It's good to want things. But how far should we go in our pursuit of something before we have to back off and realize that there's also the need to be content? It's good to have goals, it's good to reach and strive, but how hard should we try? How much should we give? Does it depend on each individual, and each scenario? This question often haunts the back of my mind as I go through daily life. I'm always trying something new; always on the lookout for a new challenge, and always working towards something. It drives some people crazy that I am this way. That I never seem to be "finished". There's always something I'm working on, always something I'm working towards. What is the end goal here? In my mind, the answer is simply that I'm working towards my own farm and I'll do what it takes to get there. Straightforward and clear, right? So I thought... What seems so simple to me, often looks like a haphazard mess to others.
I have two dairy cows, ten dairy goats, two sheep, two pigs (yes, yes... Two of everything except the humans; I know. LOL), too many chickens to count, I raise turkeys and broilers, I run a herdshare program, I teach lessons, I grow micro greens, I want try aquaponics (oops, y'all aren't supposed to know about that yet...), I will train a team of oxen in the spring, I have rabbits, I adore butchery, I want to take my writing to the next level, I am a hunter with a long bow, I work on a 100 acre organic farm, I want to have a goat-drawn cart... Are you getting tired yet? I read through this list and it all seems so simple to me. To others, it's a nightmare of projects, work, and sleepless nights.
Am I wanting too much? How far can I push my farming desires before something screams, "Enough!" ? Is it even possible to gauge how much a single person can (or should) do? I write these questions mostly out of curiosity. Personally, I'm happy with my level of activity and all my plans and dreams. But there is still that nagging little question that is forever hovering... Just how far can I go with this? What happens if I get hurt? There's only one of me, after all. How much should I risk to see this dream happen?
This life I lead is so worth it. It's worth all the sleepless nights worrying about hay, worth dealing with newborn goat kids, with sick animals, with broken fencing, with bad weather, with flooded milk parlors, with mud, with pain, with fear. In the end, it's all worth it. And that's why I continue this. It's why even though people think I'm crazy with my dreams and goals, I still do it. I am a stubborn person, and once I get my teeth into an idea, I hang on with the tenacity of a pit bull.
How far should you go in following a dream? Dear Heart, only you can decide that. But follow it past the cutting remarks of others, past the pain of following it, past the fear of wondering if you were right to do it in the first place, follow it so far that you can't see the start anymore. And then, once you're past all that, then you can decide how far you should continue on. If you're anything like me, then by the time you've gotten that far, you'll probably feel that you might as well keep going; you've come this far after all. But also know that sometimes while following a dream, we can get lost on the way and find a better one. It's okay to bury one dream for another, better one.
How much should we risk for something that we truly desire? I wish I could say. My 20-year old logic says to risk what it takes. But I think some wiser heads could answer better than I could. I'm too well-versed in reaching towards the unreachable to be giving advice on when to hold back.
But I do know one thing for certain: You've got one life to live here. What will you do with it? When I am old, and nearing the end of life's chapters, I want to be able to smile and say, "What a ride this life has been... I have no regrets."
You have a dream? Follow it. Reaching towards a goal? Do it. Let's all be a little bit crazy and go for the impossible.
Ready, set, go.