As I lounge in bed, a warm down comforter tucked around me, six cats in various stages of contentment sprinkled about, Gizmo asleep in her nook, I find it hard not to smile. It's late and I should sleep. As a working mother my most precious moments with Giz are in the early morning hours before I leave for the day. The snooze button isn't an option. Not sleeping now simply means less rest to start the day with.
But I can't sleep.
My mind is racing with endless lists: The final batch of Kickstarter rewards that need to go out, items I need to order to make sure my kidding kits are ready, creamery purchases that still need to be made...
And then there are the worries. Will my fertilized eggs purchased on ebay actually hatch? How can I make a better tasting goat milk yogurt? Are all my dairy girls pregnant? Where the heck am I going to put 70+ baby goats?
The closer we get to the launching of our Creamery the less I sleep. With the final purchase of the pipeline system made, and the walls up in the milk house and the make room, quitting is no longer an option.
All that's left now is the fear of failure...which sometimes, in the quietest hours of the night, makes quitting seem like something I should have taken advantage of.
This past weekend Giz and I went to the post office and stood in line for over 2 hours to mail out an entire trunk full of parcels to Kickstarter backers. I could have waited til after the holidays but it was important to me to get everyone their rewards as soon as I could.
Standing in line, Giz strapped to my body, both of us sweating as I danced in place to entertain her, I suppose I could have felt frustrated. But I didn't. My whole purpose for being there was a validation that people believe in us. I was surrounded by disgruntled groaning but, try as I might, I just couldn't find anything to be grumpy about. I was getting to spend the whole day with my daughter and we were sending The Farmstead out into the world (literally, I sent packages to Singapore and Japan!)
Several people at the post office asked me what I was doing. Did I have an online business? Were all these Christmas presents? No, I told them. These were for people who supported our farm's Kickstarter for a goat milk dairy in your community.
My heart swelled as soon as I said it.
It turns out there is an emotion more powerful than the fear of failure—More potent than the desire to quit.
It starts out tiny...with the whisper of a dream. But, if you feed that dream, if you nourish it with hard work and hope, it becomes brave.
We took a family outing to the zoo this weekend. Zoos aren't my favorite places but, I do recognize their place in animal conservation efforts, in particular, the Sumatran Tigers, of which less than 400 exist in the wild.
Gizmo had never seen a tiger before.
She was fearless.
From the day she was born Giz has approached every day as an opportunity to make her mark. She was an early walker which meant she was also remarkably unstable. This led to lots of falling down. I mean, A LOT, of falling down. She didn't quit though. She just kept on getting up and trying again. Soon she'd mastered walking and was running.
She doesn't stop. We turn our head for two seconds and she's launched herself onto a chair and up onto the kitchen table. She is dancing.
She is my inspiration.
This creamery is also my baby.
A silly little dream I would say to myself when I thought no one was listening.
I may not know how I'm going to make a goat milk yogurt that people will actually want to buy. And I may end up housing 70+ baby goats in my bed (the cats will be furious). But I'll be damned if I'm giving up now.
It turns out failure isn't actually an option. I may fall down. In fact, I'm sure I will. A LOT. But it's in the darkest hours of the night that I'm also reminded, I have something more powerful than a recipe, or a fancy barn. I have that feeling in my gut that says, "You're doing it! You're living your dream! Keep going!"
Passion. Hope. Determination.
Call it whatever you want.
This whisper is learning how to roar.