I Want it All

28 Feb

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Today I woke up the other day thinking about the lyrics from a song I haven’t heard for years. The song “I Want it All”, at least the version I was thinking of, is from the musical Baby, which ran on Broadway in the early 1980’s. It’s about three couples, all of whom are expecting babies, and the highs and lows associated with that. There is a married woman in her early forties with grown children and a surprise pregnancy, one college age single woman with no plans to have a child now, and one married woman in her late twenties/early thirties who has been trying unsuccessfully for a while to get pregnant. I was in college when the musical played on Broadway and have now lived through all these stages of life. I understand the wants of these women, and, even though I know that no one has it all, I still want it.

If anyone tries to tell you that they have it all, they are a liar. I know, strong words, but I think it’s time we stopped trying to be something that none of us can be. None of us can be in a passionate and romantic marriage; raise bright, happy, healthy, well-adjusted children, keep a beautifully, clean decluttered and amazingly beautiful home; take excellent care of our body, mind and spirit, and have a high powered, lucrative career that allows us to travel the world. I have friends and/or family at every level of financial abundance, in more family situations than you can count and in all kinds of adult relationships and not one of them has it all. Some of them try to show the world that they do, but privately they suffer because the face they show the world isn’t the one that they truly live. Some of them blame others for their areas of lack, which only gives away the power they do have, and some want it all, but are afraid to take any steps to make it better. For them, life is hard, but change feels even harder.

So what’s the solution? Where’s the silver lining? You know I’ll find one and here it is: We can have what matters. We can decide what matters most to each of us and focus on that. For me, that has always been my marriage and my children. I’ve poured myself into those two aspects of my life and the dividends have been huge. I have great relationships with my husband and children and that brings me great joy. Those choices, however, have come with a price.

For years, I focused so much on my family that my home was far from homey. About 10 years ago, I found a way to take care of my home that works for me to this day at Flylady.net. During those early family years, especially when I had three children and one with special needs, I neglected to take care of my body, mind and spirit (mostly the body) on a regular basis. I did the basics, especially with nutrition for my family, but I rarely focused on my needs in that arena. Now that I’m staring down the age of 50 and my children are more independent, I take time to exercise and meditate almost daily. I spend quiet time with spiritual material, and I read almost every night, which still feels like an indulgence. And then there’s the career. I didn’t really like the one I had before I became a mom and the pay wasn’t the greatest, so walking away was easy. As I raised children, I found a few ways to earn some extra cash, but my career has truly been my children. I don’t regret a moment of it. Not that it’s been easy. We’ve had to cancel vacations and deny our children some enrichment opportunities that nearly broke our hearts because we didn’t have the money to make it happen or an unexpected expense, like a broken down car, came alon.

So now, as my youngest child prepares for junior high and my oldest prepares to go away to college, my career as a mom and what matters is changing. My children can take care of their own basic needs. My role is more of guidance than having my hands in their everyday lives. I’m like a satellite that hangs out in space until the information I have is needed, always there but not always wanted. That realization is bittersweet. While I miss the closeness that my children and I had on a daily basis when they were growing up, I love watching my confident, self-assured young men begin to cut their own path in this world. I’ve told them since they were small that they were born to be leaders and make a difference in this world, and they are beginning to be the men we’ve envisioned. So, I exercise more and take better care of my home. I spend more time alone with my husband and I write. I write for myself and I write for my blog and although I still don’t have it all, I have more than I need, most of what I want and life is better than good. No matter what choices you have made or will make in your life, I hope you will be are as happy with your outcome as I am with mine. If not, figure out what really matters to you and act accordingly. I wish you all a life that matters. I believe that’s what we’re all here to do. Thanks for being you and have a great day!

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