During my last maternity leave, I had an "aha" moment. I realized that underlying the various professional titles and "hats" I wear in life, I'm, in fact, a Project Manager by nature.
At the time, I had various personal projects running:
I was also balancing professional growth-oriented projects, such as the assignments for my interior design course, including my final project to graduate. Meanwhile, I was asked if I was even planning on truly becoming an interior designer? Admittedly, the answer to this was no, but it didn't matter to me as I quite simply enjoyed the idea of being a designer. Similarly, I also had a project for my coaching course, where there as well I was asked if I was planning on becoming a coach. To that, I said "nope" as well, and I don't even like the title regardless. This course's project was to establish a new school that prepares our children for the realities of life, and not just how to be obedient students. Amidst all of these projects, I also had my job as a connector, where I helped my friends find jobs, edit their CVs, and conducted some marketing efforts for a few startups.
Finally, there were (and still are) the general projects of life, such as being a mother to my three children, a spouse, a daughter, a sister, and a business owner. Here, the list of projects only continues to grow: needing to issue a social security office, managing the never-ending household responsibilities, helping a friend relocate, and the few projects that will likely always sit on the backburner, like making a baby photo album of my kids.
Yes, from so many of the projects, it felt like I was drowning. (Oh, I was also trying to plan a vacation abroad, which of course, was also a project in itself.) But eventually, it hit me. I expected myself not to have any lingering, unfinished projects. So, by default, always assuming I would be able to finish them, I would take on new projects and continue to broaden my life perspectives. This realization is where I finally understood that my projects are actually the goals I want to achieve in life. These "life projects" are where I want to expand my knowledge, further my passions, and allocate my time. Once I embraced this shift in perspective, everything changed.
Our life is our most precious project to manage. In the journey, we choose who and what justifies our time and energy.
So with this in mind, I decided to adopt a new project called "relaxation, appreciation & focus." Every day, this project entailed allocating 20 minutes to each of the following items: mindfulness, exercise, resting, writing, getting the little things done, and learning something new. Additionally, there were, of course, multiple sets of 20 minutes spent with the people I love.
Two years have now passed since I marked "done" on many of my projects. I'm now a certified coach, designer, mentor cutting-edge startups, own a successful business, run 5Ks, made another real estate investment, helped a few professionals find their new jobs, and learn something new every day. Ultimately, I'm the mom I want to be and live my life to the fullest.
Today, my sister, sister-in-law, and I each wear the diamond necklace that I designed. With that, I have many new exciting projects on my plate that I am eager and ready to get done! So choose your projects wisely, and create the life you want to have.