Last night I posted a picture on my Instagram feed which wasn’t really relevant to the comment below it and so I deleted it. It felt like a subject worthy of more than just an Instagram caption and something that I often struggle with so it’s time to put finger to keyboard and ponder the topic (in my best Carrie Bradshaw voice): Can You Really Be All About Everything?
Here’s the issue that can make me feel a bit anxious from time to time, questioning whether I’m really giving my all. These days we (and that’s not women by the way, but both genders) are meant to be everything. Women are supposed to work full-time but also be a Mum and keep home, have a great social life and a great relationship. Frequently, we’re also trying to hold down another activity such as running a business or a blog. Men are supposed to work full-time but also be a totally hands-on Dad and equally share the load of home life, be a supportive partner and enjoy their own social activities.
So how does everyone keep on top of it all? Obviously I’m taking parenting out of the equation since I don’t have children but as most of you know by now, I work full time during the week and can often be found babbling away on Instastories first thing in the morning on my way to the station only to disappear for the rest of the day. I’ve been in my job since January 2003 and am really proud of going out to work.
Having been raised by strong, independent women (my Mum has worked her entire life and teaches still in her late 60s, my Gran was a nurse during WWII, my great-Aunt one of the first female qualified vets in the UK), there is absolutely no question that anyone else would ever pay my way. When I’m at work that’s my focus, to do my job well, enjoy my days with my amazing colleagues and be the best manager to my team that I can, supporting and developing them.
And then there’s always been something else alongside work, from running my own business for 8 years selling children’s clothes online, to being a Samaritan for 6 years. Activities that I’ve managed alongside work because that hasn’t felt creatively fulfilling enough. They’ve taught me so much about myself too and I would never trade either of those experiences but of course the nature of life is that nothing lasts forever.
Which brings me to blogging and now I’m officially in my late-30s (sob!) I feel happier than ever. Every day as a blogger feels exciting, wondering what opportunities might land in your inbox, which of the virtual friends you might finally meet in real life. There just isn’t enough time for it though, not really. Or at least, there is if I sacrifice everything else outside of work. But I’m only human and when I see people having such lovely days whether it’s sitting in the garden with a cuppa or heading out to meet friends or even just being able to get things done around the house that we have to wait until the weekend for, it makes me realise how impossible it is to get the balance right.
But in my own little way perhaps everything is being juggled just fine, for now. I work hard at my job and work hard at my blog. There’s still time for fun and getting on with home projects and taking care of the fur-babies, fitting in my increasingly important runs and exercise, looking after myself. It will be really interesting to see what happens next week when my work trip to Florida takes place. My entire office are flying out next Wednesday and returning the following Monday and at least half the time is ‘down-time’. I don’t want to abandon social media for those 5 days but also want to really be in the moment with these guys because we are just going to have the best time.
Ultimately, it’s simply about appreciating don’t you think? Appreciating how lucky we are to even have these opportunities, to live in a country, a time, a world, where women can work, can provide, can go on nights out and live a bloody good life. I don’t believe in ‘having it all’, it’s such a bullshit statement because what does that even mean? All I do know is how very lucky I am, to be even given the chance to be All About Everything.
I’d love to hear what you think – are you juggling different aspects of life? Do you feel energised or exhausted? What are your tips to keeping afloat?