Today’s (really yesterday’s) Morning Buzz is by Ann Marie Townshend, City Manager of Lewes, Delaware
- What I’m Watching: Season 4 of Yellowstone
- What I’m Reading: Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
- Find me on LinkedIn or Twitter @AnnMTownshend
Immediately after Kirsten Wyatt made a point to reassess all of our interest in continuing to write as Morning Buzzers, I missed the first Buzz of the second quarter. Well, maybe I didn’t miss it, but I am posting a day late. Given that I usually try to have my post up and scheduled the day before its run, I am actually two days late, but let’s not split hairs.
In fairness, the person who writes the first Buzz of the quarter has little lead time. I usually try to have a few essays written “just in case”, but life has been crazy. When I sat down to write, I had a total mental block. The professional topics that inspire me to write are too raw, too political, and just not ready to share yet. But one day, I may have some great stories to share with you! As I put my head on my pillow last night, my topic hit me.
When I put on my ELGL socks (with great frequency I might note), I am reminded to work hard and be kind. This, and our collective love for all things local government, is what binds us as ELGL members. And it is this message that hit me last night as the topic for my Morning Buzz.
I think most of us work hard and make a point to be kind to others… our elected officials, colleagues, constituents, families, etc. But are we making a point to be kind to ourselves? Do we extend grace to ourselves when we don’t meet our self-imposed expectations? I suspect I am not alone in answering “no” to these questions.
Like many of you, I am crazy busy. Some days are scheduled from the time I arrive in the office until the time I leave. Evenings and weekends (those evenings I don’t have a meeting), I often bring work home or review and respond to emails. There was a point in my career when I felt a sense of pride about how many “extra” hours I dedicated to work, but lately I simply feel exhausted. But that’s ok. I am not here to whine about being overworked. I want to remind all of you, most of whom are in the same boat, that it is ok.
My missed Buzz is emblematic of many things in my home life and work life that don’t necessarily go according to expectations. The busyness at work extends to many of ours staff who are expressing frustration with increasing expectations and no corresponding resources to meet these expectations. I have shared this collective frustration, on behalf of my colleagues, with our elected officials, reminding them that they set priorities for the year and that we need to measure every new project against those priorities. Honestly, our elected officials are feeling the same sense of too many priorities and not enough time.
My message to myself, my colleagues, the elected officials I work for, and all of you is: be kind to yourself. Extend yourself some grace, and take a deep breath. Stick to your established priorities. Separate those things over which you have influence from those over which you do not have influence, and spend your energy on those prioritized areas where you have influence. Don’t allow what you cannot control to wear you down. You’ve got this.