Guess what the most surprising thing has been during the first baby-steps of this campaign?
Me. Asking for things.
As a single mom with a full-time job, my fingers in a number of volunteer pies, dogs, friends, hobbies, etc., I am used to running myself ragged and burning the candle at both ends. I guess you could say I've always taken pride in this kind of high-functioning lifestyle. However, add a full-fledged political campaign to that and BOOM! Bandwidth challenges just blasted us up to a new level. And I'll just go ahead and put it out there: I've been notorious for not asking for help.
Well, my parents raised me to be a high performer. If you find yourself struggling, pull your socks up and try harder. That's always been my M.O., and while I feel like it's contributed to the adult I've grown into, I realize now that it might not always serve me so well. Especially taking outrageous concepts such as "sanity" and "mental health & wellbeing" into consideration.
So, funny thing happened on my way to the campaign trail: I had to accept that this may have to change during the next few months, at the risk of the very campaign that I am intent on running. What a concept! I can't even find the words to express how seriously I take the thought of failing at this. Maybe it's because I am so confident that this is the right fit for me. Getting up to speed on WaterOne and all the responsibilities of the Board has made me even more assured that I am the best candidate for the job. I know this stuff! I've been here before! These issues are my bread and butter! Not to mention, my passion. Now I'm to the point where I can't even IMAGINE not being able to collaborate on and help guide and direct the journey of our amazing water utility.
And that's where the extra pressure is creeping in. I really DO want this. I genuinely, truly, absolutely want this outcome to be successful.
So. I promised myself I'd learn the art of asking for help. I'm getting better at asking for campaign contributions. I'm going to keep adding to the page on this website called "Get Involved". And I'm not going to let myself feel creepy about it.
There you go, folks. Deep thoughts on a Sunday, from the campaign trail. And while I have your attention, here's a few things I'm asking for help on (see what I did there?)
Share with your friends and neighbors. The more name recognition I can get, the better chances I have. Remind them "Jill Westra: Bottom of the ballot, top of the mind on Nov. 2"!
Drop me a line if you'd like a yard sign in Johnson County. I'm almost ready to get them made!
Consider a donation to my campaign. There is a link on the website. What will happen if you do? You'll be funding my commitment to running a low-waste campaign with sustainable materials (which aren't cheap, but they will make both you and me feel much better).
Help me canvass this summer. I'd love to walk around your neighborhood with you, and meet the folks that you feel need to hear from me and would be willing to learn more about my platform of environmental awareness, sustainability and environmental/social justice.
Give me a big, fat "atta girl! You can do this!" I'll tell you something else I have learned: Sometimes I just need a little help in the self-confidence department. Kind words and gestures really do go a long way in filling up this tank!
Enjoy the week ahead, friends.
And just for funsies, here's another photo that makes me happy. It's a picture of Blair Lake, in Nova Scotia, Canada that I took last year on a work trip to one of my sites. The special thing about Blair Lake is that it's in a lovely bird sanctuary and immediately adjacent to my company's site, and it's been my job during my tenure as the Environmental and Sustainability Director to make sure that my company's operations are carried out with no negative environmental impact to the amazing biodiversity and water quality of this area. That makes me feel good, and it makes me sleep better at night.