In case you missed it, I finished! All 52 volunteer activities complete (within the 52 weeks, of course). [*Does a little dance*]
(It ran February 20, 2014 – February 18, 2015.)
So, what thoughts do I have to give now that it’s over? Well, my thoughts from the midpoint have not changed.
Here they are:
Part 1 – An Interesting, Enlightening, and Worthwhile Project
Part 2 – Some of the Meh Stuff, Like When You’re Not Needed
Part 3 – A Little More Meh Stuff, Like Needing An Occassional Attitude Adjustment
Part 4 – Lessons I’d Take Away For Volunteer Coordinating
Really, those are all the main thoughts I have on it.
Other small things are that sometimes you could stay later to be more helpful, or you’d want to stay later to talk to people, and if you scheduled yourself for another thing you wouldn’t always have the time. So, it’s nice to give breathing room when possible. (You definitely won’t always need it, but it can be nice when it’s there.)
Also, even though it’s easy to volunteer at most things, there are some where you really have to plan ahead of time. For instance, I tried to volunteer for the Boston Marathon (2014 – within the year of this project). I’d always wanted to and loved any excuse to go back to my old neighborhood. But I think it was a lottery system or application or something. I forget the specifics, but know I didn’t get picked.
(If you want to volunteer at a Disney race you have to sign up early as well.) So, the in-demand nature of certain volunteer positions was also interesting to me.
Lastly, here’s a kind of over-reaching thought now that I’ve reached the end of this project…
Not that I need to compare this to the 52 half marathons project, but since it’s my frame of reference, I will.
One thing I really liked about the 52 half marathons project was that I really felt like I experienced the whole year I did it. Sometimes years go by and I think, “What? How did that happen? Wasn’t it just January?”
But during the 52 half marathons project, it felt like a year. I did tons of traveling and planning (and running, and more). The year felt long (in a good way) and full.
So, I thought doing another 52 in 52 project would help 2014 to feel that way.. But it didn’t feel quite the same.
During the running project, there were some weeks I didn’t have a race (and some when I had multiple races). But for the most part, I was probably doing a half marathon during at least 3 weeks of almost every month.
With the volunteer activities, I’d do a bunch in a short time, then I wouldn’t do any for a while. Flipping through my calendar, it looks like there are multiple times where 5 (or even more) weeks went by where I either didn’t do any activities, or I maybe did one in that whole time span (of over a month!).
I don’t think I did the project “wrong.” It was just different. And it didn’t feel, I guess, as overarching as one big project as the 52 half marathons did. Again, not bad. Just different.
And I’ll pick up with one more post about this tomorrow.