (with great envy) that you look very cute in all kinds of hats. Still, I’m so happy that you will be wearing fewer of them in the months ahead.


  2. sthibeault Says:

    Thanks once again.
    Metaphorical hats are one thing, but literal hats are quite tricky. I recently told someone that I only buy cute hats, by which I mean, I’ve learned to buy only those hats which make me look cute. This is why I own so very few hats.
    Also, as can be inferred from this un-possessing, hat discernment is a newly acquired skill for me.

  3. kara Says:

    Yes, you are a cute hat wearer, the metaphoric and literal kind.

    Congrats on employment!! yippy!

  4. sthibeault Says:

    Thanks. And thanks!

  5. melanie Says:

    I’m so happy for all of you.

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