Project 52 – Reflections

Last night I finished writing Project 52!

On my 52nd birthday, I began Project 52. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, each week I took one year of my life and blogged about it. Yes, at the end I got behind and took a little more than a year to finish, but right up until the end, each week I focused on the corresponding year of my life.

This year, I plan to read what I wrote the year before. That’s going to be a whole lot easier!

Coming to the end of this project, I’m full of thankfulness. And I want to reflect on some things that struck me while writing it.

The Big Lesson:

God has worked so many things out for good in my life.

It’s been lovely that I’m writing this from such a good place. I love my job. I love my home. I love my church. I’m surrounded by friends. And I am on the Newbery committee!!!!

In fact, a fun thing about the Newbery committee: It emphasizes that yes, I’m in a wonderful time in my life – but it’s not like that means I can sit back and relax and be smug about my great life. The Newbery committee is going to be an enormous amount of work! But the wonderful part is that it’s work I love to do and I’m so excited about.

But it makes it harder to get resentful about the hard turns my life took – when all those things brought me to this spacious place.

A smaller lesson:

This project was hugely therapeutic for thinking about my marriage, both good parts and bad parts, and letting it rest.

I had thought that when I told my story in church that it was the essential summary of my life.

But that summary was mostly about my divorce and how God spoke to me through that time.

And yes, Yes, YES, my divorce was a big deal in my life. It showed me, and made me feel on a heart level, that God would walk through life with me and guide me.

It showed me that if I asked God for guidance, He would answer.

Looking at those years helped me stop feeling guilty for all the times in my bewilderment when I didn’t respond well.

Looking at those years – and new ways God spoke to me while I was looking at them – helped me put to rest my doubts that I was inventing God’s guidance all along. Okay, I was wrong at points about what I thought God was going to do (bring my husband back to me), but the essential guidance (what I should do), telling me to wait – that was a good thing. Waiting to file for divorce was what it took for me to finally understand that my beloved husband had truly changed.

But my divorce wasn’t the only thing God worked out for good!

It was rather lovely to look back at the hard year when I got cut from the Herndon Fortnightly Library and how hard that was – knowing that it was what brought me to the City of Fairfax Regional Library and a higher-ranking position, reaching more kids.

The Selector job that I didn’t get, which I’d been hoping for years I would? Well, looking at it now, again, I’m reaching a lot more kids in my current position. I’m getting to keep up with the brand new books, and share them with kids. And I’m on the Newbery committee!!!!

Even not getting on the Newbery committee the first time I tried – This is a much better time to spend every spare minute reading. Being on the Newbery committee makes my Empty Nest an asset!

So it was nice to look back and remember some hard things – but get to see the big picture and that it did, in fact, work out for good.

After a year looking back over my life in great detail, how would I summarize who I am?

This won’t be the final word on it, but here are some random thoughts as they come to me:

I’m someone who loves the Lord. I believe He loves me and will actively give me guidance.

He’s my lifeline when things get hard. I believe in spending time in God’s Word daily. Memorizing Scripture gives me joy. As does listening to Christian music. Did I even mention in Project 52 how much I love to sing? (Living alone is perfect for singing loudly without bothering anyone!)

I’ve got an Empty Nest, but I’m crazy about my kids and super proud of them – my transgender daughter Jade and my adult son Tim.

I believe rather fiercely that being who God made you to be is a good thing and that human rights should include every human.

And talking with my kids brings a smile to my face and a light in my eyes.

My church friends are my local family. They are here for me when I need them, and they keep me smiling in between.

It’s great to have people in your life who you get to check in with every week. My small group does that and meets in my home.

And our church’s new Community Resource Center is almost completed! It’s going to be so exciting to watch our church grow!

I love being a librarian!

There are so many things I love about it! Getting to help people! Getting to help parents help their children learn and grow! Oh, and as a big sister (third of thirteen), I still love babies and young children – and get to enjoy them in my job without having to be responsible for them! (Perfect!) And:

I love spreading the word about good books!

Not only by being a librarian, but also my Sonderbooks website.

I love playing games!

Having a regular gaming group is a good thing for me. These folks keep my mind sharp and also keep me smiling.

I love creating mathematical knitting!

Check out my mathematical knitting gallery at Sonderknitting.

I love taking pictures of beautiful things!

Like flowers and lakes and birds and leaves and castles! There’s something about it that just brings me joy.

I’m a Writer.

Some day, I hope I’ll get published. But in the meantime, I’ll keep writing my website, with book reviews, with reflections on life in Sonderjourneys, quotes I love in Sonderquotes, and things I’m thankful for in Sonderblessings. I plan to be more active in all of those now that Project 52 is done!

I also have some regular and semi-regular email correspondents who I feel extra close to – because I’m a writer, and that’s how I like to talk and to think things through.

Ah! I already made a summary! It’s in this visual mission statement:

Yes, that’s what I’m about, what gives me joy, what makes me excited about what the rest of my life will hold.

My plan is to do a Project 65 and cover one year every four weeks for the years I’m 53 to 65. I’m hoping that one will be a love story! But I’m already excited about how it’s going to start out – with being on the Newbery committee!

And whatever happens, I’m excited to be alive and ever so thankful for the life I’ve been given.

Thank you for sharing in it, my friends!

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