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This may sound silly, but I leaned something today, from my hat. Actually, I learned more than one thing. Believe it or not, it had some darn good advice.

1) Shield your loved ones from harshness.

My hat’s primary job is to shield, whether it be from the glaring sun or pelting rain or hail. With my hat on my head, I am protected from things that would otherwise cause me to pause, squint, or turn my back to the direction in which I was headed.

In the same way, my husband prides himself in protecting me. Not from everything, but in the ways that he can. And it is my job to shield my children, from things such as blinding lies and pelting dangers which are sadly common in this world. I’m not saying to lock them in a castle, high on the hill, with no windows to the outside world. Quite the opposite in fact. A hat goes with you, out into the world, and protects you as go.

2) Show what you believe in.

I have a tall stack of hats. Each one is unique and each one reveals something different about me. There are hats I only wear for filthy jobs and massive amounts of sweat, hats I wear when I’m horseback riding, town hats, fun hats, and cowgirl hats. The reasons I have and wear each one is as various as the hats themselves.

Most people who wear or collect hats do so because the hat demonstrates something about them, a style, a team they are a fan of, or a way of life they embrace. They don’t have to tell the world, their hat does it for them.

The world’s, and my own, infatuation with hats has taught me, show what you believe in.

3) Put a lid on the ugly.

Okay, my intention is not to offend anyone here but myself. But I’m going to go out on a limb and guess I’m not the only who wakes up feeling ugly or finds a shower is not in the cards, but your hair is sticking out in every direction like an electrocuted octopus. Yeah, not pretty. No problem, hand me my hat. The one I got near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land that says, “It’s all fun and games until someone needs in an eye patch”. That’s the one.

It goes without saying really, we all need to put a lid on the ugly. Not the vanity kind, but in all aspects of life. If it isn’t worth saying, don’t say it. Takes us all back to Bambi, and the wisdom of Thumper’s mom. “If you can’t say something nice…don’t say nothing at all.”

Put a lid on the ugly.

4) If you get knocked off, dust off and get back up.

My hat gets knocked off. I’ve walked straight into low hanging limbs. I’ve tucked limbs out of the way which come loose and flick right back at me with vicious speed. I’ve fallen off my horse and ran my horse so fast the wind swept my lid right off my head. I pick it up out of the dirt more often than I’d like to admit. But the point is, my hat doesn’t care. A little dirt doesn’t devalue it. In fact, it adds value, stories, and bragging points. Like scars.

So, the next time you get knocked down, dust it off, admire the marks that don’t dust off – they are the good ones – and get back on. Tighten the strap in the back if you want, but get back on.

5) Rally cap it.

A rally cap is cap turned inside out and then worn on the head backwards. It signifies having fallen behind, usually in reference to a baseball game. That’s not where the rally cap stops though. It’s not about being behind in points, it’s about the rally cap’s ability to evoke a spirit of winning, of collaborating the team’s ability to come-from-behind, bring it back, to win despite of.

When I find myself at the end of my rope, spitting dirt out from between my teeth, one run down in the bottom of the ninth… my hat tells me… rally cap it girl.

It’s never too late to turn the situation inside out, put it on backwards. Keep trying, up my game, bring it back, come-from-behind. Shock them all. Rally cap it.

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