Posted by: Cathy | June 5, 2013

Having it “All”

Work-Life Balance. That phrase makes me feel tight in my chest. Why is “work” placed first? And in order to be balanced, work and life would weigh the same, which I don’t think should be the case. Work is a part of life, and it is not the most important part. It should look more like a pie chart. Here is my Life pie chart scaled to priority.

Coach Blog 060513

I feel like I’m supposed to want to “have it all”, where “all” is implied to be a great career, a fulfilling family life with a spouse and children, a 15-year mortgage, and a comfortable retirement fund.

That is not what “all” looks like for me. I don’t have a spouse or children. At 35, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, so I don’t exactly have a career yet. I don’t know where I want to live in 5 years, so I don’t have a mortgage. I do have a decent retirement fund so far.

For me, “having it all” looks like being financially independent; being able to spend my days writing, contemplating, and creating art; and having enough money to travel abroad every year or two. Realistically, this probably won’t happen until I’m retired, which is why I prioritize that savings, and even then my travel budget might not be what I could wish it to be.

Instead of being bitter about waiting another 20+ years for retirement to “have it all,” I’m learning to steal “all”-moments when I can. I can write on my lunch hours. I can create art on the weekends. I can contemplate throughout the day. I can save up to travel and add to my Roth IRA fund.

Do what you can when you can. I can’t have it “all” yet, but I’m taking steps in that direction.

What does “all” look like for you? What are your priorities? Don’t be pressured by someone else’s image of “all” – paint your own picture!



  1. That’s funny because I’ve been wondering what I would rather be doing with my life. I know that what I’m doing isn’t my dream, and I know that I’m not chasing the marriage-kids-mortgage dream, but I don’t know what I wish I were doing. I’ve been thinking about this really for only the past week and still haven’t figured it out yet. I’m not too worried though, because that’s a pretty big question and it’s not a yes or no question.

    I really liked this post, by the way. It felt very personal and I connected with it in a way that I haven’t connected to your other posts, for some reason.

  2. I’m glad you connected to this!

    In two weeks, I’m posting my D.A.R.E. to Dream workbook 🙂 Maybe that will help you answer the question.

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