To kick off the new year, I got out of town again.
This time, I got way out of town, to a tropical spot where I soaked up a little sunshine (and kissed a stingray, and ate a turtle). I’m thankful to be able to escape around the new year, mainly because it gives me a chance to reflect and, in some small way, reinvent myself.
Reinvention is a theme we love at VERVE, and politicians seem to do it all the time. In this issue, we profile two Asheville women in politics who have either reinvented themselves or are trying to. Lael Gray ran for Asheville City Council a couple months back and narrowly lost the race to incumbent Jan Davis, who owns a downtown tire store. With just 35 more votes, the Montford mom would have unseated Davis, a council member since 2003. “It was deeply disappointing,” she told me recently. But rather than sulk, she launched a blog, Turning Gray, to continue the important conversations she’d started with local women during her campaign (see page 22, and check out turning-gray.com).
Another reinvention tale will unfold in the coming year as Asheville’s mayor, Terry Bellamy, runs for Congress in Western North Carolina’s 10th district. She’s been mayor since 2005, and has proven to be a moderate Democrat, weighing in in favor of affordable housing programs but hedging her bets against some gay rights initiatives. Still, reinventing herself as an appealing candidate in a heavily-Republican district against an entrenched Republican incumbent, Patrick McHenry, will take some doing. We spruced up and modernized her overall look in this month’s makeover (see page 30). We’ll stay tuned for the rest, including her squaring off with another prominent Asheville Democrat, Patsy Keever, in a May primary.
Whatever else you read, write, conjure up or conquer this month, I hope you’ll take some time for yourself. I recommend doing so in a space that you find both serene and challenging. Getting away is renewing, and likely good for everyone. Except maybe turtles.