Keep Your Wheels Rolling: #ELGL21 Inspiration

Posted on October 6, 2021

Black inspiration text with black stars on either side of the word. Background is brick wall in rainbow colors

Today’s Morning Buzz is by Jessica VanderKolk, Communications Manager for the City of Battle Creek, Michigan. Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn!

What I’m reading: Fires, Floods, and Taxicabs by Jeffrey Roth

What I’m watching: Nailed It on Netflix – absolutely hilarious

What I’m listening to: That sweet, sweet #ELGL Spotify playlist


I don’t know about everyone else, but I can’t stop feeling inspired from #ELGL21, and I can’t stop listening to the Spotify playlist. For my Morning Buzz today, I want to share some of that inspiration, with the help of some lyrics from the playlist that have me boppin’.

Whatever keeps you going/Keeps your wheels rolling/Whatever helps you sleep at night/Or gets you up in the morning

-Whatever Keeps You Going – Children’s Choir, Donovan Woods, J.P. Roberts P.S. Music Project

Maybe you check three things off your to-do list every day, observe Taco Tuesdays, shut off notifications at a certain time. Maybe you do an extra hour of work after dinner or bedtime to catch up or get ahead, take walks every day, or stress snack.

Especially during the last 18 months, do what you need to keep moving forward. They’re not all good habits – the stress snacking, am I right? I hope you keep yourself as safe and healthy as possible so you can keep moving.

I build fancy Lego sets with my 8-year-old. He loves Lego, and now I do, too. I consider it a worthy splurge. I buy fun rainbow items for my work office – LED light, message board, a Pantone book. Bright colors and rainbows make me happy, and I want my office to be a happy place.

When I get to my work office, I kick off my heels and step into some fuzzy slippers. I wear them while I’m in our office suite, and it feels comfortable and enjoyable.


I do my hair toss/Check my nails/Baby how you feelin’?/Feeling good as hell

-Good as Hell, Lizzo

Work that self-confidence, babies! I pick up on all Lizzo’s self-confidence vibes in this song and feel them as I head back to the office part of the week. I like to dress comfortably, and put my jewelry on. I floss my teeth (shout out to my dentist), and do my eye makeup (since my mask covers the rest).

I’m not ready to go back to salons, so I put my hair in a pony, and let my spouse cut it. (He has now cut all the hair/fur in our family, so if his day job doesn’t work out….) I found some good press-on nails that are inexpensive, make my hands look good, and click nicely on my keyboard.

What feels good to you? What makes you feel good about yourself? Do those things, because we need those boosts. And you are worth it!


What I was wearing/If I was rude/Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves

-The Man, Taylor Swift

Our girl Taylor. Whew.

If you didn’t watch Ignite Your Spark: Taboo Topics in Supporting Women in Local Government, I highly recommend that you go do that. We had the most wonderful conversation live, and in the chat, about the challenges, discrimination, micro-aggressions, and more that we face as women in local government.

I want you to hear that you are worthy, you are courageous, and your voice is valuable! One of the most important actions I’ve learned is standing up for myself. I am fortunate to have admirable role models in my organization – women in leadership who support others and stand up for what is right.

Not everyone has that, but you are not alone. You can talk to me, and I am confident that many other wonderful people in our ELGL network would say the same. If not a colleague or a peer, talk to anyone you trust – family, friend, therapist, or someone else. You don’t have to sit alone with anything.


How do I feel by the end of the day?/Are you sad because you’re on your own?/No, I get by with a little help from my friends

-With a Little Help from My Friends, The Beatles

Let’s talk more about how you are not alone. One of the great things about ELGL is that it makes local government fun, bringing us all together while they do it! I encourage you to get involved with this network as much as you can, because it sure makes me feel better at the end of the day. You can…

  • Join the private Facebook group
  • Join Birthdays and Books, coming again soon
  • Join the ELGL Mugs exchange, coming again soon
  • Connect on Twitter, a great place where Local Govies chat
  • Participate in Supper Clubs, Books Clubs ELGL Inspire, webinars, conferences, and other events when you can
  • Show your love with some swag, if you’re able

These are great ways to participate in the local government network, learn, make friends, and share stories. Whatever the day brings you, you can be sure this group has a ready ear, appropriate meme, or similar experience ready to go.

Put yourself as much into this group as you can and, I promise, you will get so much back.


Illuminate, my future bright, so thankful for everything/Rejuvenatin’ my inner light as I work hard for all I need/Open arms, embracing life and all of which you gave to me/Hard work, it pays off, I’m happy now, it’s paying me

-Vacation, Dirty Heads

Listening and chatting through the #ELGL21 sessions, and singing through the playlist remind me that I love what I do. I hope they remind you of that, too. We love public service; I don’t think we would be here otherwise. This work means something to us. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a vacation (so here’s a well-placed reminder to use your PTO), but I am happy to be here.

Find your inspiration, find your people, find your confidence. You are amazing, you are in local government to make a difference, and your contributions are important.

Hope y’all are feeling good as hell.

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