It’s funny how life has a way of taking unexpected twists and turns. We often think we have everything all planned out, and then a curve ball comes (sometimes good, sometimes bad), and we’re left standing there scratching our heads.
I had a little bit of that happen these past few months. You see, six months ago I was a full time mom and journalist running my site with millions of readers every year. It was a dream job, working when I wanted to or taking months off at a time at my own desire. I was able to speak at retreats, travel, appear on tv, and communicate to the world through my writing, all while being available for my kids. I was happy living in my comfort zone. But a wind of change began to press into me, and I knew God was pushing me out of my bubble. Before I knew it, I was thrust out of my cocoon, forging a whole new path for the future of our family. I had two paths laid out before me…I couldn’t go down both roads, I would have to choose just one.
Public office was an option
My husband, Chris, and I have often discussed me running for some type of political office over the years. We weren’t really sure what exactly I would run for, but we knew that I wanted to make a difference. It’s always kind of been on the back burner as an option, but was never really pressing in urgency. I knew I couldn’t run for a city position since we don’t live in the incorporated area of our town. So, the county level would need to be my starting point. After researching what county offices were elected, I became very interested in the Placer County Board of Supervisors seat in our district. If you’re not familiar with what County Supervisors do, they are the legislative and executive body of county government. They adopt the budget, set employee salaries, and direct a wide variety of services to county residents (including public works, roads, voter registration, health and welfare programs, courts, district attorney, public defender, planning, zoning, land use regulation, traffic regulation and more).
I started to reach out to people involved in local and state government, attended Board of Supervisor meetings, went to city council meetings, and met with anyone and everyone including city council members, mayors and state senators that I felt could give me some insight.
The more people I met with, and the more community groups I attended, the more passionate I became. I realized: I didn’t want this office for me. I wanted this office for my kids. I quickly discovered that the county we live in could go a number of directions in the future if the current Supervisor were to retire (he will have been in office for 24 years by the election next year and has done an incredible job during his tenure), and I am bound and determined to make sure Placer County maintains its charm and excellent quality of life for my kids and grandkids.
I’m not the typical politician
I’ve obviously never worked in county government. While that may be a drawback to some, it was a huge plus in my eyes. I’m not a career politician. I don’t have canned answers or scripted responses to people. I’m just a regular mom, with five rambunctious kids, navigating life like everyone else. However, I’m not naive and I know that I need to have some understanding of what the job entails if I’m going to ask people to vote for me.
So, after meeting with the current Supervisor, Robert Weygandt, I asked if he would allow me to be his Aide. Even though I was told by multiple people that he would most likely say no, he was incredibly receptive and kind and agreed to hire me on as his full-time Aide.
So I took the road less traveled
My focus has now shifted from figuring out how I’m going to run a campaign and raise funds, to how I can absorb and learn as much about what Robert does as possible. He has done a fabulous job for our district, maintaining a delicate balance between fiscal conservancy, responsible development and land preservation. It’s now time for me to get some real hands-on experience and understanding before I ever attempt to seek that job in the future. In all honesty, I would be thrilled if he ran for reelection again, giving me even more time to saturate myself in the job before running.
I’m about to embark on a crazy new journey. I know for a lot of you out there, a household with two parents working full time is old hat for you. But this is scary for me. I’m going from full-time mom and freelance journalist to full-time business woman. We’re going to have to learn how to balance homework, grocery shopping, time with our kids, working, and just day-to-day chores with our crazy schedules. Please, tell me how you do it! I think I have pretty darn good time management, and am very efficient when I work, but this? This is a whole new ball game and I’m just in the first inning.
It’s a shifting journey
There are two roads in front of me: one where I know I’ll be comfortable. One where I can more likely predict what’s around the next bend. One that makes sense to everyone. And the other is much more unpredictable. There are twists and turns and things that just don’t make sense. It’s a road less traveled, one that many would hesitate to take. And that’s the road I’m going down. I’m leaping forward with both my feet, light-footed but firmly planted, ready to take on the challenges and uncertainties that come with that path. And I can’t wait!
Wish me luck on my new journey. I’m not leaving Life Made Full, as it will always be an important outlet for me, but the headwinds have changed and you just get to be part of my shifting journey!