With a childhood in the 70’s and an adolescence in the 80’s, I grew up with the song from the Enjoli ad in my head as the mantra about what a modern woman should be. As the sexy blonde sang about how you can have it all, fueled by the magic 24-hour perfume, I bought into the fairy tale. Caring for the home, changing into a power suit, and then ending the day in a sexy dress romancing her man seemed like a totally plausible way to live life.
I mean, it was the age of the ERA, a truly wonderful thing. No longer were women expected to stay at home. Yet, it also ushered in an inner belief, at least from an adolescent perspective, not only that women could have it all, but that we should.
After getting a college education, I worked full time. When I had children, I continued to work full time and on top of work and child rearing, I was the Vice President of the PTA. I gained some weight, so it was time to join the gym and ensure that regular workouts became a part of my daily schedule. Then, of course, there were the mountains of laundry and the unending task of keeping a tidy house with two small children.
I spent a lot of years believing that I was a failure because of this ingrained belief.
I mean, there were some single days where I seemed to prove I could do it all. I got the kids up, got all of us dressed, to school and work on time, and then came back home at the end of the day to an immaculate house where I made a wholesome dinner, got everyone bathed and to bed on time, and was available for a few moments of sexy time. (Talk about a fairy tale).
That was a rare occurrence, though. The reality was that, because I was putting unrealistic expectations on myself and my life, I ended up feeling like I was a failure. I believed that I wasn’t a “real” woman, that, of course, the whole reason my (then) husband didn’t find me attractive and never wanted to have sex was because I wasn’t doing it all.
My house was a disaster and my creativity was languishing. Ravaged with guilt, I traded time for one activity at the sacrifice of another.
I believed that as a human, I sucked. That I was a crappy wife, a horrible housekeeper, and a subpar mom. By this time, I had started a blog and you want to know how those blog posts got written? I rose at 4 AM every day and wrote before I went to the gym or spent my gym-time on a web-bike trying to type an entry as I peddled.
Is it any wonder that believing I could have it all led me to feeling crappy and believing I was broken?
Because, let’s be honest: we humans are not wired to do so much in a week, let alone a single day. When I began to make peace with the fact that maybe I wasn’t broken and maybe, just maybe, the sexy perfume ads and societal beliefs weren’t correct, then I also had to make peace with the fact that NOPE, you can’t have it all.
More than that: I had to accept that not having it all is OK.
Making peace with that and being an empty-nester doesn’t mean that the push to prove that I can have it all doesn’t rear its ugly little head now and again. In fact, in our modern Social Media age of Instagram Perfect and constant entrepreneurism, it seems as if that now quaint “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let him forget he’s the man” still is an undercurrent of a mantra. On steroids.
Because now, not only should a woman keep an immaculate house, feed her children organic meals, and be über-sexy all the time, she should also have a six-figure business with a thriving social media following. Or, if she works full time, should be ambitious enough to have a side-gig that fulfills her spiritually.
Is it any wonder that so many folks are stressed out and burned out?
All those internet gurus will tell you that you can simultaneously make a million, be head-over-heels in love with yourself and a perfect partner, have hot sex, and be model perfect. What’s worse is that those same gurus hint that if you aren’t All In and Don’t Have It All, something must be wrong.
Please, let’s be honest here: it’s utter bullshit to believe anyone can have it all.
Nothing is wrong with you. You are not broken. You’ve just bought into the belief that the human experience should be easy and perfect. But that’s not reality. Humans are messy, dynamic, imperfect creatures with rough edges.
There are going to be days when you feel blue. There are days your love life will feel more like fractured moments than romantic ones. Your weight will fluctuate and you probably won’t feel like having sex, let alone feel sexy and desirable all the time. There will be days when you just can’t do half of what’s on your to-do list, not taking into account the seventy tasks you think you should accomplish.
I am a big believer in the fact that clearing your clutter will help ease your mind. I believe that doing a little planning now will make the road ahead easier to navigate. I believe that taking exquisite care of your body – quality food, regular exercise, and adequate sleep – is important to a well-lived life.
I believe that tending your relationships will give pay you back tenfold in happiness. I know that you can get more done when you get help managing your life – an assistant, a house cleaner, or a baby sitter. I know that investing in your own self-development – be it a book, online course, or working with a coach – is a path to making your life feel less chaotic.
I also know that if you have the potential to truly excel in some area of your life that you will have to make sacrifices in order to pursue it.
Let’s be honest: You can’t have it all, and darling, that’s ok. No, it doesn’t matter how smart, how well-educated, or how much money you make, no one is capable of having it all. At least, all the time.
Yes, you will have those single days – or moments – when you do feel as if you have it all. But those moments are fleeting because the human experience demands that life will always shift and change. We cannot focus on improving every single area of our life and being successful at that. I’ve learned that choosing to focus on one to three big goals is the max capacity the average – or even above average – human can manage successfully.
I’ve also learned that when you focus on just a few areas of life, everything else fall into place. And those things that aren’t important fall to the wayside.
Making peace with the fact that you can’t have it all does have its benefits. That’s because what’s often missed is that there’s an inexplicable beauty to the chaos of human life. You are entirely capable of bringing home the bacon, frying it up in the pan, and being a sexy, desirable woman. Yet, just because you’re capable of doing it all, honestly, won’t equal happiness.
When you strive to do it all and are too effective at accomplishing an unreasonable number of tasks, you will squash all the joy out of living in your bid for efficiency. When you try to pretend that you do have it all together, deep down you’ll know you’re living a lie.
Trying to have it all and living by that mantra as a belief, my dear, will always betray the most important person in the world: you. You deserve to live a life that feels loving and nourishing. And in order to really do that, my dear, not expecting yourself to be able to HAVE it all and DO it all will give you the ultimate reward: freedom.
If You’re Looking for a Path to a More Nourished Life as You Love the Expectations of Having It All, Get Help by Creating a Vision and a Plan
The key to being content is knowing what you want and putting it in place. Clearing Soul Clutter helps you determine your true goals so you can start setting up your ideal circumstances. Based on a proven method that has helped hundreds design their dream existence, this book will teach you exactly how to imagine what you want and how to make it actually happen.
Through a series of 30 intuitive lessons, you’ll learn how to envision a nourishing life and make your dreams come true. It’s time to stop letting life happen to you and start doing something about it.
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