Learning About Having #It All From Another Woman Who Has Had It All, But Not All At the Same Time

Lean CuisineJustice of the United States Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said she believes women can have it all, but perhaps not all at the same time. She has attained the rank of American Female Superstar, and with her admission of what she has accomplished and what she has overcome, she thankfully has exposed what she had to do to have it all. She gives us the gift of the public recognition that a woman cannot have it all at the same time.

You will know everything about RBG in the documentary recently released. She really is the impetus for another kind of hashtag, having #ItAll.  Lean Cuisine wants to talk to women about “having #ItAll,”and is using the hashtag in a new advertising campaign, according to Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, May 25, 2018.

I agree that Lean Cuisine should not advertise this hastag, even though “the campaign highlighted the positive influences women can have on one another and the social pressures women often face when balancing personal and working life.”

Rachel Siegel quotes a Lean Cuisine spokesperson about the reason behind the advertising campaign.  “There’s so much negativity around the female relationship when it’s a source of great strength,” Julie Lehman, marketing director for Lean Cuisine, told The Washington Post. “[The campaign] allows you to really understand your own ‘it all’ in your own way.”

That is what Lean Cuisine has wrong.  Their advertising campaign gives the wrong message, causing more angst and stress for young woman than they should have. They should highlight instead what Ruth Bader Ginsberg highlights, that we women can have it all, but not all at the same time.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a source of strength and is paving the way for other women to share their real stories.  Each woman has a different story to tell about how we had it all, but not all at the same time. Sometimes we are called pioneers, as she is, and we are quizzical. We women did what we had to do to try to have it all, and looking back, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is right, we make up a group of women who have had it all, but not all at the same time. What is most important is that we can mentor other women that you can have it all, and it is worth striving for the goal, but must accept that you cannot have it all at the same time.

Who knows if our experience is unique but we entered a world that was male, the door opening slightly each year for those few women having the focus, motivation, and intent to reach and succeed in a goal for themselves, needing to push against the door to make that happen.

We had a supportive family culture that gave us the freedom and opportunity to believe we could do anything or be anything we wanted with hard work and perseverance, or needed to escape or both, and we needed that push to never give up on our goal.

We wanted a family life too, and those lucky ones of us found true partners, sometimes having to push them into roles that they did not expect or voluntarily accept the responsibilities and limitations on their lives. Psychologists now call that egalitarian marriages.

We overcame much at every stage of our lives. Each decade brought its hardships and challenges, and successes. Sometimes, parts of life and times of life were overwhelming. Our relationships, personally and professionally, were complicated and evolving. Balancing career and parenting seemed out of balance at most points in our careers, but our children, as all do,  seemed to survive us and thrive. We survived, barely, being the working woman sandwich generation, caretakers for our parents as well as our children at the same time as menopause. We learned to overcome physical challenges, serious illness, and death of those close to us and still remain focused. We have gotten to a point in life to begin to reveal ourselves, like RBG, and get comfortable with that exposure.

Looking around today, I see the decades repeat themselves. I do not see myself as a pioneer, but a motivator. A cheerleader! Yes, it is a life and career worth living. The journey is worth its attendant hardship and sacrifice. Life is hard and then you die, my mother used to say. In her life, she stuck with the light at the end of the tunnel, and her focus was there, fortunately, paving the way for me to reach my goals. As my husband says, life is good, and if I die today, it is okay.

So, here, having #It All @RBG is the hashtag we should adopt.  I join Ruth Bader Ginsburg in saying, strive, persevere, overcome obstacles, focus on the goal, for it, whatever, “it” is for you. You can have it all as a woman! Just realize that “it all” is not all at the same time.

We Boomers should shout this mantra!  Share your stories of having #ItAll @RBG!

That is how we should encourage young women to realistically go for it!







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