This was simply amazing! I am so impressed with what you've done so far for Bryan-College Station.As you know, I've become active in advocating for bicycling in San Diego both through my personal blog and bikesd.org. Honestly, I get a little tired (physically) with working a full time job, cooking from scratch, and doing bicycle advocacy. I do take breaks from time to time, but any advice on how to keep going without losing the momentum? I am in it for the long haul. I may be hosting a workshop about empowering women via bicycling. And was wondering how you felt when you first began advocating for local food publicly. I'm really shy so this is going to be quite a challenge. But I also feel this is important to do.BTW, I also slyly push for eating locally and seasonally in my bike groups. Thankfully many of the cyclists in San Diego also are locavores and on the same page about utilitarian bicycling :)
Beany - I'm not carrying quite the load you are carrying since I don't work, but I still get overwhelmed, sometimes feeling like I have to do everything by myself - perfect for routine mental breakdowns. I've thought about quitting, but then I see a little one get excited about a vegetable or a vendor thank me for what I've done to bring attention to the farmers' market and I keep going.The key I'm finding is to not let myself do it all. Sometimes I have to say no to speaking events (for instance, tomorrow is my last one until the first of next year because I need to reserve time for me and my family too). And I've found that I'm so busy with all my volunteer work that when something comes up that I want to do personally, I don't have the time or energy (or both). That's not healthy either. So saying "no" is sometimes the healthiest thing. Also, I try to stay after people to help. I'm bad about sending out mass emails to volunteers and then only get one or two people to help. I've found, after a friend suggested it, that if I contact people directly, I'll get a better response. It takes a smidgeon more time, but I get WAY better results. Most of all, remember you are planting seeds. You won't see results right away. Some of them you may never witness first hand, but it's important to remember that even when you can't see it, your hard work is touching someone, somewhere. Those moments you do have the opportunity to see (like me seeing a child run enthusiastically to a farmers' market booth because he can hardly wait to pick out his carrots), those moments are just the tip of the iceberg. You're impact runs far, far deeper.
This was extremely helpful. I don't have as many mental breakdowns anymore, but I do get overwhelmed and very tired (I think I really need 12 hours of sleep every day to function at my peak). My successes have been far fewer, but I figured I'd go with planting seeds (as you referred to them). I have been looking to delegate and have talked to multiple people to help out, but often it hasn't worked out. I'm not taking it personally, but it is a bit hard to build any sort of momentum singlehandedly. Still...you're inspiring me with how much you've accomplished in B-CS. Congratulations!
Beany - I get frustrated too with delegating and then other people either don't follow through or I don't get anyone to volunteer in the first place. I first had to lower my standards a bit. Sure there are something that just must be done. But others don't have to be done right away and I have to give people time to do it on their own schedule. . It's ok and I had to get used to that. Second, I am learning to determine which things are the most important. I can't do it all and when I prioritize, I feel better about saying "no" to certain things. Hang in there and plant those seeds, girl!
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