By: Cristina Trette
Recently I was chatting with some friends. They are brilliant and talented ladies who are successful and satisfied with their life. As we talked, what emerged was a strikingly simple theme: we want it all. We want thriving careers, joyful family lives, connected love relationships, nice bodies, and great boobs (yes, I just said that). If our work life is off the charts booming we look forward to the one night a month where we just get to be a wife. If most days consist of supporting our husbands and kids then we fantasize about building our own business from the ground up. If we are not married, or don't have kids, we want to be. No matter what the situation and circumstance, we want it all - and we want it all right now.
I am going to generalize and go out on a limb and state that most women want a family). From an pure evolutionary perspective, we are biologically wired and driven to attach to a partner, procreate, and ensure the survival of our offspring and species. At the exact same time, on an existential level, we are driven to engage in meaningful work, contribute to society, and have a sense of personal fulfillment.
So how on earth do we do it all?
I am remembering a quote from Oprah that impacted me when I first read it several years ago:
"You can have it all. You just can't have it all at once."
Maybe as women, this is a wise rule to live by. There was a time in my life when being a mother and wife was everything and all I wanted to be. When I made the transition from stay at home mom to working mom, I experienced a lot of inner angst. I felt guilty that I wanted to go back to work.
Perhaps, the way I went about this transition was off point. It is possible that we take on numerous roles and identities throughout our life, and whatever we are doing contains immense value and meaning, as long as we actually believe that. Sometimes, what we put our hearts and souls into for years no longer serves us. But instead of fighting to hang on, we are better off if we gracefully open up, accept, and allow.
Such as with Klyn Elsberry. Klyn is a motivational speaker, CEO of Landmark Makers, and best selling author of the book I AM___: The Untold Story of Success. Klyn loves the role of "wifey" as much as she loves running her company. Her life is working so well that sometimes she needs to pinch herself just to know it is real. Yet, she talked about her current achievements and state of affairs with immense grace and humility. There was an ease about her and an acceptance surrounding the concept that we all have changing identities and matrices that we live from throughout our lives. Today her matrix is that of CEO. In a few years it may be something else. All of it is within her. And it is all good.
I felt comfort in knowing that as women we will dance in the paradoxes and extremes and that we can bring it no matter where we are. There will be times we slow down, take care of our health, nurture our families, and bask in the essence of our femininity as it rises to the surface. Other times we will be out slaying dragons, knowing our partners and children are loved even though we are not there. Inside all of us lives both the teddy bear and the mama bear, the barbie doll and the CEO.
Like Oprah said, whether we are building businesses or caring for our ailing parents, supporting our husband with his business or traveling the world, going after a promotion during maternity leave or quitting our jobs to be at home with babies, we can have it all, as long as we are putting all of our self into it. Instead of trying to do all of it at the exact same time, maybe we just need to jump into where we are with passion and gusto while maintaining a belief that our other desires and dreams will eventually unfold too.
As far as having nice bodies and great boobs, well, it may be that no matter how fantastic we look we always want to look a tiny bit better! We can blame that on unrealistic society pressure and fashion magazines! And we can laugh about it, do yoga, eat a nutritious meal, then drink a glass of wine along with our cheese and chocolate and relax in knowing that true beauty comes from pursuing our passions and living out our dreams - all of them - just not all at once.
Follow me at: