Four Months In...

Here I sit, in the Guild, four months in.  I've got two iPads, three phones, a coffee, 2 checkbooks, and a full page to-do list surrounding me.  It's Friday, the day I dedicate to my newest baby - The River Guild.

For those of you who know me, this will not be shocking: I did not think this project through (not even a little bit) before signing a lease and forming an LLC.  Well, that's not true.  I imagined it—in my mind and heart.  I also had a good feeling about it (which was oh so comforting to my wife). It was so obvious to me that this was going to fill a void in our community.  How could it not succeed?

That is how I felt every day... with an emphasis on the word "day".

When 3 am rolled around, nightly, a switch inside me flipped.  Eyes wide open, heart quickening.  The thoughts.  Oh, the thoughts.  Every possible negative outcome would come to mind, all with a strong undercurrent of financial instability.  

I would fall back asleep within an hour or so. In the morning the dreamer in me, and the doer in me would take over. She would take on the day.

There were a number of events that happened in the renovations that, to me, were signs this project was meant to be. These events would solidify my resolve, elevate my mood, and define my purpose.  The most memorable signal happened after the hardest night I experienced. I had woken up with such doubt in myself, my vision and the Guild that I was unable to fall back asleep. I arrived at the birth center for a full day of prenatal appointments tired and sad.  

That day, mid-morning, I saw Patrick walking toward the birth center with purpose.  Patrick is a property manager at the Smokestack Center as well as a talented musician. "Hey, I heard you got a piano at the Guild!" I told him that yes, I got one free on Craigslist. I asked him if he wanted to check it out.

We walked over to The River Guild and he sat at the piano.  The room is large, and there is a dramatic echo. It is calmly and warmly lit.  I watched Pat play. He played well, and he played beautifully, for about 10 minutes.  As I listened, I could feel the constriction in my chest melt. My tears were close to the surface. I couldn't have imagined a more beautiful sign at a more desperate time. I realized that everything about the Guild is meant to be; that basing a business on health, community, and the recognition of each other's worth and talent cannot fail. Leading from the heart and taking action in my own truth is all that I can and should do. My tired mind and body wanted to collapse to the floor in relief.

4 months in.  I'm digging everything about The River Guild.  My favorite event, our monthly potluck, is next Friday.  The potluck is my favorite event because people show up, eat delicious food, and talk. Kids run around like a pack of wild dogs. Everyone is happy, and everyone is warmly welcomed. I look around at each potluck and feel the tears welling up - because it's what I have worked so hard for.  It is what we have worked so hard for.

See you there.

Kate Hartwell