April 13, 2015

Recipe for JOY

Imagine doing what you love to do, even the things you do purely for fun, and then getting to do them to earn a living. Imagine, too, if doing these things supports a mission. Imagine that this  is your true purpose, to find what you love doing (that doesn't feel like work) and to do it and give yourself to it with passion. 

The feeling you get from doing this is what I call JOY.

I have always loved baking. Some of the earliest things I remember are times "helping" my mother and my grandmother in the kitchen. My brother and my cousins would be outside playing, and I wanted to be inside, making something. Even when I played outside, I pretended to be baking; I took all manner of kitchen tools and pans outside to make
mud pies.

I never thought, though, that baking was something I could do as my actual work. I thought it was just too much fun to be credible as actual work.

My paternal grandmother was a baker. Cake-making was something she did as her own business, out of her home, when my dad was growing up during the 1940s and '50s. She had sugar and flour and access to ingredients that other people didn't have when such things were rationed during World War II. My dad recalls "cakes being everywhere, all over the house, all over the dining room table, even lined up on the piano," when he was growing up. So, along with music, I have baking in my blood.

Buttersong Baking  Company evolved,  and continues to evolve, as a chain reaction of epiphanies. A few years ago, when I was working as the Executive Director of the Mayland Community  College  Foundation, I spent the day in a workshop for effective time management. I met some special and important people there, and while I did learn some tips for time management during the workshop, what I really learned was the importance of spending time -- precious, precious time -- doing what we love. Doing anything else is a waste of time, and is disrespectful to our true purpose. After that, the dreams I had dismissed and boxed away for such a long time began uncovering themselves. For once, I began giving some serious attention and credibility to the idea that I could develop my own baking business. I didn't know what any of it could look like. Making music was (and still is) an outlet for me in my "regular" job. My challenge became figuring out how I could combine doing the things I love most: baking and singing.

So by trusting in the magic of "Leap and the net will appear", I am finding JOY in doing BOTH. The Celtalachian harmonies of Thistle Dew provide more than ample opportunity to sing, and -- surprise! -- my new position in Human Resources at The Crossnore  School allows me to sing while creating Buttersong Baking goodies. You sample them at the Miracle Grounds Coffee Shop on the school's campus in Crossnore, NC. 

The offerings include Brownie Sinjas (if chocolate were a ninja, this is what it would taste like, because the sinful, deep, dark chocolatey-ness sneaks up on you) and  "Those" Cookies (so-named by all who taste them, because the long list of ingredients belies any other description).

And as soon as I figure out how to successfully package such delights Thistle- and Dew-Heads will be able to find JOY in ordering "Music for Your Mouth" from this very website.