Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Need a New Hat

I need a new hat.

No, no, no. This is not another post begging for a cool sailing hat like the campaign I ran in January and February to force North Sails to send me a hat I had (IMHO) already well and truly won. North Rocks!

I am speaking metaphorically.

In the past ten years I have worn all sorts of hats.

For six years I wore the hat of Junior Sailing Instructor... for three years as a volunteer and then for three more years in a real job that paid real money. I taught kids how to sail, and how to have fun on the water, and how to race. I was the local cheerleader and organizer for junior Sunfish regattas in northern New Jersey. It was a very satisfying hat to wear but I hung it up in 2005. I will probably leave it on the peg.

I need a new hat.

For a couple of years I wore the hat of Laser Fleet Captain. I started a Laser fleet at my sailing club in New Jersey, looked under very rock to find potential fleet members, helped people find Lasers to buy, encouraged folk to try Laser sailing, organized a new annual Laser regatta, taught fleet members how to sail Lasers better... whatever else fleet captains do. It was fun wearing that hat but I had to hand it over to someone else when I left New Jersey.

I need a new hat.

Why do I feel like I need a new hat? Maybe it's the time of year. Ever since I was in school and college, September always felt like a time for new beginnings, new ventures...

I've been wearing a hat called Laser Sailor for well over a quarter of a century. Wore it a lot last year. Not so much this year. But I like this hat. It suits me. I'm going to continue wearing it for as long as I can. Last night I even dreamed about Laser racing.

I discovered a hat with a label saying "Blogger" in 2005. I like it. It fits me well. I will probably keep wearing it for a few more years, or at least until it doesn't fit me any more.

For many winters I used to wear a hat labeled Crazy Laser Frostbite Sailor. Haven't worn it much these last few years. Want to wear it more this coming winter.

For three years I wore a Marathon Runner hat. The last marathon I ran was London in 2007. It was a tough one. For a couple of years I have been a very lackadaisical runner. But I feel the urge coming on me again. I've been running well this last couple of months. There might be another marathon left in these old legs. Perhaps in Providence RI next May. I think I may put the Marathon Runner hat on again.

But the Marathon Runner hat and Crazy Laser Frostbite Sailor hat are old hats. I need a new hat.

Almost four years ago I was awarded the best hat all... the one labeled Grandfather. Man, I do like being a granddad. It was wonderful being with my grandkids last weekend at their uncle's wedding. When I asked my three-year-old granddaughter Emily what she most enjoyed at the wedding, she said it was "the dancing." The kid danced all night long. She had more energy than any of the adults. I hope I will live long enough to dance with Emily at her wedding. I will always wear my Grandfather hat with pride.

But I need a new hat.

Why is that? For some strange reason now that both my sons are married it feels like some kind of life transition, and I have an urge to take on a new challenge. God knows why. Nothing has really changed in my life. But having seen each of my sons complete undergraduate school, start one career, go to graduate school, start a second career, buy a house and get married (not necessarily always in that order) it seems like the end of a phase of my life.

I need a new hat.

I could dig out one of my old hats. Cyclist. Guitar Player. Skier. Hill Walker. SailX Hotshot. Maybe I will, but they are not new hats.

What new hat could I try on?

Jetskier? Ugh.

Kayaker? Possibly.

Rail Meat? Looks easy.

Astronomer? Comet Tillerman?

Calypso Poet? (If it all falls down.)

Environmental Activist? Will work for trees.

I dunno.

I need a new hat.

What should it be?


Pandabonium said...

Congratulations. May a new hat be the worst of your worries. ;^)

oldbeamer said...

Try 'Glider Pilot'. There are a lot of parallels to sailing in gliding.

I think you would enjoy it, most clubs have cheap introductory flights.

Chris said...

My dear chap. I see only one solution...try moth sailing.

tillerman said...

Good idea oldbeamer. I have thought about gliding once or twice in the past.

But I have initially been so bad at every new sport that I have taken up taken up that I have thought it prudent to avoid any sports of the "one stupid mistake and you're dead" variety.

Jbushkey said...

Goon hat? You could join the ice hockey team and be an enforcer lol I guess that it would really be a goon helmet.

How about writer hat, journalist hat? Take the blogger hat to the next level!

College guy hat? I'm really enjoying my time at school (in my mid 30s) perhaps you would too.

Whatever hat you choose we are all looking forward to reading about it.

O Docker said...

Did you know that thousands like you are earning $63/hr or more working online from home? This could put you on the road to financial security. Maybe you should explore that a little.

I think you're feeling a bit blue watching the Little Guy toddle off one step further from home.

This will probably pass as we get into colder weather and beer drinking season gets into full swing.

oldbeamer said...

Tillerman, you should remember that gliding, although a sport, is an aviation activity. Safety is always paramount. There is no way a club would allow you to go solo on a glider without being 100% sure you would be safe.

Wavedancer said...

Consider helping with Special Olympics Sailing. Yes, there is such a thing. Please find out if there is such an activity around your neck of the waters. You might find it fulfilling. And the kids will thank you, for sure.

Carol Anne said...

The Astronomer Hat's a fun one. Amateur astronomers with time and money can do fun things like travel all over the world to watch solar eclipses. We just missed the Eclipse of the Century, but the next one's not bad for location -- Tahiti.

You could definitely try the College Guy hat, either through Continuing Education courses (where many other seniors find interesting things to do) or regular college courses learning something new. I really enjoy getting older students in my classes because they bring so much wisdom, while mixing with younger students helps give them energy.

I like the idea of you donning a Journalist hat -- your blog already proves that you can write in a way that people enjoy reading. Wear the College Guy hat long enough to get a journalism degree, and then unleash your words on the world. You don't even have to be a salaried employee; many publications will take free-lance work and pay you either by the column-inch or the word.

Meanwhile, I'm looking at milestones related to my sole offspring ... last year, he went off to college; this year, he got an off-campus apartment, which he now wants his parents to see (?!) -- he's buying his own furniture and everything. Boy do they grow up fast.

JP said...

How about a go with a bit bigger boat?

Could be fun to have a small yacht good for a day sail that could be handled with two and room for those grandchildren, and potter round to a nearby cove, bbq on the beach etc etc

It likely would also have a tiller not a wheel!

Either that or do what my uncle did and get a Harley Davidson!

EVK4 said...

First off, if I get another Mt. Gay Hat from Pac Cup Oh Ten, it's yours.

Second off, try swimming. Lots of watery parallels with sailing plus chicks dig guys who smell like chlorine. At least more than they dig guys who smell like salt.

Pat said...

How about the Traveling Laser Sailor Hat?

Andrew said...

Maybe you should enjoy being hatless. See where the tide takes you,

Derek said...

How about borrowing a few pieces of some old hats doing a triathlon (swim-bike-run)? You could start with a sprint distance event. The cross-training in different sports is less abusive on your body than running. This will definitely help your sailing fitness in a major way.

Or you could create a family website. With pictures, stories and memories about your childhood, your boys growing up, vacations, moving to the US, genealogy etc. Eventually this will be something your grandchildren really appreciate.

bonnie said...



It's the perfect complement to sailing, really.

Of course if you start writing about paddling nobody will ever bother reading my blog again...

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