Can we really have it all? Here’s how.

July 24, 2013

Have it all?We’re told we can be anything we want to be. We can be president of the United States! No restrictions. We can have it all – family, career, wealth, health, fulfilling relationships, hobbies, travel…

Um. How’s that going for you?

– I’m looking at you, the mom double-pumping in her office with the door locked, noticing a diminishing milk supply and moving towards formula.

– I’m looking at you, the single 30-something wearing fabulous heels coming off the 12th flight this month for work travel and feeling that familiar digestive trouble that comes with stress.

– I’m looking at you, the stay at home mom of 3 struggling to make your from-home business work so she can pay for summer camp, feeding the kids takeout because she just can’t deal with cooking.

Regardless of whether it’s possible or not, we want it all.

We were promised it all!

And I could try to convince you to let go, to walk away from your high-powered career or your dreams of fitting into your pre-baby jeans. To find joy in the simple moments with your children and stress less about making Etsy sales. I could tell you to give up the struggle and practice acceptance.

But that’s not my style.

Instead, I’m going to tell you how to make it happen. Yes, all of it.

I believe you CAN have it all – at least everything you really want.

You must carefully prioritize.

What do you want more – To save money for your children’s college funds or to actually spend time with them while they live at home? To have HBO or afford yoga classes? To hang out with friends or keep up with your garden? Do you want to give energy to your business or your meditation practice?

What do you really want the most?

There’s no right or wrong, but you get to decide. Yes, you. Because life doesn’t just happen to you. You play an active role.

Here’s an example: I left my career in advertising to start my own business because my priorities are to make a positive difference in the world and have a career with flexibility.

Budget your time and money accordingly.

Here’s the hard part. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Make some hard decisions. Align your priorities with your resources. Let go of the things you don’t actually want, to make space for the things you do.

Example: I buy organic produce, grass-fed beef and quality olive oil. I do not have cable TV or a second car. The former matters much more to me than the latter, so it’s where the money goes.

Your turn.

Life is a long time.

You can probably have it all, but you probably can’t have it all right this very second. That’s ok though! Think how much you’ve done in the past 10 or 20 years. Think about how much you’ll get to do in the next 10 or 20. It kind of boggles the mind! Trying to pack too much in right now is counter-productive. You can’t enjoy anything when you’re stressed out.

Example: One day I’ll travel to exotic places. For now, I’m ok with family vacations and the occasional weekend getaway. It’s what works, right now.

You’re not in this alone, you know.

Working parents cannot drive their kids to dance class 45 minutes away. That’s what carpools are for! Stay at home moms need “alone time” to gather their sanity – that’s what grandmas and babysitters are for! When you’re just barely staying on top of the laundry, a cleaning service can take care of the floors and windows.

I think it’s a matter of deciding what you actually want.

Hmm, imagine that. What YOU want. Not what you’re told to want or what you “should want.” Because I think you CAN have what you want, when you’re not bogged down in everything else.

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