When one works at a University the end of August and the first few weeks of September are the busiest of the year. Everyone from students, faculty, staff, and our families is just a little on edge. The past few weeks have been, in a word, unpleasant. Not bad exactly, for my life is much too nice to be bad, but stressful.
Last week I was running behind in the morning, which if we’re being honest, is basically the norm. Emails and calls were blowing up my phone as students were locked out of the online classrooms I manage. I forgot my lunch. Our three year old crying because we’ve forced him to wear a shirt. Just then I received multiple email alerts on finalizing paperwork to purchase our home, right as we’re working to sell a home my husband inherited with his brothers, right as we decided to buy a new car. The baby just learned to crawl and I just remembered I forgot to get the gates out of storage. We have multiple students immigrating to the United States in various stages of the Visa and U.S. introduction processes. When they arrive the culture shock sets in the same week classes start. I try to be available to them 24/7, and right then, I was needed. Our son, well our son is three. He wasn’t having it. He’s never “having it.” But last week, on that day, we had a particularly terrible drop off at school and my heart was broken (and he was still mad over being forced to wear clothing).
As I pulled away from the daycare, blaring Green Day’s Basket Case, I sarcastically said out loud to no one, “you really can have it all!” I let my frustration fester for a moment but also snorted at the truth of my sentiment.
This IS having it all. Every last little bit of it. I can “have it all” and so can you – it’s just that sometimes having it all is a bit overwhelming.
I have the happy marriage, the fulfilling career, the perfect babies, the 401(k), and the mini van. It’s wonderful. It’s what I’ve worked for. It’s what I’m grateful for every day. It’s also still life. Life is messy, silly, complicated, tragic, wonderful, everything.
So is it possible to “have it all?” Yes. Absolutely. I’m so so sorry.