Last week I attended the always awesome Officer Women Leadership Symposium, hosted by Academy Women. Over the last few years I have become involved in putting on the event, and I enjoy it so much. It always gives me a chance to see old friends, make some new friends, and get inspired by the wonderful speakers and panels.
During one of the discussions, a panelist said, "You can have it all, just not all at the same time." Interesting thought. isn't it? When we say to women they should strive for "having it all," it's often a zero sum game. Either you are a super human who can do it all or you are failing. And the "all" is so different from person to person, even though we like to put women into strict categories like career-focused, working-mom, or stay-at-home-mom. We smirk to ourselves when the super fit, well dressed woman walks into the meeting or the PTA coffee looking effortlessly put together and on top of her game. (Maybe that's just me, the one running in late, disheveled, with coffee splashed on her blouse.)
"You can have it all, just not all at the same time" keeps repeating itself over and over in my mind, and brings a tremendous amount of comfort and joy. Comfort, because stuff falls off of my plate all the time, even on my best days. And joy, because I see now with the perspective of some (ahem) years, that I get to pick what "all" means to me, and can change the definition any time I want to.