Thursday, August 27, 2015

Of Course You Can't Have It All

I had a good reality check this morning. I woke up happy, made my daughter and I breakfast (husband left early to go perform surgery), wandered over to my office and got overwhelmed. It's time to start Draft Three of my novel. I had a book review due. I'm taking a crew of pony clubbers to event rally this weekend, and our club needs a second set of kits, much of the contents of which I need to purchase at Wal-Mart this afternoon. My office is a screaming mess. My laundry is clean but not folded.

Then I read the latest Rage Against The Minivan blogpost, in which the author wondered, at the tail end of her summer in which she's working full-time from home while taking care of four elementary-school children, whether it was really possibly to have it all. And I thought, of course not. You can have lots and lots--but never everything, and never all at the same time.

I've always been grateful that my husband earns enough to take the pressure off me. I've been able to be happily fulfilled as a writer, and pleased about the books I create, without needing to wonder how the bills will be paid or make artistic choices based on money. I've been able to set my own hours, and skip writing for a week if that's what needed to happen. (It makes me cranky. The family's usually glad when I go back to work.) I know how lucky I am: it's one of the reasons I take the time to work at Faith in Action every week.

But certainly "having it all" is a middle-class female problem. The woman working two fast-food jobs and trying to juggle day care without reliable transportation is not concerned with having it all. She doesn't have time to be. Also, I've yet to meet the man who's concerned about "having it all." Men make choices and live with them, as far as I can tell.

So I think we need to cut some of the angst. It's okay if everything isn't okay. To that end, this morning I wrote my book review (deadline), went to yoga, and reminded myself that I could buy milk at Walmart, thus cutting out a trip to the grocery store. Which might, if I'm lucky, give me time to fold my laundry before I head to the barn to get ready for event rally. Or not. Either way is really okay.