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Is it possible to have it all?
Old 04-28-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
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Is it possible to have it all?

Just interested, as this board consists of those with a few years of life under their belt, based on your own experiences, do you believe that it is possible to have it all?

Having it all includes a household with two high-flying careers, a bunch of children who are well adjusted and getting all the attention they need from mum and dad and a house that is immaculately maintained without outside assistance.

I don't personally know too many that seem to have it all, yet it seems that this is the dream that is still being sold to young peeps today.

I know we don't have it all. We made the choice that even though DH is working that I would not go back into the workforce because of the impact it has on our home life and we don't have children.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:11 PM   #2
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Just interested, as this board consists of those with a few years of life under their belt, based on your own experiences, do you believe that it is possible to have it all?
NO! Choices have to be made, HARD choices........and its not the 50's and Leave it to Beaver.........

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I don't personally know too many that seem to have it all, yet it seems that this is the dream that is still being sold to young peeps today.
Sold to, yes, reality, hell no!
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:15 PM   #3
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NO! Choices have to be made, HARD choices........and its not the 50's and Leave it to Beaver.........



Sold to, yes, reality, hell no!
Agree with the Dude. Impossible, and people are setting themselves up for big problems if they do not understand this.

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Old 04-28-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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Just interested, as this board consists of those with a few years of life under their belt, based on your own experiences, do you believe that it is possible to have it all?

Not sure if it is possible to have it all but I know lots of people who did it all including me . We both had demanding careers , raised well adjusted children ( limited the amount of after school activities to maintain sanity ), cooked , cleaned , traveled a lot, entertained & maintained a house . It was exhausting and I never felt I had time for me but looking back on it now I loved those years they were so full of life .
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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My mother told me when I was young -- In life, you can have anything you want. You just can't have everything you want.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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When I think of having it all I don't think of two high-flying careers, etc., etc. My bar is set a lot lower than that.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:47 PM   #7
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It's definitely possible, just requires an immense amount of work, a lot of natural ability, and some luck. So it is pretty rare. Having it all is pretty subjective though, different people, different definitions of "having it all". Personally that sort of situation could possibly be pulled off, but I would never desire it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:20 PM   #8
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...do you believe that it is possible to have it all?

Having it all includes a household with two high-flying careers, a bunch of children who are well adjusted and getting all the attention they need from mum and dad and a house that is immaculately maintained without outside assistance.
For what it's worth, I think the question as posed is ill-formed. "Having it all" may not be synonymous with being satisfied or fulfilled. In fact "chasing it all" for some could be detrimental to their well being. What you want from the banquet of life is an enjoyable and sustaining meal. At the buffet you make choices about which foods you like, which items complement each other and which will fit on your plate. If your approach to the buffet is to engorge yourself of everything there is to offer, you will likely end up dropping some drumsticks, having a less palatable meal and coming away with heartburn to boot.

You can and should lead full and productive lives but, as others have already said, a well lived life requires prioritizing and making choices. I'm not so sure those choices all should be equated with sacrifices, however, as "not having it all" (whatever that means) might imply.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:08 PM   #9
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For what it's worth, I think the question as posed is ill-formed. "Having it all" may not be synonymous with being satisfied or fulfilled. In fact "chasing it all" for some could be detrimental to their well being. What you want from the banquet of life is an enjoyable and sustaining meal. At the buffet you make choices about which foods you like, which items complement each other and which will fit on your plate. If your approach to the buffet is to engorge yourself of everything there is to offer, you will likely end up dropping some drumsticks, having a less palatable meal and coming away with heartburn to boot.

You can and should lead full and productive lives but, as others have already said, a well lived life requires prioritizing and making choices. I'm not so sure those choices all should be equated with sacrifices, however, as "not having it all" (whatever that means) might imply.
Terrific comments, IMO. Couldn't agree more.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:22 PM   #10
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I like the buffet analogy! Also, some people have larger plates and can take and enjoy much more than the achievements in the OP; others are blessed with saucers and can take much less. The trick of course is choosing wisely and not comparing your plate and what you have to others. The buffet also makes me think of "all you care to eat" vs. "all you can eat".
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:48 PM   #11
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Not sure if it is possible to have it all but I know lots of people who did it all including me . We both had demanding careers , raised well adjusted children ( limited the amount of after school activities to maintain sanity ), cooked , cleaned , traveled a lot, entertained & maintained a house . It was exhausting and I never felt I had time for me but looking back on it now I loved those years they were so full of life .
Sounds to me like you did/do have it all.....
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:05 AM   #12
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Having it all includes a household with two high-flying careers, a bunch of children who are well adjusted and getting all the attention they need from mum and dad and a house that is immaculately maintained without outside assistance.
You can have two out of the three realistically.

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Old 04-29-2011, 12:57 AM   #13
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I'm sure there are a few thousand families that "have it all" as described and truly love it. For the rest of us, it's a pipe dream. I have nothing against materialism, ambition and consumerism, but like anything, in moderation.

"Having it all" is and should be different for everyone. It shouldn't be a prepackaged, one size fits all American Dream. When are they gonna stop selling that? I suppose when it stops working. I'll even go out on a limb and say that trying to "have it all" as stated above is what's wrong with this country. Whatever happened to striking out on your own, living on your own terms, maybe even taking a risk or two? Seems like we all want what they are doling out instead of finding our own little slice. What we need aroudn here is a little rugged individualism instead of just trying to always fit the mold.

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Old 04-29-2011, 06:55 AM   #14
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Having it all includes a household with two high-flying careers, a bunch of children who are well adjusted and getting all the attention they need from mum and dad and a house that is immaculately maintained without outside assistance.
I have some friends who fit this description. Whilst I am happy for them, I don't think I am any less contented or less happy compared to them. As far as I am concerned, DH and I are having it all even though we don't have children and our home may not be that immaculate. Point is we are happy with what we have and that is all that matters.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:02 AM   #15
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Two demanding careers, nice house, travel, two well adjusted kids, lots of savings for ER. Yeah, we did that but we did get someone to clean the house once a week and that beautiful house was not a mega-mansion. We also didn't waste a ton of money on expensive cars and stuff.

Edit: forgot to add that DS and DDiL are doing it now. Too early to see how that will turn out.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:29 AM   #16
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Having it all can be defined in many different ways.... just like early retirement, some live on $20k others $100k+ per year. As long as you are happy, you have it all.... sadly some people can't be happy.

For me, having it all is.... having a choice in working, i.e professionally and at home. I don't have someone caring for my kids (when I want), housekeeping, dog walking, lawn care, snow removal, grocery shopping, pay my bills, home repairs, etc for me. I share most of these tasks with DW, so I guess I don't have it all, but happy most of the time.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:33 AM   #17
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We did all that, except I did have a cleaning lady every other week. It was hard and everyone had to make some compromises in the amount of activities they could do. Sometimes I felt really anxious that all the plates I was spinning would crash down. We all survived and even thrived, but I am happy that my daughter has chosen to be a stay at home mom. I see that she is less stressed than I was and the grandchildren are doing very well.
I wish I could have done that, but after my first marriage ended in divorce, I had to go to work. When I married again, I didn't want to quit my job, because I wanted to have that security in case something went wrong. We've been married almost 27 years now and I've worked the whole time.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Just interested, as this board consists of those with a few years of life under their belt, based on your own experiences, do you believe that it is possible to have it all?

Having it all includes a household with two high-flying careers, a bunch of children who are well adjusted and getting all the attention they need from mum and dad and a house that is immaculately maintained without outside assistance.

I don't personally know too many that seem to have it all, yet it seems that this is the dream that is still being sold to young peeps today.

I know we don't have it all. We made the choice that even though DH is working that I would not go back into the workforce because of the impact it has on our home life and we don't have children.
Who's selling this to the youth of today? It seems all that's being sold is celebrity worship and high levels of debt from needing to possess everything these celebs have.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:48 AM   #19
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Definition of "all" varies for each of us. "All" to me means, no debt, good health, loving family, good friends and enough money to live in relative comfort for the rest of my life.

As far as answering the OP question, I believe it is possible if that is what one wants, just takes hard work and a little luck, more work than luck though.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:04 AM   #20
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Just interested, as this board consists of those with a few years of life under their belt, based on your own experiences, do you believe that it is possible to have it all?
Sure. As long as "having it all" means achieving goals that you yourself state rather than seek to achieve the goals of others, it is quite possible (and where I am fortunate to be in this time of my life).

I have no mountains yet to climb, and that's OK. I have the memories of all the mountains I did climb during my life, thus far, and I'm more than contented at where I am in life.
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