Having It All
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
I throw my keys on the table by the door and pour myself a huge glass of red wine. I plop myself down on the floor on my extra-large cushion among four baskets of clean clothes that need folding. I glance around the house and feel like I am living in a pig sty. I am living with a husband and three children aged 2, 4 and 6, which explains the mess. Crumbs that need to be swept, dishes calling out to be washed and a bathroom crying out to be cleaned. I realise am a whole day behind doing all my household chores. Wow, was this how my interesting and inspiring spiritual conference was supposed to make me feel? Deflated and overwhelmed? Isn’t that the opposite of what was meant to be all about?
It all happened when one of my friends presented me with a free ticket to a women’s spiritual conference. It was about teaching people how to connect with their spirituality and finding quality time for yourself. It sounded perfect for me!
When we arrived, we were greeted by a scantily clad hippy woman that didn’t wear shoes and was covered in temporary tattoos and sparkly body glitter. It was Winter, and in my mind, she seemed a bit old for body glitter. She encouraged me to paint my body with it. But to be honest, I didn’t feel it would suit my skinny denim jeans and best-knitted jumper. The staff that welcomed us provided us with complimentary, healthy, organic, non-toxic, non-allergenic, gluten-free, smoothies. To my eyes, it looked more like new-born green baby poo. But despite this, I gave it a try. When I took a sip however, it tasted what I imagined newborn green baby poo would. I discretely disregarded my sample in the bin and grabbed myself a coffee with an extra shot. I know the 65-year-old shoe-less hippy would not choose coffee, so I felt slightly guilty. This would be affirmed later in the conference when they said you should never put such poison in your body. But I was so exhausted from being up all night with my youngest daughter and I needed a boost. I gulped it down quickly and inconspicuously outside the door before re-entering the auditorium with all the “healthy” people still drinking the green goo.
The lectures were held in a large auditorium. There were amazing spiritual gurus from across the globe speaking to us about several issues. They had wonderful ideas about living life to the fullest and being spiritual and changing the world. I wanted to follow all their advice, but most seemed unrealistic.
The first speaker told us sleep is essential and that you should get at least nine hours a night uninterrupted. That's easy for her to say, I thought. She is single and childless. No two-year-old is climbing into her bed at 2am screaming! She also spoke about eliminating material items from our lives like make-up, cars and fashion items. She was gorgeous, had flawless skin and her outfit did not look home-made. As far as not having a car goes, it isn't exactly practical to fit three small children on a bicycle (as she suggested), transporting them around a city that lacks adequate public cycling lanes, especially on days when the weather is terrible.
Another speaker stressed the importance of making time for yourself. I totally agree and tell mothers this all the time. I often suggest to mums to take time out to have a cup of tea and read a book or go for a workout. I feel that I am realistic in my expectations. This speaker then asked us to create a list of all our hobbies and interests. That was easy! I love writing, playing music, going to the gym, reading, painting, and photography. Then she recommended that we fit ‘all’ these activities into every day to live a fulfilled life! After caring for three children, taking care of the house, cooking, cleaning and working full time I thought I better reassess my list. Could showering count as a hobby? Again, this speaker was single with NO CHILDREN.
The last inspirational speaker was incredible, but she kept repeating this phrase that seems to be overused if you ask me. She said, “You can have it all!” I asked myself, how does she know? What does that even mean? Have it ‘all.’ It can mean something different for everyone. Plus, why do women always get told this “you can have it all,” but men never do? All I want is sleep and I am not getting any of that!
Don't get me wrong. I love my life and feel so blessed that I am healthy, and we are not in need of food or shelter or clothing. It was a day full of wonderful, interesting people, but there was a common thread. More time, more money and you can have everything. I can only laugh at the hypocrisy that exists even within the New Age community. They are preaching of a world that needs no material items, yet if I didn't have to pay for my ticket it would have cost me $350. If time constraints don’t exist, why did I feel so stressed finding the time to fit in the damn conference!
So much for having at all.