Did you guys see this wonderful opinion piece about having it all last September in The Sunday NY Times? I was just lucky enough to uncover it recently- I admit to reading an embarrassingly low amount of news!
It completely resonated with me, particularly, as we embark on this new year with our lofty goals and resolutions. You see, I’ve spent a lot of time in my head thinking about what it means to have it all. As I was deciding to move from part-time to full-time work last summer, the idea of having it all became an even louder conversation in my head and in our home. To “have it all” should mean a full time career that I love and am good at, a perfectly organized and clean home, a well- balanced, home cooked meal eaten around a table by all members of the family…at the same time, a child who is happy and attends a good preschool, a husband who feels cared for and loved, and enough time to get in enough exercise, right?! And, when I saw someone through their blog, on Instagram, or in “real” life that seemed to have it all (see above criteria), it made me crazy when I felt I couldn’t accomplish the same.
But, you know, having it all, as Delia Ephron so perfectly explains it in the opinion piece, does not, or should not, mean what we think of it meaning- the accomplishment of a perfect career, marriage, children, in that order. Instead, having it all should better be defined as a moment, or moments if you’re lucky, when what you have is exactly what you want. Having it all can mean that your football team makes it to the National Championship game (or Super Bowl) or that you woke up (well rested) before your child and enjoyed your first cup of coffee while reading in the morning’s peace and quiet or that you perfected a homemade cocktail or that you enjoyed a delicious dinner…or, when you have found profound peace with the one you love (For now, I can claim this one!…and, while it may be fleeting as we can’t well anticipate life’s curve balls, I’m holding on with clenched fists to this amazing feeling and thanking my lucky stars that the one I love loves me back in the same way!).
I want to have many “having it all” moments this year, but I’m under no impression, and certainly hope I don’t give that impression to you, that my life is all about having it all. It’s a journey of ups and downs, but when you have exactly that thing you want at that exact right time, it sure feels awesome…kind of like having it all.
* Top photo taken at Pensacola Beach, December 2012. Bottom photo taken at Alki Beach, Seattle, October 2013.