I’m part of that generation of women who were told we could have it all and actually believed it.
Somewhere at the root of this kind of thinking lay the presumption that although “other people” would of course be limited by the standard constraints of Life (little things such as the small number of hours in the day, the non-infinite nature of patience, the need for sleep, the impossibility of working full-time while raising perfect kids, keeping impeccably fit, dressing like a fashion plate, channeling Martha Stuart and doing a PhD and…and…and…), these mundane challenges wouldn’t get in my way because I was Special.
But exhaustion and misery soon caught up with me, as they had to, and facing reality: I am mortal, limited, and fallible, just like everyone else (Duh!!) was the sweetest relief.
I’m now a huge fan of the opposite message: Being “just a regular person” is terrific! I hope this doesn’t come across as a lack of self-esteem because I believe it’s just the opposite. I like to think that the more life experience and self-confidence a person develops the more humble and less self-focused one becomes…and the happier.
Here’s a collection of good pieces on maintaining personal perspective:
Don’t Regret Regret (a short TED talk)