Changing hats might lead to crisis

Changing hats might lead to crisis

Changing hats might lead to crisis

Throughout life, I’ve worn many hats. Besides relational identities as daughter, wife, mama, friend, etc., my hats included job titles, such as student, babysitter, short order and prep cook, deli worker, pharmacy clerk, secretarial aide, intern, copy writer, journalist, marketing specialist, marketing coordinator, assistant editor, freelance writer, homeschool teacher, Sunday school teacher, Awana teacher’s aide, proofreader, and the like. If we sit down and think about it, we make quite a long list. We wear different hats when we volunteer at school or church or in our community.

changing hats

Hats change in different seasons

Some hats get knocked off as we age. We think nothing of them. They fit us for a specific time like when we attended school or our first part-time jobs. We swap them with nary a thought. Some we left with anticipation. Others change with reluctance.

Changing hats occurs when we choose a new job or career. Death of any kind causes hats to flip. Kids growing up and leaving home alters the parenting hat.

Careers and hobbies create big hats. Even with certain changes that a person seeks or looks forward to can jostle the hat, leaving it feeling like it is off kilter somehow. Maybe the fit is too loose or too tight, too new and scary. Familiar hats feel comfortable, predictable, fit like a glove. Unfamiliar hats leave us groping for level footing, encouragement, kind people coming alongside.

Change messes with emotions

Sometimes while changing hats, you’re in unfamiliar territory for longer than you think. The shock leads to mourning.

It’s important to remember that all people change hats for different seasons. You’ll find your fit, the hat you love. Finding just the right new hat might take time. You might not even know what you’re searching for, but when you find it, you’ll know.

Maybe it’s floppy and comfortable like your gardening hat. Elegant like a wedding hat. Common like a baseball hat. Makes a statement like a cowboy hat.

Stretching hurts until you’ve worked out the kinks, but don’t give up just because of some pain. Mothers push aside the memories of the painful birthing process to embrace the precious new baby.

I’ve grieved a few times in my life over changing hats. When I went from career woman to stay-at-home mom, adjustments took time. Figuring out my new identity takes longer. Maybe the whole pandemic stagnating us all worsened it, and this stuck feeling will tear loose soon.

God knows. That reminds me of my most precious hat: child of God. The Bible says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. That’s good to remember when your world feels stuck, wonky, or out of control.

Rest in that, my friend. And whatever hat you don today—you look wonderful. Courage looks good on you.

In the spring of 2019, my identity hat changed when I boxed up my homeschool hat. Do you have a new identity? What changed? Please share.

Author Interview

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6 Replies to “Changing hats might lead to crisis”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I’ve learned that hats blow off all too frequently. And that’s a good thing. I then get to try on a new hat!

  2. Michelle, my list mostly mirrors yours. I was never an assistant editor and I did not home school my children. A couple I added are: bride (which, of course you were, too); short-order waitress for one week; a sad hat when my boyfriend (later husband) and older son, left to serve their country; Power Hour leader; Head of the women’s group at church; library assistant (elementary school; church library, WSJ editorial library), choir member; pet owner, traveler, and like you said, the best one: child of God!

  3. I’ve lost many, MANY hats over the years, as we all do. I think my most recent loss was being phased out of my independent contractor job as an editor/salesperson for a community newspaper in late 2019. For 28 years I was *that* person. I had relationships with the community, with tons of advertisers, with people who became friends at the Register Print Center, etc. And then one day, POOF. Gone, with little warning. I don’t miss working (decided to *officially* retire) but I sure do miss the relationships and not least of all, the income. So far, God has provided for all of the needs that my former income covered, and I continue to pray for his provision.

    1. I think a sudden change of hats like that is traumatic. That change combines a number of losses like you pointed out which means different levels of grief, shock, filling voids, adjustments. God is never surprised. From my own experiences, I know He always provides in His timing. I’m thankful for His grace and mercy because I’ve had my moments of panic. When I recount how He has provided, it is a balm that reminds me He can be trusted. Thanks for sharing, Deb. Your example confirms this once again.

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