Posted by Gaby [The Vault Files] on Thursday, August 16, 2012
Filed under: My life
There's something that has been on mind as of late and I really want to share it to get it out of my system. Hopefully you'll find it useful, though I'm not an expert on the subject nor I know it all, I'm just sharing my thoughts and experience.
Over the past couple of weeks I've been reading posts about Balance and Having it All (this, this and this series, among others) so it's been on my mind. I think you can't talk about these two without mentioning and considering the other, to me, they go hand on hand, don't you agree?
So this is what I think:
Can you have it all? More specifically, can women have it all? No and Yes. If your definition of all is: spending quality and quantity time with your family members, have and successfully manage a job (any type of job), have homemade meals every day, exercise regularly, see your friends regularly, attend cultural events, have a cleaned house and all house related chores done to perfection (cleaning, laundry, folding, cooking, decluttering) 24/7, have free time for your hobbies and for social gatherings, tweet, instagram, pin, facebook and blog on a daily basis, all in perfect harmony, then unfortunately the answer is NO (and whoever does all of this please shoot me an e-mail and tell me how?). Unless, of course, you have a nanny, a cook, a maid, a trainer, an assistant, and a clone who could do some of the aforementioned, while your other self naps and gets a manicure (because you have to look good right?). Having said this, I do believe you can have it all. It just comes down to the definition of all. What's your all? More importantly, what's your realistic all?
As I've struggle to find balance in my life (like we all do right?), I've come to the realization that I just can't have it all. But I still can have my own all. I know, it sounds confusing, but let me explain. First, I had to recognize my priorities. Above all, I'm a mother and a wife, so my family's needs come before anything. Then I have a job responsibility. I have customers from my etsy shop who expect me to serve them and treat them with respect, I have clients from my freelance gigs that expect me to deliver (yeap, I know I haven't shared a lot, or anything about this, but I do work as a freelancer on graphic design, and styling and wardrobe consultations). Then I have my blog, which has become not only my creative outlet, and my portfolio, but my happy little corner on the internet where I get to put my skills to work, share what I like, and where I hopefully inspire people. With the blog comes twitter, instagram, pinterest, facebook, and all that social media madness that has become so important in our lives. Then add your hobbies, your social life, fitness....it all adds up very quickly right?
I've come to understand that I simply can't be on every social media platform, I just can't. So even though I wish I could actively be on all of them sharing my life and following yours, I simply don't have time, and believe me, I'm not using this as a lame excuse. I'm on pinterest and find it to be incredibly inspiring and resourceful, but I would lie to you if I told you that I spend time on Pinterest just browsing (oh just the sound of it sounds amazing) but I can't seem to find time to do it. I don't think I spend more than 1 hour a week (yes a week!) browsing on Pinterest. Then there's twitter. Yes, I'm on twitter but if you follow me you already know that I pop in from time to time, and then I disappear. Facebook, well, yes, I have a fan page which I update daily but that's about it, I'm not even big on Facebook on a personal level. I check it everyday to see if there's anything new happening among my friends and family and then I log out. Max 10 min a day.
Now, I do understand that what I'm saying here goes against everything you have probably heard and read about networking "you must be on all social media platforms", and yes, If you can, it is incredibly rewarding, but I can't do it all and I'm fine with it. I don't feel the pressure to be on all of them because I've recognized my priorities and I'm quite happy about them. They make me happy and they keep me sane. Family, Eating right (though you all know I have a sweet tooth), Exercising, Blogging and working are my priorities. Do I feel the pressure to tweet because I have to be socially active? no. I do so when I feel like to and I'm happy with that. Do I feel I'm a failure because I'm not doing what is recommended to get your blog out there? no. I've defined what my all is and I'm happy with it. Of course, this doesn't mean that I have the perfect balance, there are nights when I go to bed really really late, there are days when I'm tired, and there are days when I don't even want to open Photoshop (surprisingly, but yes). But this is not every single day (thank God). I'm not saying you shouldn't work hard, please don't get me wrong. Working hard with passion is the only way you can get to places. But you shouldn't try to accomplish more things that you can actually manage, you should do what you love and enjoy it. If you start hating what you do, and there's something that can be done about it, why keep doing it? We have to learn to not be so hard on ourselves, do I hate the fact that today my house is a mess? yes, but I have other things right know that need my attention so I try not to get down because of that. Prioritize prioritize prioritize. Define what (realistically) makes you happy and you'll see that soon enough you won't be bothered about the stuff that you can't get done and that really doesn't need to be done.
I hope I have explained myself correctly, I'm not, by any means, saying that you should quit it all in order to be happy. We all have different interests and responsabilities, I'm just using my case as an example. I do think that there's a way (ever changing and ever adapting) to find balance and have it all. You and only you can define how you're going to accomplish that.
If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading, I didn't realize how long it was until hitting preview ;)
* Quote from David Allen found here