You CAN Have It All, But Not How You Expected

“Look, you just can’t have it all.”

Most of us go-getters have heard that one before. It’s likely we heard it from someone close to us—a friend, colleague, or family member—after we chronicled how difficult it’s been to juggle some combination of career, parenthood, relationships, hobbies, exercise, and inner peace. 

Whew. Sound familiar? 

Our first instinct is to jump to the defense, trying to formulate ways to make the impossible possible. We hope that if we sacrifice enough in some spots, we can make the rest fit beautifully. Ultimately, you might have walked away from that conversation thinking that they’re right. 

And to some degree, they are. But what if I told you they left out something huge? Something that changes the sentiment entirely? 

You CAN have it all. Truly, you can. Just not at the same time.

Seems obvious, I know. But is that how you’re living? Or are you living as if you MUST have it all, right now?

Sure, it might not be possible to be the stay-at-home-mom who also bakes on the weekends while writing an award-winning novel and who is in the best physical, mental, and emotional state of her life. I’ll give you that. But you know what might be attainable? Picking two or three of those things, and saving the rest for another time.

Let’s stop acting as if our lives are made up of one instantaneous state of being. That the ONE miraculous day where you somehow woke up early, meditated, exercised, killed your presentation at work, connected with friends, spent time with your family, and went to bed at a decent time must be the standard for EVERY day. 

Those days happen, but how often? If you’re waiting around for every day to miraculously be one of those golden days where everything aligns perfectly, you’ll be waiting forever. 

You don’t have to excel at everything simultaneously to be successful.

This might be the season where you have little ones and it’s just not feasible to follow the same morning routine you used to do diligently. Or maybe this is the season where you’re single, unattached, and really letting yourself focus on your career and passion projects. Or maybe this is the season where you’re injured and unable to participate in that sport that’s kept you both fulfilled and in shape for years. 

That is okay. It’s all okay. 

Why? Because life is not made up of one magical moment where everything happens exactly the way you hoped for. It’s made up of a thousand mini-chapters, each with their own “Yes! I’m nailing this!” and “Well. I’ll get it next time.” 

There is time for everything. Everything in its time. What are the most valuable things to pursue right now? Those are the things to focus on. 

Rather than attempting the impossible task of forcing every aspiration you have into one moment in time, let yourself rest in the knowing that you CAN have it all, just not at the same time.

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