I want to Talk about overbooking and understanding. Taking on new goals and hanging on to old passions. And trying to figure out how to do it all…or at least as much as possible without giving short shrift to this or that. I’m counting on the idea that being too busy is better than being without goals, although I love to twiddle…
In semi-particular order, my hats: wife, mother, friend, neighbor, SAG-AFTRA Seniors Chair, activist for Actors and Others for Animals, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Foundation Fighting Blindness, and for what I believe is the right thing at the right time. And the longest term and unexpected opportunity: a writer for The Tolucan Times, a respected neighborhood paper that allows diverse opinions.
Some hats are basic and some are controversial. My little pink cap with kitty ears was a gift from a fervent friend, Deb in Arizona, who loves Doris Day, animals and equal opportunity. I guarantee, it does not represent wearing private parts on my head. It’s just a cheeky symbol of unity with people of like mind when they march for women and for basic human rights.
The inspiration may have come from a political person who commented on his entitlement to grab women’s private parts…but with determined whimsy, the hats have become a statement for joyful unity to resist such untoward activity.
I have a lot of “baseball” caps, many for the different causes I’m wrapped up in, and I love them because they not only protect me from the sun, but they are mobile advertisements to raise awareness. And my Mala cap is a guide to the best burger in Maui and my Little Shop of Horrors cap is a reminder of my iconic status. Frippery.
My most challenging hat is my wife-ing. Before I married David, I was a divorced single for 30 very busy years. Now, after 14 years, I still have to remember to coordinate calendars and think about dinner. David is so tidy and I’m so scattered. But he puts up with me and vice versa. I hand him a tissue, and he points out a chin hair. We need each other and have to remind ourselves that we are in our 80’s because we still have the ambitions of more youthful times. If we forget to slow down consciously, our bodies do anyway, so naps are becoming a major non-activity. And listening, or trying to, and being considerate is the major activity.
And then there are friends; over the years I’ve been blessed with a gaggle. The quality of time spent with friends shifts. Oh, there is still some dopey gallivanting, but now there’s a lot of lunches at Carnival and Tony’s Mexican Grill, with memory sharing and supportive assurances.
For those of us who are still here, our job is paying due respect for those who are not. Many losses. Which equals, many rich and fulfilling experiences. I’m sensing a routine when a friend dies (I tried to think of another word). It’s a shock, then a sinking feeling, then an adjustment to the reality. It’s been overtime and golden time for my personal gang. And when it’s my turn, if there is a sinking feeling, I hope it doesn’t go too deep. I’ve had more than my share of wingdings.
On the upside, while we’re still here, friends are treasures, gifts that keep on giving and I even become friends with the children of my friends. So, my “friends” hat has the widest brim, with room for aiding and abetting, whining and laughing and loving. And taking stands, walking and talking…
And we’ll talk…
Jackie Joseph is a writer and actress best known for her TV roles as Alan Brady’s niece Jackie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” the voice of Melody in the animated “Josie and the Pussycats” and as Jackie Parker on “The Doris Day Show.”