Woman to woman, we WANT IT ALL. We work hard in an attempt to HAVE IT ALL in our careers, with our families, in our relationships, and in our lives—while still staying sane, healthy and happy (after all, aren’t those part of “it” anyway?).
But trying to have it ALL is taking an enormous toll on us. Women’s health today is in the scariest place it’s ever been, with breast cancer and autoimmune disease at record highs, while stress and exhaustion are chronic and growing, year after year.
What if this drive to have it ALL is actually self-indulgence? What if it’s a form of gluttony? What if it’s a neurosis we’ve been suffering from as a community so we haven’t even known to help one another get out of it? What if having it ALL is unrealistic and unhealthy? What if it’s robbing us of joy, fulfillment and authentic success?
Suppose we look at this from the perspective of a double Belgian chocolate brownie… you know the one; it beckons you while you’re waiting for your latte. If you apply “I can have it ALL” consistently to this wickedly good brownie, you increase your chances of gaining unhealthy weight, becoming hyperglycemic, or even developing diabetes. Don’t misunderstand me—eat one of those giant brownies with a fork and savor every delicious bite (I did this New Year’s Day and it was so awesome it’s my new annual tradition).
But we can’t HAVE IT ALL as a lifestyle approach. In our attempt to do so, growing numbers of women are paying a heavy price in terms of health and wellbeing.
When we indulge a do it ALL way of being in our lives, we run from day to day trying to get it all done, do it right, be it all at work, handle it all at home. As a result, we suffer from various states of distress, guilty feelings, and dis-ease. If having it ALL has become a life-long binge, like it was for me, you might even hold on so tightly to this concept that eventually you pay an even bigger price and wind up in a health crisis. That’s certainly where I found myself four years ago.
Do we let our kids, staff or clients have it ALL every single day? No. We set limits, boundaries and realistic expectations. When those are tested, we reset the limits, reestablish the boundaries, revisit expectations.
So, why do we accept having it ALL as a healthy aspiration for ourselves?