Taking on the Challenge by Madeline Stewart

the future is female Mar 01, 2018

I began this Future is Female blog journey through a quick series of events that seemed to align just right to put me on this path. I set the intention then and there to jump in and see where it would take me. I wanted to use this opportunity as an additional weekly deadline to really get my reflections down, rather than telling myself I wanted to each week, then only doing bits and pieces...

Now, as an evaluation of the past six weeks - the first half of this blog project, and the first half of the last semester of my undergraduate experience - I conclude that my struggles and achievements both in and outside of this blog are parallel. With this recognition, I will move forward with the intention to find better balance in the things I take on, and the down time to re-energize.

Photo and Shirt by Tate Newfield (check him out @tate.glass)

From these past six weeks in particular, I recognize that I need to improve my time management skills - that I take on too many projects at once, and don't necessarily plan them out based on their deadlines or priority...and I will spend way longer than necessary on one task, making it much harder to get to the others. 

I am working on it.

How? What has started to work for me is writing up very detailed To Do lists. These include the category of a project, with individual small tasks as their own To Do Item. I am able to move more fluidly along my list as I see the specific tasks that must be completed to actually progress with the project. I can also organize them in an order of what needs to be done first, and if I am feeling stuck and don't want to work on one task at the moment, there are plenty of others listed that might sound more doable for the moment. This includes personal To Do's, like reading, stretching, calling my parents, etc. 

This seems simple...yet I have never managed to keep it going in the past. We'll see how this goes, and hopefully the changes I've made will stick at some point.

As for spending way too long on individual tasks...this is a huge challenge for me. I want to feel satisfied with giving myself "time limits" which will actually give me the freedom to move forward, rather than always feeling like there are improvements to be made.

All of these things have their positive and negative sides. The goal for me is to find the balance that allows me to move more fluidly and joyfully move through my engagements.

Maybe this will change as I have different things going on after completing College. Time will tell.

With that being said - these six weeks of the Future is Female have been so incredible.

Reading others' posts has been inspiring beyond words, and I truly hope to meet all you wonderful women and see some of these awesome things you've shown us through your words and images. 

I've also been able to use this weekly deadline as a prompt to accomplish very important tasks that otherwise may have dragged on. One of these was finally adding a page to my website where supporters can purchase my creations, or donate to the projects! This has been a challenge and accomplishment for me, as I've struggled with attaching prices, or money in general, to this current work - but now, especially as I enter the final stretch of my Thesis year and start putting my exhibition show together, I realize will need some extra support to bring it to this refined exhibition position. 

I'm so excited to share these explorations with everyone who is able to attend and/or follow along, and I am so grateful for the support that has come along the way and for those that continue to contribute to the growth!

As an evaluation of the past six weeks in general - I feel I am expanding upon my mission to connect and create. Now, I'm hoping to watch it bloom.

I am moved by the responses of participants who express their inspirations from the Pocket Object Project and Connection Capsules. As time progresses, new things continue to present themselves - opening windows to the endless possibilities expressed by different individuals. I experience joy to know the things I am doing are making ripples in the world, and hopefully will continue to someday become waves.

Thank you for following along the journey <3 I look forward to more!

With Love,

Madeline Stewart


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