Having it All???? Yes and No.

advice & strategies career emotions & emotional inventory family glass ceiling goals having it all the fear factor

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 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,