September 28, 2014

Cut Yourself Some Slack: I Don't Know How She Does It (2011)


I am a textbook Type A personality and I have been for as long as I can remember. What exactly does that mean, you may ask? Well, it means that I'm a list maker and that I hold myself to nearly impossible standards. I also have made the mistake of thinking that multitasking is totally doable...WRONG! I have come to learn that multitasking only makes for a scatter brained exhausted individual who thinks that they have everything under control when in fact they have nothing under control. I remember realizing this when I was working on my doctorate and working full time at the same time. I nearly drove myself crazy trying to do it all, that is until my husband helped me to realize that I didn't have to. Something had to give and so I quit my job to focus on finishing my dissertation, although I was initially concerned about how it all looked to people around me.

As women, we often find ourselves in a position where we're trying to juggle many things in our lives, particularly personal and professional, but I was lucky enough to learn early on to simply cut myself some slack, so that I didn't drive myself crazier, because at the end of the day, trying to do it all, only makes for constant movement and little enjoyment in your life. That's why I like the movie I Don't Know How She Does It (2011), because it exemplifies this very point.

In the movie, I Don't Know How She Does It (2011), Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) struggles to keep up with the many demands of both her personal and professional life. While she does have help in both aspects of her life, she doesn't fully utilize that help because women are often made to feel incompetent when they don't do everything themselves; despite the obvious fact that no one can. Sure, no one is necessarily screaming to offer help to her, but my point is that had she taken full advantage of the partner that she had in her husband, and his suggestions to make their lives a little easier, as well as their hired help, she could have significantly reduced her stress. The same could be said about her work life.


At work, Kate was also struggling to stay on top of it all; although unlike at home, she was facing a very real threat to her position in the form of a competitive coworker who was waiting for her to make a misstep. While it is true that she could not control external factors, like her coworker, she could however control the way she responded to his apparent threat to her career, by simply focusing on doing her job and not really concerning herself with trying to play his games.

By the end of the movie, Kate finally had learned the valuable lesson that she could have it all, referring to both family and career, its just hat she needed to cut herself some slack in order to do so. The same is true for you and me. For me, when I decided that despite what others thought, I gave myself permission to leave my job, it was a temp job anyway, to focus on completing my doctoral program, but you may need to make a different decision. The point is, that whatever decision you make, just remember to cut yourself some slack and not worry about how it all looks to someone else. You have to do what makes you happiest and also chances are if someone is judging you, they probably need to learn the same lesson themselves.