I can confidently say I’ve listened to hundreds of interviews in podcasts and radio talk shows; from National Public Radio, producing and distributing news and cultural programming, to the Popcast which is dedicated to delightful idiocy, educating on the things that entertain but do not matter.
Almost every interview begins with the host asking the interviewee to tell the audience a little about themselves. Interestingly enough, when a married woman is being interviewed, almost without fail, the first thing that comes out of her mouth is “I’m a wife to (insert husband’s name).” When a woman who is not married is being interviewed they typically begin by identify with their occupation.
Out of my own curiosity, I decided I would email some of the most amazing women in my life to see how they identified themselves. I chose women of all demographics, ages and professions. I posed 8 questions to eleven different women asking them various questions on how they identify themselves, based on the many hats they wear.
The first question was simply asking them to tell me who they are. Asking which hats they wear, what hats they neglect and why.
Their answers fascinated me. A few of the women said the questions were difficult to answer. My sister asked me how many people actually responded because the questions were too difficult (which puzzled me because answering questions about your identity shouldn't be too hard.) I later found out she Googled the questions to see what the internet had to say about my questions.
Every woman identified with (1) their faith, (2) occupation, (3) relationships, not necessarily in that order. But what fascinated me the most, every woman who was married answered the questions regarding who they are and what hat do wear the most by first stating they are a wife. How beautiful is that?!
I will not bore you with the details of the answer to every question, but I would like to point out some very interesting responses. Every woman who responded said they neglected time for themselves or some type of recreational activity they enjoy. In my question as to why this hat is neglected, one response blew my mind. She said:
“Because I spend so much time in the other hats, some of them just start to fall off some times, and I have to look in the mirror and readjust”.
How many times do we look at ourselves in the mirror and readjust the hats we wear? Or do we just let them fall off, refusing to go back for it because we already have on too many?
Another woman, when asked if the hats she wears is a requirement or a choice, she said:
“I choose to be active at doing my best in my required hats. For example, I have children, so I’m required to be a mother. But the kind of mother is by choice.”
In 2010, Johnny Depp played the character of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. In an interview, he described his character as “unpredictable; like a mood ring; his emotions are very very close to the surface.”
For the women reading this, if Johnny Depp’s character sounds like you, you may be a mad hatter! Sometimes I think we need to take a step back and evaluate the hats we wear. When we have on too many, we may need to look in the mirror and readjust. It’s easy to continue to take on more and more, until you become like a mood ring; emotional and unpredictable!
Interestingly enough, the author of the original “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” never used the term “Mad Hatter.” He was simply just “The Hatter.” The phrase “mad as a hatter” actually originated out of the 17th century. According to Wikipedia, “mad hatter disease” was an occupational disease among hat makers, caused by chronic mercury poisoning the felt material was exposed to.
Which begs the question: is your occupational hat causing you to go mad? The only women who identified with their occupation were those who had a specialized field of work. And because I know these women, I know they actually enjoy their work.
Many of us wear a hat we don’t even like! We don’t associate with it, we don’t tell people about it, and we don’t wear it proudly.
Let me remind you, God is the original author and he has not called us to be mad hatters. Let’s all take a moment to look in the mirror and evaluate the hats we have on. Are you wearing your hats proudly? Or do you need to look in the mirror and straighten some out?
Pslam 139:14 says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. It goes on to boast that God’s workmanship is marvelous (NLT). Be careful not to wear hats that cause your life to be unpredictable and emotional. God’s workmanship is marvelous. Regardless of the hats you wear, make sure you are wearing the helmet of salvation and the garment of praise as you step out of your closet each day.
Thank you for joining me in my journal to Finding Grace…
Enjoy the journey.