You Can Have Anything You Want

I forgot my iced coffee cup at work last night so after my morning shift I had to buy a refill at Coffee Bean. Darn Winking smile

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After a short morning shift I came home for lunch, then got to working on my new part time job. The transition of an extra hat to wear has been hectic, but I’m hoping it will soon be smooth sailing Smile 

I have been craving a bean and cheese burrito (hope I’m not low on iron) and finally made one for lunch. (I also had a kiwi on the way home from work.)IMG_2072 (800x600)

Lunch left me wanting something sweet so I made a dessert of PB and chocolate chips on a sandwich thin. Lucky Charms is wrong – THIS is magically delicious!IMG_2074 (800x600)

I recently heard this quote and Ben and I have been discussing it on and off for a few weeks:

“You can have ANYTHING you want, but you can’t have EVERYTHING.”

The original context was regarding work and kids and money, but it really applies to all aspects of life. Part of me doesn’t want to believe we can’t have everything. I want everything! I want a good job that I love, pays well, has flexible hours and lets me attend blog conferences and races. I also want a big house in an great neighborhood and kids and to be happy and fulfilled and…

Basically, I want it all.  I was raised to believe I could have it all. I was told I should dream BIG and reach for the stars!

Now that I’m an adult and live in the real world I realize I have to prioritize what I want. I can have anything, but not necessarily everything. And I can still be happy.

It seems disappointing to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be a backup dancer for Britney Spears or the next Katie Couric. But, I have an awesome life. And I can continue to have an awesome life and live out some of my dreams if I figure out which ones I want to pursue.

It makes me feel defeated to think I can’t have everything. But, it empowers me to think I can have anything. Yes, I’ll have to work for it but that makes it more rewarding too.

What does this have to do with RER?

Today I realized “I can have anything, but I can’t have everything” applies to my weight loss struggles too. I can have an extra piece of chocolate cake OR I can have my jeans fit looser,  but I can’t have both.

What do you want:

A.) More dessert

B.) The scale to go down

C.) All of the above (Dream world option – does not apply in real life)

There is no right or wrong answer on this test, just the answer that would make me happier. It’s my life, my choice. I just need to decide.

Question: What do you think? Can we have Everything? Or Anything?


  1. says

    I prefer to think of this statement in terms of time. You may be able to have everything you want–a fulfilling job, a nice house, a wonderful family–but maybe not all RIGHT NOW, and maybe not all at the same time. I like thinking of short term and long term goals that build on each other (ex: once I have a job that pays better I’ll be able to save money to buy a house, etc.) over a matter of time. Thinking of things in terms of time like that makes me feel like I can accomplish all my goals…in due time.

    • says

      I totally agree with Gavi. I want to work from home at a job that pays me well in an industry I can feel good about. I dream of becoming a cookbook editor, starting a farm-to-school nonprofit, buying a big lot of land within driving distance of a nice coastal city, and building my own house. Maybe I’ll plant acres of tomatoes and other veggies, raise chickens, and host weekly farm dinners in a big barn or on a pretty meadow overlooking a lake in the middle of the summer. I want a daughter named Maria and my mom to live close by. BUT ALL IN DUE TIME! Life is long. We’re young. I have faith that we’ll get to it all. OK, maybe not all of it, but 5 outta 10 ain’t bad!

  2. MF says

    Nice Post!

    While in a perfect world it is lovely to think we can have everything, but I think the reality of it is that we can’t (mainly due to money and time and money). I think we have to pick the things we want most and go for them. Also, I think as you get older, what you thought you wanted 10 years ago, suddenly doesn’t seem that important…

  3. says

    I agree that we can have anything but not everything. I’m struggling with this a bit (a lot) as well. For me its deciding my priorities and then moving my life to fit that. Having a job I love > a big paycheck, but I need to balance that with bills and supporting my husband while he’s in school. I’m also trying to come to terms with decisions I’ve made in my past that are still holding me back. I need to realize that they brought me to where I am today and I should be grateful for that. But I wish my finance degree would morph into something else and that my student loans would vaporize. And my ass would get smaller.

  4. says

    I like to think of it as having everything in moderation. You can have the extra chocolate cake and have your jeans still fit…as long as you don’t have the extra slice every day for a week! Admittedly, this is something I’m still learning myself, but I’m finally starting to accept it and get in tune with myself.

  5. says

    While you are substantially younger than me, you are VERY wise to be considering this. And I do think there is merit to the “right now” part of the statement. One of my friends speaks of her life in “seasons” — this isn’t my season of life to live in the mansion, I’m choosing to raise children on a single income so I can be a mom. That implies that I believe that I will have a season — at which point I will be too tired to mop my mansion, and know better than want to pay taxes on it anyway. I COULD have anything/ everything — but I choose not to, right? Sure I could have the mansion — and a big fat pile of debt right now, too. I agree with you that we should be taught to go for the moon — but nothing worth having comes easy or free. It requires sacrifices (of sleep, money, time, or calories) and elbow grease. We just have have to decide which we want more.

  6. Amy says

    Agreed. You can have everything… just not all at once. And that way you always have something to look forward to!

  7. says

    This was a really good post with a lot of great replies. I especially love Sarah S.’s reply. I think I will start using the season’s analogy to my life because it seems that I am always facing a new season but, it helps put things in a better perspective. I think another important aspect is to prioritize these wants…I may want some things that just realistically isn’t a fair choice for the rest of my family so once I notice that, I feel better about not wanting that thing anymore. As always, I enjoy your blog posts!

  8. says

    ugh it’s such a true statement. I want to be skinny, have all the guacamole, chocolate and ice cream in the world, travel the world, have kids, teach and win the lotto. I’m sure most of those are possible but all at the same time? No way!

  9. says

    i was going to comment along the lines of gavi and sarah s. – i think you CAN have everything…just not all at the same time. so look at life as an entire book and there will be chapters for ANYTHING you want to make a part of your life.
    thanks for sharing where you’re at monica, and good luck with the new job!

  10. says

    Very interesting post, very interesting replies. I think it’s a combo of all those things. I think our generation has been misguided. Our parents wanted us to have it all and made us believe we could, but we can’t. Choices have to be made, priorities must be set. I was talking with a teacher friend the other day, she said she loves her job, just wishes it paid more, I told her that’s the trade off. She’s fantastic at what she does, loves it, puts in a ton of hours, has her July off, but chose to be in an industry that is paid much. I work a ton of hours at a job I like but have no real passion for, but I make decent money. The hope is I can save my money, and when I marry and have kids, I’ll have the option to stay home, or work part time. What’s the right answer? I don’t know, and I’m not sure there is a right or wrong.
    I like what Sarah said, we can have it all, but a lot of time that equals financial troubles, commitments we aren’t ready for, etc, all because the world says we need everything NOW.
    I could go on and on, such great comments, I love what several people said about timing, I think they hit the nail on the head, patience and contentment. Patience in waiting for God’s timing on things, and contentment with where we are right now, those are the things that lead to peace and happiness.
    Finally, putting it in weight loss terms is awesome. I may write that out and post it to my fridge! Thanks!

  11. says

    We use that quote a lot at work! There are so many competing demands, we have to really prioritize. Same in life too!

    I really think its true in my life in terms of weight loss and running. I can have good runs (for the most part) or I can eat what I want and hang out with friends all night.

  12. says

    This is really hard for me, b/c I do want both! I want to have the chocolate doughnuts, and also the loose fitting jeans, and for me it’s hard to not want it EVERY day, not just once in awhile! So, I guess the answer should be choice B once in awhile, and choice A sparingly!

  13. says

    I think you can have everything, you just have to decide what that everything is. I love Sheryl Crow’s viewpoint in Soak up the Sun

    It’s not having what you want
    It’s wanting what you’ve got

  14. says

    That quote reminds me of the Bethenny Frankel quote “you can have it all but not all at once”. I definitely think it is all about timing and the fact that we can eventually have all that we want, but maybe somethings need to wait while others run their course.

  15. Mary Beth says

    I am in the same spot right now, I want to finish school and get my teaching degree and I want to have kids (ASAP) but both can’t happen at the same time. I have to remind myself every day that it is OK to not have everything I want (or think I want) right now. Keep up the good work and I love reading your blog!!!

  16. says

    My question is, “what’s the rush to have it all?” life is so short and before you know it you will have a beautiful house, a good job, kids amn you will be very tired! Enjoy the journey girl. These are some of the best times for you with little responsibility !

  17. says

    I want the scale to go down 10 pounds.

    I truly don’t think you can realistically have EVERYTHING, especially when you want it. But I think when you finally get those things it makes it that much better. I’m currently super-thankful for a house we’ve saved 5 years for. And hopefully late next year or the year after I’ll be thankful for a kid that I’ve sorta procrastinated on. I’m not a patient person so I need to start practicing what I preach :)

    • Katie P says

      I love this question! When I was 265lbs. I always thought to myself “If only I was skinny, then I would be happy.” Well here I am 125lbs. smaller and I am still telling myself “If I could only lose those last then pounds.” The reality is I am the same person, and a worthy person at any size. What I want to do if take pride in myself and embrace the person I am without shame or self consciousness.
      Monica you are such an inspiration to me. You take on challenges and face your fears, all while be funny! I love how open you are and share you struggles and well as triumphs! Keep the great posts coming!

  18. says

    Great post and I am loving reading all the replies. I struggled with this idea a lot (and still do) with regards to motherhood, career, social life, personal goals, etc. With regards to weight loss, it seems so cut and dry and I like that. But with life, it’s messier.

    Someone made a generational comment, and I totally agree, especially in regards to females. I feel like we were taught that as women we could do it ALL and have it ALL! Be super mom, super career woman, loving life, doing everything despite being stretched in a million directions. The fact is it’s not that simple. We can’t do it all and have it all at least not all at once.

    I love the seasons analogy, and it can be hard to wait, but it’s a matter of making choices of what “Anything” we want to do and embracing the freedom of that without getting bogged down with feeling like we need to or even want to do everything but simply can’t.

  19. Kelly says

    I’m a Bethenny Frankel fan, and one of her sayings is “You can have it all, just not all at once.” I totally agree with this and think it holds true for food and just about all other aspects of life. I have spent the last 12 years raising my kids and now that they are getting older I have more time for a career and the things I want to pursue. I can have everything, just not all at once.

  20. says

    This was a really interesting thought, and I love the comments to. I think I prefer to think that I can have everything I want, just not all at once. Which I think is pretty much what you were saying anyway, just in a different way.

  21. Christina Karnes says

    Life’s about balance and priorities. You can’t have it all. Some things you can have but not all at the same time. Other things you realistically can’t ever have…i.e. most people can’t be professional athletes or the President etc. For the things you can realistically have, you have to make choices as to what is most important to YOU. I have a government job that allows me to work from home and have good benefits and gives me flexibility with my kids. BUT I could make a lot more money working somewhere else. The tradeoff of more time and flexibility with my kids is more important. I COULD have a clean house, but I CHOOSE to spend most of my time doing other things that are more important to ME. I COULD still be married and more financially secure, but I CHOSE to not be miserable anymore. I WOULD like to travel the world, but that’s not feasible on my single mom income…that’s my two cents.

  22. says

    I’ve been thinking about this post a lot since Wednesday. At first, it’s kind of upsetting to realize we can have “anything”, but NOT “everything”…but the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to get it – I [probably] don’t really want everything I think I want. Life is a journey, so as we get what we want, we reassess.
    Once you get busy with X, Y doesn’t seem so important anymore. I think another part of it has to do with us (women mostly?) letting ourselves be happy in the moment we’re in right now; striving for more isn’t necessarily doing us any favors.

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