Well, the campaign has kicked into high gear, and that means it’s pretty much my sole focus for my free time! However, I’m trying to set aside at least one chunk of time a week to see my friends who don’t live in Superior, as I’m realizing it’s pretty lonely when I’m doing all campaigning all the time. There’s a lot of pressure to be “on”, even when I’m not technically campaigning and am just hanging out with my neighborhood friends, and I’m starting to go a little crazy. Theodora told me that feeling of loneliness is very common with people running for office, but it still doesn’t fix the problem :/
Rather than a pure weekend recap, I’ll do a full recap of the last week. Unlike most weeks when Monday through Thursday finds me working pretty much up till bedtime, last week I was working from home, and had worked things out with my team to have evenings off for a number of campaign events. I’m really grateful for this kind of flexibility in my job!
First, the official Town events. Monday night was a big Town Board meeting (that’s the meeting I hope to be presiding over every other week if I am elected), and Tuesday was my first debate with the other candidates. Well, I guess it’s technically not a debate, since we don’t spar back and forth, but the League of Women Voters asks a question and we go down the line in all answering the same questions. I put in a bunch of prep work for the debate, watching videos of previous years to get a sense of what would be asked, and poring over my opening statement, and I was reasonably happy with how I did. Until…
We had been instructed to have all phones, tablets, and computers powered completely off, which I followed to a tee (though I saw a few other candidates using their tablets to plan out their answers). After the debate, I turned my phone back on, and saw several texts from neighbors telling me they were watching me from home and my microphone wasn’t on! My neighbors who were at the debate live assured me that it was definitely on in Town Hall, so it seems to have been an issue with the feed, which was really frustrating.
On the bright side, I had made sure to project while speaking, so the video guy was able to mostly pick up my remarks from the mics around me .Still, it was really upsetting to see that I came off as timid and shy in my commentary… which blog readers know I am generally not! I’ve been trying to get the Town to adjust the audio so residents can hear me better in replays (a lot of people watch the replay well after the fact to help them decide who to vote for), but I can’t touch it myself or I break the rules of engagement. Darn ethics! Haha.
Fortunately, Wednesday night had things looking up a bit. My friend Sue hosted a “girls’ night in” for about forty women in the neighborhood, and while it wasn’t actually a political event, it was a great chance for me to meet a lot of people (which, in a small town, is essential to my campaign). I started out not really talking politics at all, but when a few new friends found out I was running for Trustee, the conversation quickly shifted to leash laws and street closures. Guess I’d better expect that if I get elected! Fortunately, I’m really passionate about the issue our Town is facing, so I didn’t at all mind answering, and I had a really great night with old friends and new friends 🙂
Thursday, my friends Chris and Mark (a current Trustee) were hosting a campaign party for our friend Clint (our current Mayor), who is running for re-election. Because the party focused on town politics, a lot more people were directly asking me about my position on various issues and my qualifications to be Trustee, so it was a lot less casual than the night before. It was still a fun party, but I know I will be much happier in two years when Mark is up for re-election and I can just go to his party (or host it myself) and relax 🙂 If I’m being totally honest, I ended the night fairly stressed out about my very long to-do list and how challenging it is to do it all myself… I’m pretty jealous of the other candidates all having spouses / significant others to help!
On Friday, though, I finally felt like I was on my game. After a good run in the morning to clear my head, and a mix of work and volunteering during the day, I spent the evening going to one of my favorite neighborhood events: a Sounds of Simon house concert! The Simons introduced me to a few of their neighbors whom I hadn’t yet met, and for the show itself, I was able to just relax in my usual spot in the living room and not think about the campaign or my to-do list. Heaven!
When I got home, I made a quick campaign video about the event, and then headed to bed… but couldn’t get to sleep until 3:30am, stressing about a million different things. This was especially bad when I needed to start my day at 7am with a walk-and-talk! Despite that almost complete lack of sleep, I woke up feeling okay, and even had the energy to sneak in a quick 3 mile run in between my second and third resident meetings. Between this and my 5K PR two weeks ago, maybe I am getting used to running on 3.5 hours of sleep? Doubtful… though it would be amazing to get that extra time in my day.
But after showering and squeezing in one more coffee chat Saturday, I was finally ready to be off the clock – and I headed an hour south to the Highlands Ranch Homebrew Crawl, where I could spend the night with a few of my close friends and a whole bunch of people who knew nothing about Superior or the Trustee role. I knew this was the break I needed!
The Homebrew Crawl ended up being a lot of fun – it was great to meet new people, taste some small batch brews, and of course, hang out with my friends in the Colorado sunshine 🙂 Although it’s September, it’s been feeling like summer lately – the highs this weekend were in the low 90s! However, that didn’t stop my friends and I from getting excited for the upcoming ski season.
Which brings me to an update I’m excited to share. I’ve been looking at mountain properties for over a year on the MLS, as I plan to sell my New York townhouse and roll it over to something closer to home. On Monday, I took the morning off work to go out with my realtor for the first time to see a few places in person… and I ended up totally surprising myself and immediately going under contract on an adorable place!
While I was originally looking for a standard-issue ski condo in a managed complex that would be easy to AirBnB as an investment property, this is pretty much the opposite.
It’s a single family home that was built in 1908 (but has been gorgeously restored / updated), and it can’t be rented short term for at least two years – long-term leases only. It’s literally right on Main Street in downtown Minturn, so I can walk to the cute little shops and restaurants, and there is a ski trail leading from the Vail back bowls right down to the saloon in town. But best of all, after running the numbers, I’m going to be able to keep one bedroom / bath full time for me rather than renting it all out! I’m really excited to have a little mountain getaway for when times get stressful. (Like, um, now.)
Anyway! Although I thought I was getting away from politics / stress by heading down to Highlands Ranch on Saturday, when I headed to bed at the end of the night, I made the mistake of checking my phone and found criticism on a few of my campaign Facebook posts. Back to reality, quick! I think from now on, I’m going to pick one night a week to not only do something non-campaign-related, but also completely avoid my phone / social media so I don’t get inadvertently sucked back in.
While I was up till 1am again on Saturday, I was fortunately able to sleep ridiculously late on Sunday morning, not getting up till 8am. Glorious! I desperately needed that (almost) full night of sleep, and I felt like a new person when I woke up. No time for a run to take advantage of my newfound energy, though – I had a few meetings with neighbors, and then my first “Sunday Sundaes” campaign event in the park by my house.
Growing up, my family used to go for walks up to the tennis courts or duck pond at SUNY Albany on a lot of summer nights. We didn’t have cell phones or social media back then, but it was still a nice chance to disconnect and enjoy each other’s company. I wanted to try to recreate that for my neighbors, and what better way to do that than with my favorite dessert: ice cream sundaes! I got some gigantic tubs of ice cream, a ton of different toppings, and spent the night scooping bowls of yumminess for a ton of happy kids and their parents.
Like all the campaign events, I was a little nervous beforehand not knowing how it would go. Had I forgotten anything? What logistics was I missing? However, it all turned out pretty well – with special thanks to my friend Brian, who ran home to grab a big garbage can so we wouldn’t overflow the park’s trash cans (an already contentious issue in town). It was an amazing summer night with a stunning sunset over the school, and this event made me so happy and grateful to live in a small town where neighbors can casually meet up in a park and get to know each other like this. And, the whole event only cost about $50! If I get elected, I’m looking forward to hopefully making events like this a regular low-cost occurrence.
The only bad thing? More sleeplessness on Sunday night, as I stayed up till 2am! I was fine on Monday, but was dragging all day Tuesday… I need to figure out how to start regularly getting a good night’s sleep. Last week had events every night of the week, and I’m hoping that this week being more of a regular routine (albeit a full weekend of campaign events) will help me get back to a regular sleep routine as well.
So – there’s my full transparency view on what I’ve been up to with the campaign! I know several of you have emailed / commented that you’re interested in how this whole “politics” thing goes… so hopefully that provides a bit of insight 🙂 By all means, let me know if you have any ideas / suggestions.