The car should be here any minute. Today I’m traveling for work and I couldn’t be more annoyed about it. With the holidays approaching and the recent decision that Thanksgiving is going to be in Camelot, the amount of things to get ready for is a bit overwhelming. We are both super busy at work and as if that wasn’t enough, the in-laws will be arriving the day before the holiday. There’s a table to get ready, make sure all platters are set up and counted for dishes and Camelot needs a good cleaning. Going away is going to slow things down quit a bit.
I worked from home yesterday so I could get my bag packed and the house in order for my being away. Work has been so hectic that at 6:00 p.m. I was still sitting in front of the computer, I had not gone to the bank and I still had not packed one single piece of clothing. I’m not sure how one person can ever have this much time. I am being reminded of the saying that women can have it all. I’m not sure I want to have it all and honestly, I’m not even sure that is totally possible. Have it all, how? at what cost? Am I just slower and less able than other women who seem to have it all? How many are getting it all done? Is my all so much more than others?
The trouble is that in getting one thing we must give up on something or someone else. When we do that, are we telling that something or someone that they are not as important? Worst yet, are we telling ourselves that we are, in fact, not able to have it all? That in order to have one thing this minute that other thing or person must take a backseat until we have time? Isn’t that the exact definition of not being able to have it all? If you have to decide when you can have one thing or the other aren’t you by definition saying that you can’t have it all?
So, here I am. I’m thinking in order to have it all, maybe we have to pick those “alls” that compliment each other. Perhaps having it all means, having it all as long as they are in the same categories. Having it all at work – being a great leader, being a great researcher, getting the promotions…. etc. and then there is the getting it all in other areas of our lives…. I’m going to use home for example. Having a clean house, a cooked meal for the family, the house ready for guests, the time to do that one special thing that you know they enjoy, the birthday card written out and mailed on time, all the bills paid and ready to go, the checkbook balanced and the laundry done.
I look around at the women where I work who seem to have it all. They have amazing clothes, they have the coveted office in the corner with the best views (I work in law, so those old fashioned things are still very important), they have the time to get their nails and hair done on a regular basis and don’t have to give up their weekends to do it. Those women seem to be the ones telling me that I need to be better at prioritizing so that I can have it all. But…. Prioritizing what? How do I do that when the two places where I am needed or where I feel needed are in two different places? How can I be making sure my house is organized and ready for the holidays when I have to get on a plane and travel for business just before the holidays? Yes, H can handle it, but he also has to go to work. This is where normally I’m told that I have to be better at time management. Ohhh ok…. so maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m just not that great at managing my time. This is where I start getting angry. Perhaps I should have started planning for the holiday and cleaning the house in the Summer when I had my one week vacation. My time to relax should have been spent cleaning and cooking for the Thanksgiving Holiday…. Ohhh wait, the house would have been dirty by November and food would have spoiled. So wait…. that’s not it. Time management in this instance doesn’t work.
I truly believe that our grandparents had it right. Women can, in fact, have it all and marriage is absolutely a partnership where each party to the partnership is responsible for one of the processes to make the partnership work. Women were successful as household CEOs because they didn’t have to go out of the house for the entire day and spend their brain power and decision making powers on something unrelated to their “career” and men were successful because they didn’t have to worry about anything else besides bringing home the money to keep the household running smooth. I am not saying that the roles can’t be reversed but a partnership means that each member of the partnership has a job to do and each one of them plays to their strengths. Men can very well be the household CEOs while the woman can very well go out and bring home the finances so that the household can run. I am also not saying that a partnership needs to be a man and a woman. What I am saying is that a partnership needs to have people in place who are good at what they do and are given the opportunity and, dare I say, the liberty to do that 100%.
Now I know that this is going to be a very contentious post and I am pretty sure that this is going to probably bring a whole lot of bad comments or disagreements. Personally, I am not particularly worried about that. I am merely stating my thoughts and my feelings. I know that personally, this is what I believe. I do much better when my energy is not being spent trying to be great at a variety of things. I much prefer being awesome at one thing than just ok at a variety of things. Again, that’s just me. I’m sure that there are some of you who are ok with doing all the jobs and I’m also aware that there are many of you who have no choice. If that is the case, I’m really sorry and I wish things could be different.
So…… give me your best shot. I would love to hear how you feel about this. Are you someone who thrives on doing it all?
See you all soon, hopefully.