Having it All???? Yes and No.

June 26, 2012 § 9 Comments

I almost can’t decide what I want to write about today!  Maybe I will tell you how I had a giggle fit drinking champagne straight from the bottle at the movies on Saturday night with a girlfriend– it was a first!  Or there was the voice mail saying, “I am on my way to help a Mom with a drunk 13 year old.  What should I do??”  Well, let me tell you.  I have a little too much experience parenting teenagers – is this because I was such a good teenager that my kids paid me back quadruple fold with their “learnings”????

What a minute, I see a correlation …. My kids have driven me to drink!  Not only can I help you with your parenting, we can tip our glasses to the joys and wisdom of midlife!

Speaking of kids, can women have it all?  This is the headline of a magazine for smart people in the checkout line.  (I try not to mention any names because I am anti-advertising.  It is also easier to diss people, places and things when they are either anonymous or the names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

So is it a slow news week or am I missing something?  Perhaps I am feeling a tad bit bitchy (it was cheap champagne after all) but I believe the majority of women already know that we can’t have it all.  We make choices and then make the most of those choices.  Comprende?

What is the “ALL” in this article?  Well, it is referring to a simultaneously creating a happy family and a fulfilling career–

This year I turn 50 so I feel like I have a realistic perspective to share.  When I entered college, the plan was to head off to medical school but by my junior year, I had no desire to live the lifestyle of a physician.  Very fortunate for me, I found a career that balances the science and the business.  I was driven to be a career woman and I knew that marriage and family could coexist with my professional life.  Don’t ask me how, I just knew it or was too stubborn to admit otherwise.

I married young and had two babies before I was 30.   I chose to work from home and travel very little once I went back to work.  Did this limit my advancement potential?  Damn right but I was doing what my heart or MGV said was the right thing to do.  I thought I had a supportive partner (no further comment, especially since I am feeling bitchy today) but I was managing it all alone while my husband’s career continued to blossom.

Editor’s note—there is no “balance” in the life of a working parent.  Something is always tugging at you and you have to let some things go.   Pause and Prioritize; those PP moments!

I could go into a deep philosophical discussion about why we women want it ALL but glass ceilings, boy’s clubs, historical precedents, gender bias, biology and so on…we women are often swimming upstream. 

I applaud women, whether in power or not, who publically admit that it is a struggle to do it all.  What I wish to impart is that you are no lesser a person or success if you don’t get that promotion, partnership, tenure, etc.  You will ultimately be judged on your kindness and how you cared for the people closest to you.

Take what you do have and appreciate it every moment!  The magazine article may indeed get people talking, so what is the “ALL” I envision now, as a wise 50 year old?  My definition includes peace of mind, happiness, safe shelter, a close relationship with my sons, good health and fulfilling friendships; enough money to be comfortable and ample time for community service.

If you do have to have it all, will you do anything well or be mediocre at it all? Just a little something to chew on…

Life is about choice.  You may have to work like crazy to put food on the table but once you get home, you have the choice to be present with friends and family.  You may be saving lives by day but your soul needs nurturing too.  Touch the lives of those around you and you will feel alive!

In the very end, no one ever said they wish they’d spent more time at the office.

I am going to go pour myself a glass of bubbly so here is my toast, “What ever you are, you are good enough.  Revel in your unique beauty.  Spend your time loving and laughing for those days are not guaranteed.  Measure power in terms of your personal courage and your willingness to follow your heart.  You are blessed.”

From the heart,

CaraW

©2012MyGirlfriendVoice

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§ 9 Responses to Having it All???? Yes and No.

  • NC says:

    Your gracious words of wisdom are magnificent and inspiring, as always. Many thanks for making my head happy too.

  • Carrie says:

    Cheers! I am reminded of a conversation with an incredibly well-accomplished woman (lawyer, judge, academic, prolific published writer etc) who told me that her generation fought so hard for equal rights for women thinking (and being told) they could really ‘have it all” when at the age of 60 she realized that it was a lie.

    As much energy as we may have, we are still “swimming upstream” (perfect wording). Here, with a glass of the good stuff (albeit in thought only) is a toast to Not having it all and being damn OK with it!!
    By the way, as I pretend to drink the Dom, I stare at the very real piles of laundry, dirty dishes and choose to ignore them!

    Yes, I really can have it all – but only for a minute! Then it is back to reality!

    • Miss Carrie,
      I love hearing your thoughts! I too am quite good at ignoring the chores in lieu of joyful and sometimes resftul activities. I happen to be quite inspired by you– someone who has quite a bit of their plate but wakes up with renewed hope and resilience daily! Cheers!!! CaraW

  • Just saw this quote from Fergie: I’ve learned to be more accepting of myself. I’m 37, not 18, and I’ve got the lines to prove it. A girl CAN have it all, JUST NOT ALL AT ONCE?

    • dana says:

      I had a boss once who said he never aspired to “A+” behavior because it was not attainable (without divine intervention!) So he ‘shot for B’ because he was almost always guaranteed to meet his goal???

      I think we women reach for “A”. And then we should be inspired and congratulated for how close we get. And when (not IF) we do achieve ‘perfection’ we can thank God because without her (and our girlfriends suppport) we couldn’t have done it 🙂

      • For a long time I said I was not seeking perfection, I was just trying to be better than everyone else. Ha, fooling myself.
        I just got that God = her part. Love it!

  • dana says:

    P.S. Perfection (ie. having ‘it’ all) in my opinion is like Beauty-it’s in the eye of the beholder.

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