What women want (?)

I’ve seen articles popping up all over the place proclaiming why women either can, or cannot, have it all.

It all.

Whatever that means.

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I suppose the way you choose to define “it all” is subjective, but from what I gather, it refers to achieving some sort of magical balance of a rewarding career, effortless motherhood, conflict-free marriage and Stepford-wife-esque home decor and manners. You might as well add lottery-winning skills and ownership of a unicorn to the list, because the standards don’t seem high enough.

I’m not sure why this has become such a hot button topic. I mean – trust me – I already analyze myself plenty, I’ve got it down to a science, so hearing strangers repeatedly list the ingredients required for success and happiness can get frustrating.

I’m discouraged by the way women are analyzed – and how we continue to analyze each other. We’ve got a lot more in common with each other than we think. We want the same things and share the same dreams. But we get bogged down by trivial details.

Any trips this summer? Why aren’t you having a baby? What does your husband do? Have you tried juicing?

Who cares.

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As the world continues to evolve into a cyclone of madness, let’s maybe focus on what really matters. Even if it’s just for five minutes a day.

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Let’s forget what we were taught to want, and how we’re conditioned to define happiness, and consider what actually fulfills us. Maybe it’s that easy.

Here are some of the things I’d place on the mythical list of “it all,” (if you asked me) (which you didn’t) (but, yeah).

1. A job where you are challenged and can learn, at least some of the time.
2. Male role models. Be it your father, brother, rabbi or coworker. We need examples of the way men should treat us.
3. A few good, solid, grounded girlfriends. Girls who don’t judge, aren’t flakes and who love you for who you are (regardless of how many times you call/text/cry/complain/etc).
4. A healthy habit. Zumba, guitar, running, yoga, scrapbooking, blogging. Something to put energy into that’s reasonably inexpensive and a positive outlet.
5. Women who inspire. We need women in our lives who encourage and support us. People who’ve gotten through what we’re going through and came out kicking.
6. Reasons to laugh. It’s a safer, cheaper medicine than booze. So find ways to bring more laughter into your life.
7. A way to give back. Volunteer. Get involved. Donate, be it your money, time or blood. Do something for people you’ll never meet.
8. Pampering. Every once in a while. A massage, a pedicure or a facial. Something to love yourself.
9. A modest savings account. A little nest egg goes a long way when you least expect it.
10. Downtime. Apparently … we’re trying to accomplish a lot these days. Don’t get too caught up in the everything to enjoy the small things.

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