Voices: 2020 Annual Meeting Co-chairs describe balancing act
How do you balance your professional and personal lives while being mindful of wellness? What happens when extra responsibilities are added to your already busy workload? The Wellness Taskforce asked Kenneth Kim, MD, and Kathleen Moore, MD, co-chairs of the SGO 2020 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer Program Committee, to provide a little insight into how they balance their busy lives while managing to stay well.
1. Does being a committee chair have an impact on your current workload? If yes, how so?
Dr. Kim (KK): Yes, definitely–it is absolutely amazing to work with Dr. (Warner) Huh and Dr. Moore and all of the excellent people on our Program Committee, and it’s a true honor and privilege to serve SGO. Balancing clinical work and planning for SGO is critical, and it certainly helps to have amazing partners at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to help. This is always a juggling act, but it is truly invigorating to work together with so many brilliant people, to help synthesize novel information as our field evolves, and to find the best ways to present it while continually advancing educational technologies.
Dr. Moore (KM): Yes–the Program Committee chair position is a tremendous amount of work but it is a great honor and also a lot of fun. It forces me to think creatively and collaboratively about what our membership is most interested in and new ways to present information. Working with our committee is also energizing because they have so many good ideas and are very self-directed in terms of developing content together and thinking outside the box. But I’ve definitely had to be very efficient with my time and scheduling so I can devote the time and attention to the meeting that it deserves.
2. What do you do to include wellness and social activities in your schedule?
KK: In addition to having these responsibilities, as well as having a family with 7-year-old Korwegian (Korean/Norwegian) twins, I make an effort to work out 4-5 times a week at 4:00 a.m. This is (generally) before the day starts, and it’s during a time when I know my family is asleep. At this time of day, I don’t have to choose between working out versus time with my family, and I don’t feel guilty for missing time with them if they are asleep. It’s quiet and provides the time not only to physically work out, but also to mentally sort through everything I need to think about without distractions. After work, the rest of my time is usually monopolized by my family, particularly my twins, which is admittedly pretty glorious and also definitely good for my well-being.
KM: For me, this is a time where I have a lot of programmatic activity going on at our cancer center so I’m not in a position to reduce my current work to make room for being Program Co-chair. I try to utilize a few more hours of my day for exercise and taking care of non-work-related activities. I’ve done this by moving exercise to early in the morning and then using my evenings to spend time with my human and animal family.
3. Do you have a favorite wellness activity?
KK: Golf or tennis with my family. Traveling with my family. Eating with my family. Watching my kids draw. Singing with my twins. Watching movies.
KM: I enjoy going to Orangetheory and riding my Peloton bike. My favorite activity is hanging out with my husband and taking care of our rescue puppies.
4. What wellness advice do you have for members?
KK: Philosopher Alain de Botton once said, “Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.” Wellness is about balancing these things. It ebbs and flows over time. “Balance” doesn’t necessarily mean “equal” and it is certainly not static. It is not necessarily a destination, but rather a process – the little daily efforts to avoid tipping one way or the other. Bending versus breaking. And what works for someone may not work for someone else. I know I’ve had to make adjustments in different directions when things get out of hand. For me, this is always an ongoing work in progress.
KM: I was least happy when I let work completely dominate my life and time – which it still can at times but I’ve become better at making course corrections when this happens so I can carve out some time to keep me healthier. I’m definitely not the poster child for wellness but I am a work in progress.