The Goats that Made Me
In this season, I have done some serious introspection. I have been extremely busy with work and life these past ten days and I apologize for missing last week's blog. But, in this time where I have had a chance to reflect on my life, I have realized how thankful I am for all of those formative years with my goats. People may scoff at the life lessons owning livestock can teach you, but I am an absolute believer that my experiences with goats have made me into a better adult. I am more able to deal with complex situations, challenges and other issue and this has made me a better leader.
Take for example, as a kid, I was absolutely infatuated with all things goat (not much has changed into adulthood). But, I taught myself after MANY MANY failed attempts how to made goats milk fudge. I now have a wonderful side business that I am working to make official where I make goats milk fudge for my ETSY shop and friends and family. This was made possible not only because of my dedication to my goats, but also the unwavering tenacity that I gained from my experience raising livestock. Secondly, I look to my leadership skills. These are soft skills that I learned from hands on working with my animals. Not only do you have to learn to communicate with your goats, that do not speak the same language as you, but you also have to be able to convince them to follow your lead and do what you desire. Anyone that has met a headstrong alpha doe, knows that this not only takes persuasion, but also finesse to get your animals to do what you want them to. This skill had aided me well into adulthood, where communication around difficult topics that are controversial is very common in the workplace. Part of this skill has enabled me to be an influential change leader, not only in my workplace, but my home, small business and clubs that I am a part of.
Owning goats has also taught me the value of time, love and compassion. It is very easy for people to get caught up in the day to day of life and have time pass without really taking a moment to appreciate and enjoy the small moments. Owning goats showed me very young that life is fleeting, precious, and everyday where your animals and loved ones are healthy and with you is an absolute blessing. I find myself forgetting this sometimes when I am in the barn. Simply, rushing through to "get things done" and remind myself, I could come out in the morning and have one of my herd be ill. Then I make the time to stop and take the time to itch them, brush them and love on them, none of us know how long we or our beloved goats have on this earth, so we should enjoy each and every day. I also truly believe the responsibility of animal ownership taught me to love deeper and be more compassionate. I am always looking at and listening to my goats when I am around them. I know who has a cough, or a bump somewhere, and I will stop to watch. Is that doe walking with a slight limp, or is something else going on? Being responsible for these animals has enabled me to be a better listener and supporter of other people in my life.
Many people that I talk to or work with chuckle when I tell them about my hobby of goat ownership, and instead of getting offended or feeling self conscience. I actually feel bad for them, because they have not had the same opportunities that I have had to gain these skills and enjoy these animals that are truly a blessing to me and those who share my life with me. I hope this gives anyone on the brink of goat ownership another perspective to the benefits
that goats can provide in their lives. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with a chance to hold your loved ones extra tight. Take care and Happy Goating!