The other morning I was scrolling through Facebook and happened upon a post from an acquaintance of mine. It was a post about a house she had renovated and flipped, and she was getting ready to start her next project. She refers to herself as #projectgirl. While I have seen similar posts from her about the projects she has undertaken, that particular morning it moved me in a different way than it had before.
Why, when I had seen her posts hundreds of times, did it affect me differently that particular day? Maybe because I had just received a call that morning from the Breast Care Clinic where I had recently had a mammogram, and the nurse conveyed to me that the radiologist had found something on the imaging that they wanted to take another closer look at. The next several hours thoughts were reeling in my head. Part of me told myself that surely it’s nothing to be concerned about, but part of me really wanted to just sit down and cry. I pulled myself together, and let my husband know what the nurse had conveyed, and went about my morning trying to not think about what could be. I tried to focus on the positive events from the day before, in which I had listed a home, and in a short four hours had a full price offer, and very happy clients! But maybe the events of that morning had nothing more to do with it than coincidence. At any rate, that day I looked at the post in a very different light.
When I sat down and scrolled through Facebook for a short break that morning, and ran across the #projectgirl post, it just hit me. This thing we call life, it’s really just one big project. We all are a project in the making from the day we are brought into this life. I had never looked at life in this manner before, but it completely made sense! Somehow that struck a positive note with me and helped me carry on with my day with a more positive outlook. I forced myself to get my workout in, then spent some time playing with my 5-year-old. Finally I had a few moments of peace and quiet when I hopped in the shower, and I began to think about #projectgirl again. Because you know, as a Mom, the only time we really get to have a few moments of peace and quiet and think, is when we are in the shower! (Of course until your child comes busting in the door declaring some “emergency”!) As I stood there letting the warm water soothe my sore muscles and my broken spirit from the earlier phone call, I thought #projectlife. There it was, plain as day.
I started out this life as a project my parents undertook. They raised me, cared for me, loved me, taught me everything they knew as their project. They groomed me to become my own person, to do great things in this life. They provided guidance and discipline as the project grew greater and more difficult. As I became older, I started to take on part of the project on my own. I struggled, I learned, and crashed and burned more times than I care to admit. Then I became an adult and got married. More projects. Bigger projects, more serious projects. And some of those projects failed miserably, like my first marriage. It crashed and burned going down in flames. Along the way three other projects were created in my life, three beautiful, amazing children. Then I was the project manager just as my parents had been so many years ago. These are the three greatest projects of my life. And yet again I have struggled, I have learned, and I have crashed and burned more times than I care to admit. I’m still struggling through this project wondering if I’m taking the right approach, providing enough guidance, teaching enough. But I will never know, until the time has passed and it’s too late.
But isn’t that what projects are all about?! You take on a project and you never really know what the outcome will be! You buy a house to renovate, you never truly know what you’re getting in to until you are in the middle of it. It may be easy, but you may uncover a huge foundation issue that you never thought you would have to deal with.
Today, I’m 42-years-old. I have had a solid foundation most of life, but have no idea where this project will ultimately take me. It has had easy times, and it has had really tough times. The project plan has changed along the way. The path has taken turns. There have been times when I have wanted to take a sledge hammer to the project. But somehow I have always come through, I have always managed to move forward, and to learn from whatever stood in the way. The past few years I began to take better care of myself, listen more to my needs and my body, eat healthier, make time to work out. As I now think about my life being a project, I think about how much more I have to do. How much more I want to accomplish. I am not satisfied with the project and where it is now. I need more time. More time to learn, more time to try, more time to change, more time to make a difference in others lives, more time to love. We never know when we will be called to turn in our project. We never know if we will be able to finish what we started. All we can do is as we teach our kids, give it your best effort.
Today I ask myself, and I ask you, what is the next item on your task list? What will you accomplish next for your #projectlife?