Earlier this week I had a conversation with a women senior leader and a very interesting point was brought up on the topic of different mentatlies women have when faced with the decision of “having it all”. She spent her entire life in the bay area of California and had relocated a year or so ago to the area we are in about 200 miles east. Now when you think about this, 200 miles is not that far away yet it’s been a vast differnce in the mentality of the women where she resides now versus where she came from.
This caught me by suprise as this observance of how different the mentatlies of professional women could be just a short distance from eachother. I had definitely thought about how different these mentalites could be when comparing women from different countires, different cultures, different religions, etc. but hadn’t really stopped to think that just because women may fall into some of those same categories but are a small distance apart geographically how different the outlook and expecations could be when looking at being a professional women today with a spouse, children, and the added rarity of a social life combined with all of this.
When hearing about the differences she observed between the women’s outlooks in the two geographic areas the most interesting question of all came up, which mentality, functionality, and perception is better? To view the “having it all” concept as a way of life and embracing the “just do it” motto where working insane hours, limited family time, and generally quite a bit of commuting is the norm, practically a way of life that isn’t really given a second thought. Or is the constant questioning of these scenarios, the constant quest for balance, and the decisions of putting your (the head women in the family’s) career aspirations and dreams on hold for what could end up being permanatly? Granted this is two opposite ends of the spectrum but these were the typical differences she had observed between the loci that were not 2000 miles apart, but only a mere 200 miles apart.
My own thoughts on this was first, how vastly different the two view points were on the “having it all” subject and second, how do you come to terms with this ever lasting question of how to have it all? How do you finally feel comfortable wtih the mentality you have chosen to take when facing this subject whether that is to take on the “just do it” outlook or the “my career aspirations take the back seat” mentality or somewhere in the middle. The only possiblity I could think of, as to a possible aid in coming to terms with your choosen outlook, is once you have made up your mind on the mentality you will take on when faced with the question of how you can have it all, no matter which way you choose to go, you must embrace it and move on because if you are constantly second guessing yourself and the decisions you have made true happiness on the path you have chosen will never be possible and you should at least allow yourself the possiblity to find this.