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Precarious Balance

By Marjolijn Bijlefeld, Managing Editor, Women In Optometry

Finding balance is not a one-and-done proposition. It’s a continuous search and recalibration. What may resemble balance for an OD parent of young children does not look the same, necessarily, for someone whose kids are in college or whose parents or spouse need extra attention.

At the Women In Optometry (WO) Leadership Summit in St. Louis, Missouri, in June 2019, panelist Mary Anne Murphy, OD, explained how she realized that balance is an act of compensation. An angler who often fishes with her dog in her canoe, she learned to read the water and her dog to stay stable. When the dog moves, she compensates by leaning in the opposite direction. It’s a great analogy for all the things that people must do to find balance.

The optometrists in our cover story talk about the compensating activities that they do to keep themselves physically and mentally steady. There are compromises, certainly; they may be waking hours before the rest of the household to find some me time or limiting the amount and duration of travel while children are young. But the joys of feeling fulfillment with their personal and professional lives is clear in these stories. The definition of success is in the eyes of the beholder.

Many ODs in our March 2020 issue share their successes with readers—from opening stunning practices to individual honors. Doctors find that new equipment, products and services are helping them to provide better outcomes to more patients. WO is similarly looking for ways to engage our readers and the community of ODs more effectively. We has relaunched womeninoptometry.com to make it easier, more informative and more fun to read.

summit 2020 promo artOur Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn communities are growing. We’ve had more than 15,000 WO Voices podcast downloads since the series started, and we’d love to hear from you about topics we should be covering.

Especially exciting to us is the second annual WO Leadership Summit, Visualize Your Goals to Challenge Yourself: How women ODs can become their own best advocates. We’ll look at leadership, negotiation, balance and finances during an afternoon meeting on Tuesday, June 23, in Washington, D.C. We’d be honored to have you join us.

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