Life needs to be flexible
Jessica and I had a conversation last week about goals that she is setting for herself. She is incredibly driven and desires to achieve many things. No surprises, she really tilts toward a more entrepreneurial life style. One where you have more control over your life from decisions to vacations.
We went on to talk about family and kids. She asked me if I knew of any woman who is successful ( successful is a broad term but she said that meant running a large company, preferably their own ) who was able to have kids and a happy marriage. She felt that something had to be compromised in order to achieve her own personal goals and have the happy marriage and kids. Pretty smart for 18 years old.
The more I thought about it, the more I think Jessica might be right. I consider myself successful but for many years I didn't feel that way. I had always envisioned myself running a big company or having my own business but in the end, life needed to be flexible. I had a few of those opportunities over the years but I turned them down to be home and be a support system for our lives ( that would include sending my husband to medical school – just a term but you get the gist ).
As I explained to Jessica, life needs to be flexible. Goals you set out for yourself might be achieved and they might not. Many times over the years, at certain forks in the road, we ( Fred and I ) made decisions that made sense for our life and our kids. I probably was a little more flexible on the stay at home path for a time being because I was able to create something unique for myself so I didn't completely leave the work life. I also didn't want to be a disconnected parent and my fear was that if I took that "big job" that I would become that. Doesn't mean I would but I thought I might.
I was talking this weekend about the concept of how life can't be set in stone. My friend told me about his father who had started a computer company in 1966, way before its time, but his brother got cancer and everything changed. His motivation changed and he went down a different path. Women, who are on a path of taking over the world, all of a sudden have a kid and they make a big U turn and want to be home. A tragedy, a miracle, a shift in one's partners career can set your life down a new road.
Bravo to being 18 and having a path that you want to follow. I am still thinking about that woman who has it all. I am not sure it is possible. Maybe if your husband stays home and deals with all the other stuff. Obviously if you don't have a choice and you have to work, you can attempt to have it all but it is tough. I look at many successful women who are divorced. Their relationships with their children appear to be good but maybe the marriage is where they chose to not work as hard. Relationships are hard work just as work is hard work.
This is a topic I have written about before but maybe this is just a tad different. I am happy with the choices that I have made and I made them for a reason. Maybe the next generation, like my girls, will make other decisions based on the decisions that I made which did or didn't work for them. I am sure I made many decisions because of the decisions my mother made. Either the same or the complete opposite. I am not sure it is getting easier, it is just changing.