If Oprah Says It, It Must Be True

There once was a girl who tried to do approximately 1,436,532  things (give or take) each week.  She once prided herself on how balanced she was amongst it, and even brow-beat her brother for not seeing the importance of it. Then one day, this pretend girl realized that she no longer felt very balanced at all. In fact, she felt like she was drowning.  The twelve hour days she was  putting into her company compiled with the two others she was developing might be enough to make anyone mad.  But not this figment of our imagination.  She also decided to be on three boards and in a slew of networking groups.  She had faint memories of the days gone by when she even had a social life.

This fantasy girl is clearly me…and probably some of you, as well.

I heard a quote last night that really stood out to me for two reasons: 1. Oprah said it, so it has to be true, and 2. because I’ve been mulling over this idea a lot recently.

“You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.”  -O.W.

Seems so simple, but I’d imagine I’m not the only one amongst us who struggles with this.  As I mentioned in the ‘fable’, I once preached the importance of balance (particularly work-life) to my brother who caught an earful every time I saw him lose sight of friends and family as he focused all his energy and attention on work.  What happened?  Where did that balanced, non yoga practicing but certainly centered, person go?

I’ll tell you where she went.  She became consumed by her own drive.  There are so many things each of us wants and dreams to do that it really only takes a slight push on the peddle to go into overdrive.

Oprah’s quote resonated with me because it gives me some freedom to think I don’t need to have three successful companies, a full social life, and a significant other with 2.5 kids and a picket-fence today (that last one is debate-able in the first place).  Maybe this is the season of my life where I’m focused on building my career, and when the other parts come, that’s great. But, to try to have them all now is a bit unrealistic for me.  Perhaps any of you who relate to this can agree that while the things we want are not necessarily mutually exclusive, it’s quite difficult to enjoy any of them when you’re too overwhelmed to see straight.

To get back to the story:

After having her heart-strings tugged on a bit by a powerful figurehead’s famous words, this pretend character took a look at her life, got off email, put her blackberry aside (for a bit), and went to enjoy some of the spoils of her toiling.  Off to get a margarita she went.  Work could start again tomorrow.


  1. Very self-reflexive Darrah, I like it. I’ve long been disillusioned by the “American Dream” to have it all, so I’ve been getting into some pretty heated debates with people about my choice not to pursue certain paths at this time (ex. grad school). They have chastised me for giving it up “because of my husband,” but I totally agree with you/Oprah that you can have it all, just not always all at once. I think it’s a very freeing concept.

  2. D..This is motivational, darling, wondrous prose. It deserves publication. Let’s get this site into the world: aspiring women and men need to read your wise, O.W. inspired revelations and fairy-tales. I’m on the other side of this (I don’t even have one full time position much less three and I’m also not worried about not having a social life)! I wait in suspense for where this clarity will guide you. A margarita is a good place to start.

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