“Having it all” is code for doing everything right in life, right? Not really. The reality of living the perfect life can be pretty grim and not necessarily what you imagined it’d be like. At the end of the day, you’re only one person, and while you’re capable of some amazing things, you can’t be everything to everyone all the time.
- It’s exhausting. There’s so much stress that comes along with having it all. Between keeping schedules in line and being the best at everything 24/7, leading this kind of lifestyle just makes you want to crash out on the couch every night — but of course you can’t, because you’re too busy cramming even more into your schedule.
- People don’t really focus on you. At some point, friends and family start defining you by what you do as opposed to who you actually are. You’re the hard working mom who also works a full time, badass job and makes enough time to hit the gym everyday and maintain that rocking bod. Your mom is going to brag about that to her friends, but is that really what you’re all about?
- You’ll always feel inadequate. You can do everything, but only in a half-ass way. No matter how hard you try, the constant pull on your attention is going to mean that you can’t devote yourself fully to one thing. For example, focusing completely on your career means sacrificing parts of your relationship, and giving up in any area of your life is going to make you feel deficient.
- You’re too busy to cultivate you. You’ve got so much going on in your day-to-day that you don’t have time to really think about what you enjoy. We don’t stay the same as we grow older; our tastes and passions change. If you have it all, you may be too busy to notice how you really feel.
- Perfection is an impossible standard. Even if you aren’t pulled in several different directions, perfection is unattainable. But for some reason, when you have it all, people expect you to be the best — the hardest worker, the person who always stands up to talk in book club, the never-eats-anything-bad vegetarian. If you aren’t that person, everyone notices. Who wants that kind of stress hanging over their head?
- You lose sight of living in the moment. There’s so much to do in the future when you have it all. You have to pick up the kids from school and before you do, you’re going in to talk to your boss about a raise. And this weekend you and your partner are going on a much-needed vacation. All these future plans swirling around in your head don’t leave much room for you to really appreciate the present moment — and really, the moment is the only guarantee.
- Even if you think you have it all, you don’t. We’ll do a throwback to high school economics here and talk about opportunity costs. When you do one thing, you’re consequently missing out on another. You have to make choices, and choices mean that it’s impossible to really have it all.
- It’s no substitution for loving your life. Having it all can seem like the perfect end goal and a great way to gain the envy of others. Who wouldn’t want a fabulous career, a great relationship, and a full social calendar? But if those things don’t truly make you happy, you should dump them. You have this one, beautiful life to live; work every day to make sure you love every second of it.