Why You Can’t Have It All

This weekend did not go as I had planned. I almost didn’t write this post but then I decided to go ahead and write it. Frankly I had another topic planned but as it often does, this struck me as something I needed to write while I was at church yesterday. It’s been a bit since I wrote a mental health post, I use that word generously actually. But today I want to share with you why you can’t have it all.

You Can’t Have it All

By no means am I trying to be negative person or a dream stealer when I say you can’t have it all. Maybe I should have titled this ‘why I can’t have it all’ but then would that grab your attention? Who knows for sure but work with me here. The reason I am writing about this is because I have come to realize in the last year that there are certain things I thought I wanted but I really don’t. Coming to that realization has actually given me some peace, I hope the same thing will happen for you.

You can’t have it all because the price is too great. There is always a trade off when we go after something. Think about it. If you want to get healthy the trade off is giving up free time because now you are most likely exercising, giving up foods you may have previously enjoyed in abundance, and even paying more for healthier foods (they do cost more than processed junk) so you’re giving up money. Of course the flip side is to reframe these notions and rather than think of it as ‘giving up’ you can look at it as ‘getting the chance to’ or ‘choosing to’. Regardless of the verbiage there’s a trade off involved.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about blogging. As much as I enjoy writing, the blog doesn’t write itself. I make the choice to give up free time to do this, I make the choice to pay the annual fees associated with blogging. The cost is not just money but time, precious time. From what I have read over the years the amount of time it takes to write a blog is always what surprises people.

This is Why

This is why you can’t have it all. You cannot remain sedentary and eat garbage but also be fit and healthy. You can’t be outrageously successful on Instagram without spending the time. You cannot have healthy relationships with friends and family without spending the time to nurture and care for them. Does this make sense? Do you see now that this is why we simply cannot have it all. You might be doing all the things but not doing any of them especially well. I feel like this all the time!

Maybe this example will help (our pastor used it). If you go to a frozen yogurt place and get all the toppings on your frozen yogurt at once, undoubtedly something isn’t going to blend well with something else, right? You might like all the toppings individually and even enjoy them on other visits but adding them all at once? Probably not the best idea.

Your Priority

During our church sermon yesterday, the pastor shared that it wasn’t until the 1900’s that the plural of the word priority entered the English language. Until that time, it was simple, you had one priority – no matter what it was IT was your #1. Then all of a sudden it became clear that we wanted to have more than one number one. How can that be? Something has to give, right?

This really spoke to me. When I look back at my life, I can identify times I made choices to give up one thing to get another. Times I said no to one thing so I could say yes to another. I bet you have to! I gave up a job that would pay better and help me achieve my original career goals to stay home with my boys and then work in the school system. Truth is I never imagined I’d work in public education. I never wanted to be a teacher and sure as heck would have laughed if someone had told me I’d be a school counselor when I was in graduate school. It was certainly not what I wanted but it became what I wanted when faced with a choice. The cost of me pursuing career goals would have been time with my children and my husband and I just wasn’t willing to pay that price.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying if you work in a field other than education that you aren’t a good parent or spouse. I’m not saying everyone needs to be a stay at home mom. What I am saying is that we have choices to make and it’s important to realize the price we pay to have it all or even to pursue the idea of having it all.

Social Media Can Make It Seem Like It’s Easy

Social media can certainly make it look easy to have the perfect life! It looks easy to have it all – a stylish home, a great marriage, healthy body, brilliant children, and a life of cute clothes, manis & pedis with tons of fabulous trips and getaways. And maybe, just maybe, you have struggled to keep up or be more like the people you see on social media. It all looks easy, right? But it’s not. Anyone remember Rachel Hollis and her best seller, “Girl, Wash Your Face” – did you read it? If you read it my guess is that you also felt sad and maybe even a bit betrayed when she and her husband split and we learned that not everything was sunshine and unicorns in her life like we were led to believe.

Don’t Do It

Friends, don’t do it. Don’t overwhelm and stress yourself out trying to have it all. Decide what truly brings you joy and remember that it’s okay if it’s not what everyone else loves and does. You can spend so much time being a slave to something that really isn’t a good fit with your life and beliefs simply because you think it’s what you need to be happy and live your best life.

Have the Courage

Have the courage to say and do what you really want. This means saying no and it may even let some people down. That’s okay in the long run. Life is short, too short in fact to be anything other than unapologetically you. Pay attention to how you feel when you do certain things and if it’s not a joy bringer, why do it?

I hope my words today spoke to you or at the very least gave you something to think about. You don’t have to agree with me, that’s for sure, but I do hope that in some small way after reading this that you look at situations and circumstances through a slightly different lens. Let me know!

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