There is a lot of striving for extraordinary in our world these days!
What extravagant location will I visit?
What luxury brand of purse or clothing can I buy?
How much do I make per year?
What private school do our children attend?
What can I post on social media to make myself be seen and be extraordinary?
Me, I am striving for ordinary.
How many walks or hikes can I take around our town and local hills?
How little can I shop or how many weeks can I go between having to step foot in a store?
How can I help my children truly learn in their unique ways?
How many conversations can I have that are authentic and encouraging on a daily basis?
How many books will I read this year?
I have been pondering this concept of always striving for being or doing something extraordinary. It reminded me of my last eight years in the Network Marketing realm. I remember early on when I started sharing the products I love, I met a woman in her early 30’s who was a true light, with two young girls and a house on the hill. She explicitly told me that her sole goal in the company was to speak in front of 15,000+ people at our annual conference. Her financial goals were intertwined with wanting to be in front of 15,000+ people. I always found this genuinely fascinating and unrelatable to me personally as my best moments were often chatting in the line to the washrooms or sitting beside someone in the seats or simply walking down the street. Ordinary moments that turned into extraordinary relationships.
I have realized now in my teaching careers as I am asked to speak and present information to others that I would rather be the person stacking the chairs at the back than speaking to everyone from the front. (I actually shared this two weeks ago to someone in our school leadership team.) I am really happy being behind the scenes. (And clicking away on my computer keyboard as I share my musings. I am so happy right now as I write this!)
Happy Sunday Funday Folks! This journey started on Friday morning.
The 11 months and 10 days we lived in Switzerland in 2004 were some of THE BEST and the darkest time of my life (besides watching my mama die!)
The darkness of living through depression and having no energy but to sleep, to be working in a difficult teaching environment, having Steve away training for volleyball each night and living in a country that is clean and exceptionally beautiful for a reason. They ‘control’ each other. I have never been yelled at more in my life.
The BEST moments meeting friends and students that are still in my life today, living in a pristine natural environment, travelling easily and learning more about myself.
Being back here now in 2019 with our boys is truly sublime.
Drove from beautiful Milan to the Rigi in the Swiss Alps.
With one stop in Locarno for our last Italian pizza and Calzone.
Over 25 tunnels. (We lost count!)
One 17 kilometres long.
We arrived in Vitznau about 3 and a bit hours after leaving Milan. What an indescribable drive. I am not sure my pictures can even explain.
One Mountain Train (Rigi Bahn) straight uphill into the Swiss Alps.
We have snow folks!
Meeting old friends that we taught with and their wonderful eleven year old daughter.
A gorgeous place, an incredible meal and amazing hot pools. Kaltbad Rigi
Guten abend von de Schwiez.
Guten morgen friends!
We started off with opening the hot pools before breakfast at 8:00am. We had a solo swim and play in the pools.
Then it was fruhstuck time here in the Alps. First, our super juice that helps our bodies deal with stress and goes everywhere with us. #partner
After a buffet breakfast, we decided to head to the top of the Rigi via the Mountain Train and then hike down. What a gorgeous three hours. And God even gave us another rainbow, like He did on the Eiffel Tower and at Vimy Ridge.
Now an afternoon of journaling, postcard writing, eating Swiss chocolate, shakes and German cookies!
PLUS another swim in the hot pools before dinner:
Dinner was many hours long, but the boys rocked it and luckily our friend’s play games like we do.
This is THE shift! This morning at 7:20am, Steve headed down the mountain on the train to take two buses and another train to the Zurich Airport as he heads home, then travels to Mexico in five days for another fair.
I had tears this morning as we said goodbye. I love this man on so many levels.
We decided I would stay here with the boys until Steve is done his trip to Mexico. I will travel with the boys for 8 days in Germany visiting old friends and then back to Paris for 3 more days for some tourist activities. And surprises for the boys. 😉
BUT FIRST, one more morning on the Rigi, a get together with some Swiss friends at an old school bowling alley with a jukebox near Zurich, then back to Germany.
This is the building where we were…
Then a 1.5 hour drive to one of our favourite spots in Germany with people living God’s plan through their lives and delivering a package from a mother’s heart to her daughter.
Finishing off the night with one of these… Sexy Neck would be proud! It was as good as I remembered.
Goodnight sweet friends from the Bodensee. Thank you to everyone for your kind words and for truly living these simple moments of an unfolding dream with us. I wish I could give you a HUGE HUG.
Last night, I was talking to an old student of mine about her new job working in a retirement home for the local health authority. I used to work full time in education. Both of these union jobs are where wages are not determined by your performance but dependant on how long you have worked there and what level of education or specific job title you have. Again, how much you are paid is not dependent on how well you do your job.
In this type of occupation where the monetary value is not determined by performance, I have personally witnessed that we end up with two types of employees: Growers and Grumblers.
Growers have their focus on always learning first and growing themselves then they have their eyes focused on exactly who they are there to serve. They embrace visionary leadership that may be different to how they do things. If they see problems, they have solutions to go along with them, plus they take action to solve those problems. Growers live in a constant state of being able to adapt, see the change and be the change. They overflow with gratitude and enjoy 99% of their time in their position.
Grumblers have their focus solely on how things “used to be” or how things “ought to be”. They love talking about what’s wrong. That’s it, they just love talking about what’s wrong. Leadership that involves any type of vision, change or growth is not embraced, but rather seen as another thing to add to the “what’s wrong” list. They live in a constant state of stress, worry and fear. Grumblers clearly do not enjoy most things about their jobs and they are sure to let everyone know when it’s almost Friday. I have been both a Grower and a Grumbler so I speak these words from personal experience.
Three things I discovered reflecting on these two types of employees were:
~ Grumblers tend to stick together. Growers seems to stick together. It appears they don’t often have a high tolerance for each other.
~ Inside this type of employee structure, the Grumblers are often the loudest and have the largest amount of influence.
~ Outside of this employee culture, Growers prevail. The Growers are the ones that most people gravitate towards, even the Grumblers. Where performance matters, Growers shine. Grumblers fall behind.
Since leaving the education world full time, I have full embraced and now thrive in the performance-based structure of creating income. As an entrepreneur, I know, with certainty, that my business will only grow to the rate that I grow myself. As an entrepreneur, I am paid by the value that I provide to my customers and the world around me. I don’t have a set income. I can choose who to surround myself with. Truly the opportunities are endless.
I loved education. I was passionate about learning alongside my students. And I still use the skills and knowledge that I received in that profession, but I am very happy to be outside that environment and surrounded by Master Growers every. Single. Day.
Take a look around you today and see who you are surrounded by. Are they Growers or Grumblers? This will tell you exactly where you are. Believe I know. I have been surrounded by both and lived as both. And like I said, now that I am surrounded by Master Growers. I can never go back into the Grumbler culture.
Find freedom my friends.
Exactly as you are.
Exactly where you are.
Never stop growing.
Surround yourself with Growers.
<come hangout with me on Instagram @cannjoanna)
Dedicated to all the growers that surround me, inspire me, share what they are learning about and what they are grateful for.
As our household moves from one income for almost SIX years, to FIVE streams of income in the next year, we are talking about what to “do” with this ‘extra’ income.
We have been intentional and made it work so that I could stay at home raising our world’s greatest resource, our children.
We are very fortunate, that we have lived without televisions, cell phones, movies, extra cars, boats and recreational toys for the last six years.
We haven’t been trying to keep up with the Joneses.
We are the Cann’s.
We “Cann” do it. (You had to know I was going to say that!)
As we move into these five different possibilities of income, we are open to how to continue to be a river with our money and not a reservoir.
Which small businesses can we support?
Who can we donate to and bless?
What activities could our boys try that we couldn’t even consider before?
It is a true blessing to not cringe anymore when the boys have a hole in one of their running shoes. (And we got ourselves five people with shoe “wants”! Here is our front closet of summer flipflops, soccer cleats, running shoes and sandals.)
It is a great gift to be able to donate to anyone that may ask.
It is humbling to have more than we need to run our household.
May we continue to pass on these great gifts to the river that surrounds us.
The river of beautiful people in our city and around the world.
May God multiply all that we do.
With gratitude for all that we have.
With thanks for all that we can do.
With humble hearts for all the opportunities we have to share life with people.
This blog post was started in the summertime as I was playing a “healthy living” game with my friend Penny and an old neighbour and her friend T. I had to add to the post after our ski vacation a few days ago… and finally introduce you to one wonderful human being and friend. Formally know on my blog as Princess P and now just Penny.
Here is a photo of the people playing our summertime game: My teammate Penny and I on the right and our wonderful opponents on the left.
Here are my boys sharing some after dinner books at Auntie Penny’s house. My boys cherish the wonderful books she had for her own children. We love going over to their house for dinner!
Penny made a special point to celebrate our middle guy’s fifth birthday before she went on an European summer holiday. He was thrilled with the very special transformer and book she bought him.
And now while they were working hard to renovate their bathrooms and get ready for their own three wonderful children’s arrival, Penny and Bob came to spend a few wonderful hours with our family on the ski hill.
Penny knew my mom always made PJ’s for my boys at Christmastime and look what she got the boys:
One of the other gifts that my mom has always given me over the years is a knitted scarf and look what I pulled out of the Christmas bag from Penny:
A very lovely, hand-loving-made scarf!
The depth of gratitude I feel is incredible.
When you lose someone important in your life, there is a HUGE hole.
The greater the love, the deeper the hole.
But others will lean in and close the gap.
The hole won’t pull you in and down.
People are holding me up right now in prayer and physical presence and “knowing”.
Penny has brought us such joy through these beautiful, thoughtful, handmade gifts.