What Does “Having It All” Mean To You?

Recently, I read a Tweet from someone — oh, fine, it was Julia Allison — who had just finished reading the Vogue interview with Gisele Bundchen and said she challenged anyone to tell her the woman didn’t have it all. OK, I’ll bite. I’m definitely not convinced the woman has it all. Sure, she’s drop-dead beautiful, rich, famous, has a successful career, and is married to a hot football star whom she has a brand-new baby with, but so what? Two weeks ago you could have said Sandra Bullock had it all, too, and looked what happened there. And call me cynical, but I have a hard time believing that a guy like Tom Brady, a handsome professional athlete who, let’s not forget, left his ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, when she was pregnant with their first baby to hook up with Gisele, is like some super committed, stand-up guy who would never dream of cheating on his wife. Please! So, no, I wouldn’t say Gisele necessarily “has it all.” But, what is having it all, anyway? For me, “having it all” has nothing to do with fame and certainly very little to do with superficial stuff like one’s physical appearance (or that of one’s significant other). Honestly, I’m not sure I even believe it’s possible to “have it all.” Life is so … so fluid and what you have — or think you have — today could be gone in a puff of smoke tomorrow. In a sense, if there is such a thing as having it all, I guess I feel pretty close to my own idea of what that means. Actually, for the last few months, I’ve been thinking it would be nice to just bottle this time in my life or to hit “pause” on it or just slow it down a little so I can appreciate it for as long as possible.

I’m newly married and that’s pretty great, but more than that, I feel so blessed that both my parents are alive and in good health; I still have two living grandparents; I have a great circle of supportive, loving, funny, smart friends; I have a job I like that even gives me a sense of creative fulfillment; I get to live in one of the best cities in the world; and I haven’t yet had to endure the pain of losing one of my beloved pets. Sure, there are lots of things that I still want, like a home my husband and I can call our own (rather than the one-bedroom rental we live in now), a perfect figure, a kick-ass wardrobe, a book deal (hell, I’d settle for a great idea for a book!), and who wouldn’t turn down a boatload of money (or, just a boat, period)? But even if I had all those things, I don’t know that they’d necessarily make me happier or feel more fulfilled.

To me, “having it all” is an attitude. It’s how you view your own life. It’s focusing on what you do have versus what you don’t and, more than anything else, it’s appreciating the relationships in your life and finding joy in the things that fill your days. How do you define “having it all,” and would you say the phrase describes you?