I wear many different hats. Some colorful, some plain. Some worn daily, some hang. Lightly worn or worn through. Some old, some new. I wear many different hats and want none to go headless.
My Hipper Than Hip Hats:
Physically Active Hat
Keep reading to learn the history of my hats…
At any given moment in the life of a human being, that human harbors a hat atop her head. Sometimes the hat is hung and goes unworn for a period of time. This doesn’t mean the hat is lost. It’s merely headless at the moment. Do not neglect your hanging hats. Give them your head whole-heartedly, even if it is only periodically.
In college I took a Children’s Literature class where I learned to enjoy picture books at a greater level. Books that possessed an underlining message and lesson to be learned always stood out to me as a powerful teaching tool for a future teacher like myself. At the end of the semester we were required to write a children’s book. I knew exactly what type of book I wanted to write and what message I wanted to teach… something I had struggled with my whole life. That was the birth of Uniquely Nora’s first concept book, “What Would People Think?”
I began my journey with “Uniquely Nora” from childhood. Many of Nora’s insecurities, thoughts and desires were inside my own head as a kid. Unlike Nora however, I did not reach her level of mindfulness until adulthood. Nora is so fortunate to have learned mentally healthy coping mechanisms and self-help strategies as a young child, well before any of her dysfunctional habits of thinking became her distorted reality.
I hung my writer hat for ten years! Occasional thinking and planning about my next step in getting my book published overwhelmed me because of my other hats I was struggling in juggling. During this time frame I received help from my psychologist who assisted me in learning to handle my hats more effectively through becoming more mindful of my inner critic. Soon after, realizing the various other dimensions of insecurities I had overcome, I had much more that I could still write about. Nora stepped up and helped me create two more concept books; “Uniquely Nora Wants to Blend In” and “Uniquely Nora the Perfectionist.”
Uniquely Nora does not end there and neither does my writing. Stay tuned for up to date information about my “Uniquely Nora” Contemporary/Realistic Fiction books coming soon!
As a writer I also enjoy writing about things that have been helpful for me to get through my stress, overwhelm, anxiety and depression.
LUKE… I am your MOTHER! My mommy hat is my favorite hat. It also happens to be the most worn-in and worn-out of all my hats. With three rambunctious young boys, a new baby girl there’s rarely EVER a dull moment! A mommy hat is never hung. Isn’t that a fascinating yet exhausting element of motherhood?
I enjoy making my boys giggle. A true giggle is very different from a laugh and is uniquely magnificent due to the contagious nature it possesses. No matter what other tasks are on my mind, no matter how many hats I am balancing on top of my mommy hat-hair-head, a giggle from one of my lil’ guys brings me back into the current moment and helps me remember what is really important in life. Embracing the present. This is mindful motherhood. A skill I am still trying to find balance in obtaining.
All you can do about the past is worry, all you can do about the future is plan and keep planning and then plan some more… did I mention planning a tiny bit more? All you can do in the present is be there for it.
For me, this means I mentally set aside time to be there for it.
After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, I taught 1st grade and Pre-K. I hung my teacher hat up for a time after my first born came into existence. The hanging teacher hat didn’t last long as my itch to teach kept creeping up on me. I began teaching piano and voice lessons from home. Then later I taught a Sign and Sing Class for toddler’s and caregivers at a local city facility. At that same time I taught a neighborhood children’s choir out of my basement. More recently I began teaching at a public school (K-6 grade) as a part-time music teacher and have been doing that for four years.
I love to share “Uniquely Nora” with my students. They can’t get over the fact that I actually wrote that book and drew those pictures (even though my illustrations are not professional. at. all.) The message behind “Uniquely Nora” is one that I would hope all my students can walk away from my class internalizing.
Last year I started teaching a Women’s Empowerment Class in Mesa, AZ that is all about the things that I’ve learned that help me get through stress, overwhelm, anxiety, and depression. Now it is also available as an eCourse!!! See menu for details.
My performer hat basically has a mind of it’s own. It practically prances and dances off of my shelf and over to my head all by it’s silly little self! Whether it be performing as Queen Elsa at birthday parties, belly dance classes, being in YouTube videos ( My YouTube Channel here), being in improv comedy shows at JesterZ Improv, auditioning for America’s Got Talent, or being Mrs. Arizona International… this hat always manages to find a way to be on display and in the spotlight… and I LOVE it. Especially now that I’m mentally healthier!
This is the hat that I referred to up above as “some new.” I had always tried to be physically active, but I was always too physically exhausted to do it! It was as if the physically active hat kept falling off as soon as I would put it on. Or maybe it was just that I was too sore to put it on again after wearing it for an hour of working out. The details about the infrequency of this hat’s head appearances are a bit fuzzy. One thing for sure was that it would often hang there, hidden, while my body recuperated from c-sections, mental overwhelm, and physical fatigue. Of course it was hard to workout, my mind and body had all it could handle.
It was a struggle for me to find how to balance my mommy hat and my physically active hat for a long time. I realized that taking care of my well-being first was integral to being physically and mentally able to take care of my kids. Two years ago I figured out a way to do both; keep the kids happy while I kept my body healthy and strong. I began by bringing them to the park with a plan for me to workout while they played. It helped to invite a friend who would also bring her kids to play with my kids while my friend would workout with me. We could then be accountable to each other, an added bonus. Working out without accountability rarely lasts long.
Those simple beginnings have turned into a habit. I used to think that something was wrong with me because I never got to a point where I LOVED working out. Now I have realized that doesn’t have to happen; and that is alright. I workout now because it makes a positive difference in my mental health, physical stamina, and energy. I may not absolutely love it; but I don’t hate it either. Now I don’t label it good or bad anymore. It’s just something that I do because it’s a part of me. It’s one of my hats!
A couple years ago I organized a group of women in my neighborhood to workout at 6am with me. We take turns leading the workout either at our house, pool, backyard, or local park. There is motivation and great synergy that comes from doing this together. Many of us wouldn’t have worked out if it weren’t for each other.
Now I do a LIVE Facebook 12 minute HIIT workout @GleefullyMeElise.
I have new desires to go hiking, be more adventurous and to challenge my physical abilities and put them to the test. Whereas before, even the thought of doing such things just wore me out mentally and physically. Now those things empower and excite me.
My husband has been supportive of me throughout the rocky, rockin’ roller coaster of life we have shared together. I am glad to wear my wife hat because of him. This summer we will have been married for 13 years! Happy Anniversary to US!!! Love you Chris;)