Sometimes I look at everything I am trying to do, and I just want to get back in bed.
I want my marriage to thrive. I want to be supportive of my high school senior daughter with multiple learning challenges, and help her make a wise decision about her next step in life.
I want to help her sister manage an exemplary academic career, and balance her ambition with her ability to relax and enjoy life.
I want to be a loving supportive daughter for my parents who split up after over 45 years of marriage.
I want my business to be profitable.
I want to lose weight and improve my muscle tone.
I want to keep my blood pressure down, and
I want to be a friend to the amazing group of women who have kept me sane while I have been trying to do all this stuff at the same time.
OH!!! And did I mention that I’d love to have a grounded, meaningful spiritual life, and a presence in the community creating change and supporting those in need?
Whoever told me that I could have it all was a dirty liar.
I have it all, alright and somedays it all makes my hair fall out…no seriously…my hair is falling out.
My values are colliding. There is nothing on that list that is evil or overly ambitious. It’s all just regular stuff. But I cannot manage to manage it all. Then I talk to a friend of mine and she cheers my decision not to come home for the holidays. She gets it. She knows I am managing money because of college visits. She knows I don’t do holidays well emotionally. She doesn’t judge. She cheers.
That support is EVERYTHING to me. I’m able to go to the beach and “NOT,” as my daughter calls it. “NOT” means that we are literally doing nothing. We go to a place a little over an hour from home that sits on the Gulf of Mexico. There is nothing to do. There is no store, no restaurant, nothing to tempt us to be social. Everything to help us rest, relax, rejuvenate. One of my friends told me that this was her version of HELL. Relaxation to her occurs in the City Center of Manhattan (What the What???)? But the other thing that is not here is home. Mom and Dad type home…nurturing extended family type home. That’s a drive 10 hours north in a rented SUV. Or it’s 4 plane tickets. It’s a hotel and a lot of visiting. This year, I just can’t.
I’d be a liar if I said there wasn’t guilt. Another friend did go home…my home…and she sent me pictures of her children with MY mom. I felt horrible. That wasn’t her intent. I still felt horrible. I miss my parents. I want to play with my friends. I want their kids to know me. But I just can’t. I’m tired. So I chose to enjoy the pictures and distract myself from the guilt by confessing it and moving on.
I cannot guarantee that I won’t travel at Christmas time, though I shouldn’t; not home anyway. But I might, and you know what? My friends will cheer. They will understand that I constantly manage ever competing values and that whatever I decide is what I need in that moment. They are my squad.
Wonder Woman had a squad of misfits. They helped her win her battles. My squad is pretty durn accomplished. These are women with Ivy League degrees, Esquire behind their names, homeowners, college professors, business owners…Women with the same competing values that I have.
These are women who love me, and breathe a sigh of relief when I cheer for them. They know this “Adulting” thing is hard. They understand that we need each other to survive. They know that I don’t judge.
I don’t know how the rest of the world makes it without a squad like mine? I recommend that everyone find one. Piece it together, nurture it, value it…move your Ride or Die team to the top of the rotation enough that they know how important they are to you. Tell them, show them, cheer for them, and open yourself to receiving their cheers; especially when your conflicting needs and values make you a bit unsure about some of the biggest decisions of your life, and you really just want your Mommy and her sweet potato casserole.