I really hate that phrase. When have you heard an in-depth conversation about men “having it all”. And so to the person that coined that phrase: either you said it in the fifties or you are kind of a jerk. Because that little phrase has made countless women feel either completely exhausted and spent, or feel like a failure. Or both.
I was thinking about this because things are really hopping at work. And my work-life balance sometimes comes in spurts. So it balances over the long term, but over the short term? Not so much. I am not complaining. I love the work. I’ve signed up for this and busy is good for me.
(As I write this, “Today plans a wedding” is on my TV. Wait a second…<click>. Much better now!
But when I get busy like this, grocery shopping and laundry are some of the the first things to go. I start chipping away at my day schedule so I don’t have to sacrifice sleep. Have you seen me on less than 9 hours sleep? Not pretty, my friends. Other times, the workouts go, but I can’t bear to do it now since I am kind of on a roll. We will call that my “release”. So dinners are purchased or come out of the microwave. I listen to my friends swimming next door and I have to decline an invitation to join them.
So I am supposed to feel like a failure because I don’t have time to “never, ever,ever, ever let you forget you’re a man”? And pop a tuna casserole and jello mold into the oven. Don’t tell me jello molds don’t go into the oven…it’s a joke. I don’t have time for jello molds but I know where they go. First the refrigerator, then on the table so everyone can stare at it like it came from outer space, then the garbage, where it leaks out of that tiny hole in the bottom and when you have to clean it up, you swear to never, ever ever, ever, ever make that crap again.
I know I have blogged about this before. I know. I am just done done with this yet. It’s just that setting priorities during particularly busy times…well, mine are just outside of conventional wisdom, and I refuse to apologize for it or decide that I am a failure. So all the people that tell me “You might change your mind” when I tell them that I don’t want babies, I’m not hearing you. And all those commercials where mom is cooking dinner but never dad, bite me. And let’s just decide to coin the phrase “soccer dad” so the men don’t get a raw deal either (though they have not taken the brunt of the misogyny, because anything they do outside of work makes them a “great guy” and women are criticized for choosing work over family).
“Having it all” is a recipe for self-criticism. I don’t want “it all.”. My “all” is sometimes work and sometimes laying on the beach with a cabana boy serving me cocktails. I get to pick my “all.” And life is a zero sum game. To add something is to take something away. And my somethings are my choice. And I don’t give a rip what “they” say.
And I’m ticked at myself for thinking yesterday, “why am I finding it so hard to pull all of this off?” because the only person’s judgment that I should be concerned about is my own. And I have decided to “have all I want.”
(And I am not entirely sure that I have finished blogging about this and feel free to assume that it’s because I am having a mid-life crisis because you are likely not entirely wrong. Any time I mention a cabana boy, you can assume something is up.)