Achieving a Balance in Life: Are you “operating with a flat tire?” – A Recap of the Quadruplicity Conference

Quadruplicity is a women’s conference presented by Business Women’s Round Table, a group within the City of Charlottesville’s Chamber of Commerce. Speakers at the 2013 conference, which I attended, gave talks about balancing career, life, money and health.   One of the most inspiring presentations was an exercise presented by Megan J. Bray, M.D., the Key Note Speaker.  She spoke about how difficult it can be to manage a career, family, and all the other parts of your life.   She asked each of us to draw a circle/tire on a piece of paper, and then to divide the circle into 8 categories: family, social life/friends, recreation, career, health, finance, spiritual, and romance.  She then directed us to put an X in each of these categories, and to place the X in the spot we felt best described where we were in that category as a rating.  The inner part of the circle, close to the center, was 1 (not good), and the outer part of the circle was 5 (best, meaning we felt like we were good in that category).   We then connected the X’s with a line. No one at my table had a perfect circle.  The speaker explained this meant that we were “operating on a flat tire.”   As a result, the life categories were not “rolling” as they should. Often we need to reevaluate what is important, and determine what or who it is we can leave out and what parts of our lives are our priorities.   “Dr. Bray said her prescription for work-life balance includes building a supportive network, setting boundaries, being willing to make compromises, and, most importantly, maintaining a sense of humor”. (quote from Daily Progress, 2/21/13).

Throughout the day at the Quadruplicity conference, I was inspired by speakers who engaged in speeches and discussions about how to achieve goals in fitness, time management, the pursuit of financial success, career planning, etc. The afternoon was full of awards: the “Q Award” (Inaugural) was presented to Barbara Hutchinson for her volunteerism and devotion to her career with her local United Way. The 4 “under 40” Awards were presented to Brooke Jenkins, Dr. Dolly Garnecki, Barbara Heritage, and Erica Lloyd. These awards were given “to honor young, professional women who have made strides in their profession and are affecting the Charlottesville community positively” (quote from Daily Progress, 2/21/13).  Allen and Allen sponsored the Reception at the end of the day where we came together as friends and colleagues to discuss the highlights of our day.

My conclusion?  Maybe we can “have it all”, as they say, just not all at the same time.