Report date
July 2021
Learning Log

What stands out for me over the last year through my Bush Fellowship journey was how overwhelmingly busy I had been over the years. I’ve been involved in so many activities. Just being available to the community as a volunteer and community resource was more time consuming than I realized. Adding all those activities to my role as a mother filled my days and weeks. I was surprised at how difficult it was to transition from doing everything for my community to a new way of functioning. Learning to take a break from so many things and learning how to kindly say “no” to all the calls and emails that I usually get to do this and that for the community that was harder than I thought it would be. I have always been available to help and eager to volunteer my time. In realizing that all that activity was keeping me from some personal development time, made me welcome what the Bush Fellowship offered. It has been many years since I took a break from the community. The Bush Fellowship has been eye opening for me as it encouraged me to take a break and do some self-care.

People expect me to do all the things that I always did to help others. Even when I try to show that I am not available, people keep showing up and asking for help. That made me realize that being a community leader is a full-time responsibility and not one that can be unloaded easily. People seek me out for help and advice, and I am always saying yes. I’ve been learning how to politely say “no” to requests but it’s surprisingly difficult to do.

I was also surprised at how different the academic work is from my community work. It takes a whole different mindset and set of time management skills.
One of my biggest surprises was learning that some people with whom I interact see leadership as a zero-sum game - if my leadership skills expand, some think that their leadership is lessened. I suspect this mindset is something that I have to address throughout my career.
Working with my coach has been extremely helpful and learning new ways of leadership.

This has been a challenging year, but I am so grateful to be part of the Bush Foundation Fellowship leadership program, and it is helping me tremendously as I continue to progress in learning new ways of self-care and new tools of leadership. I hoped the Bush Fellowship would have been more in person so I could have learned more from other fellows that are in this together. I’m hoping that there will be opportunities in the future for us to get together