A few months ago, Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote a great article titled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” If you haven’t read it yet, you should. Go ahead. I’ll still be here when you’re done.
My reaction to the article was somewhere in between “of course” and “there’s no way that kind of systemic change will ever happen.” Then I went on with my life.
I’m one of those women who has been told, from Day One, that I can have anything I want as long as I’m willing to work hard enough for it. So I did. Husband? Check. Career? Check. Kids? Not yet, but on the horizon. Lately, though, I’ve been feeling stretched over too many places, as if there’s not enough of me to go around.
I feel guilty that I don’t have enough time to spend with my husband, frustrated that I don’t speak another language (or another two or three) fluently enough to work in, stressed because it seems like there’s never time enough in the day to go to the gym or to yoga class. The only time I feel peaceful is when I’m writing — but that means waking up at early o’clock to claw space out of my day.
I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. For me, so far, the balance has been in learning what things I can let go. Getting fluent in Spanish? Forget it. Nightly workouts at the gym? Not gonna happen. Even so, it feels like there should be a way to move to a place, not where we can have it all, but where we don’t have to feel guilty about letting it go.