Thursday, October 9, 2008

Having it all!

My question is:  "Can we have it all?"  I wrote on a friends blog today that I just don't think having it all is possible.   I had been told so much of my life by teachers and friends and the media that I could have it all.  I believed it.  I thought it was all possible.  Career, happy children, spotless home, fulfilling relationships with friends and husband, side interests, hobbies, develop talents.  Whatever I wanted.  I could have it.

The sentiment makes for a great sound bite.  "Anything is possible for you!"  "Women can do anything these days!"  "You can have it all!"  

The reality of it is that we can't have it ALL!  Sure anything is possible and women can do anything these days, but not all at once.  

I was trying to come up with a good analogy. I was kind of thinking of life as an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Sure you could go in and gorge yourself on everything in the place, but is that the best approach and are you happy afterwards?  Isn't life ultimately about being happy and contributing to the world around you?  

Wouldn't it be better to choose a few things that are good for one meal and be happy with that at that time.  If you're dying for cheesecake tonight great, have it.  Just don't have cheesecake and banana pudding and key lime pie and ice cream.  You can save those for future visits--or in my comparison for later in life.

The meal should be balanced.  Not all broccoli or all mashed potatoes.  Life should be balanced as well.  Not all work or all about the kids. (that may rankle with a few of you)  Life should be sometimes about your children, sometimes about your spouse, sometimes about the things you love to do.  (Lasagna, salad, and apple pie)

I think this is why there has been such a huge shift in the last decade of women choosing to stay at home.  The stress of trying to "have it all" was unhealthy.  It was killing them and their families.  Just like gorging on everything on the buffet or only one thing.  Were they happy?  I don't think so--at least not completely.  

A little bit of cleaning (okay so I admit at my house there could be a bit--okay, a lot--more of this), a bit of playing with the kids, a bit of going out with my husband, a bit of writing, a bit of music.  I'm not saying I have it all figured out by a long shot, but I hope I'm getting there. Giving up on the whole idea of having it all has sure helped make my life happier.  I don't have to do everything.  I just have to do somethings--the things that are the most important to me.  (well that and the laundry and cleaning before they take over the house--haha!)

What do y'all think?  Can we have it all?  Any other good analogies?



spinregina said...

Maybe what you describe is having it all. Maybe we need to define "all" for ourselves, and not let the media/others/guilt define what it is. Do you see what I mean? If we work from our own definitions of "all," I think we might be at peace.

(Easy to say....)

lotusgirl said...

That's a great point! I like it. As long as we can live by our definition and not others' definitions. And the guilt... Wow! Don't get me started. It is a powerful tool.