The other day, a friend and female business owner posted an article on Facebook titled Work, Sleep, Family, Fitness, and Friends: Pick 3. It was an article based on a statement from Randi Zuckerberg, sister to the Facebook guru and former Director of Market Development turned entrepreneur. As is customary, the comments displayed a colorful array of opinions.
I was the first comment, “Yes. This.” I felt happy that someone with influence was sharing that you can’t do it ALL. Put it out into the world: to do things well means sacrificing other things – for the sake of sanity and also for the sake of integrity. In the comments, this woman piped up calling Randi an “enabled coat-tailer” which made me sad; why would you make such a crass generalization about a woman you don’t know at all? Then another woman stated “Clearly they haven’t met me – I do it all!” She (somehow) (and I’m not making this up – literally she said this) is a single mom, wakes up and makes her kid breakfast, works a regular job until 5, gets her kid, does some evening activity like a park or a walk, then makes dinner, reads with her kid, puts her to bed, then she runs her business by answering emails/setting appointments, works weekends as a wedding hair/makeup artist, yet somehow makes time for friends, exercise, and get enough sleep to feel rested.
I call bullshit.
I assume some of the following is at play here:
a) call up her friends and they’ll tell you they barely see her b) she looks haggard and tired all the time c) her idea of being fitness-conscious is her evening walks with the kid? d) her business isn’t really lucrative
I’m not saying this to be an asshole, I promise. I think this is a textbook definition of that “busy” trap you keep seeing in articles on NYT or huffpost. Maybe she has to do all work to make enough income – but I can’t believe her personal time, social life, or health aren’t sacrificed to achieve the full time job + part time business (and single mom) responsibilities.
I say all of this because I’m reflecting on the fact that personally, I can’t do it all. Well, I can’t do it all well. I like being good at things. Because I can knit, run, shoot (decent) photos, sew fairly well, I like to write, freelance, and want to start my own business doesn’t mean I can do them all. I’m learning to accept that’s okay. Focus on the things I love most – the few most important things (family, fitness, work – those are my 3) – and be stellar. The rest? They’re just not a priority. There is nothing wrong with that.