I along with many of you have been thinking about how hard this winter has been. It has been colder and windier than any in my recent memory. It is a battle to stay positive and to focus on the opportunity that lies in the “constraints” that winter brings. The concept of Hygge from our Scandinavian friends helps me to refocus and realize the joy of cozying up by a warm fire. I can’t imagine what it would be like to only live in a warm climate and never experience the joy of the different seasons and the experiences the seasons bring.

I grew up on a farm in southern Manitoba. It was a mixed farm where we raised chicken, beef and pork. We grew a variety of cereal crops and grains as well as having a wide variety of fruit trees and a huge garden.  I was pretty blessed. The greater blessing for me though was the lesson on the beauty of constraints. There are so many things that can go wrong when you are raising livestock and grain farming. Things break, animals get out of their fences, tractors break, crops fail…. But the attitude with my parents was first of all an acceptance that these things will happen, things will not always go as planned … and this was a quick acceptance, no time was wasted feeling sorry for themselves and no time was wasted on waiting for someone else to solve the problem. They accepted what was, and then moved ahead to solve the problem. The things my dad could fix, and the things my mom could make, were endless. They allowed the problems or constraints to teach them.

I can’t tell you how many times this life-lesson has come into play – sometimes it seems almost daily! Whether it’s restraints put on by the municipality, suppliers not coming through, staff leaving on short notice, things breaking, bad weather … I know for sure that these constraints, these things that often look like roadblocks, have created opportunities for learning, for creative solutions and most importantly for building team and creating stronger community.

The snow will be melting soon and spring will arrive. In the meantime embrace the beauty of our Manitoba winters and get curious about the constraints winter brings that could be an opportunity for innovation or creativity. Explore something new this winter, you never know what breakthrough could be around the corner.

Wishing you cozy fires and time to spend with the ones you love.

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“A constraint should be regarded as a stimulus for positive change—we can choose to use it as an impetus to explore something new and arrive at a breakthrough.”
― Adam Morgan



  • Donna Harding says:

    Beautifully said Jan!

  • Shannon Bobrowski says:

    I too grew up on a farm, and I can’t imagine growing up on any other setting. Thanks for sharing so beautifully the way in which this shapes us and makes us resilient. What beauty lies in waiting when we embrace each seasonal offerings.

    • Jan Regehr says:

      Thank you for you comment Shannon. I love the last sentence…what beauty awaits…As spring arrives and the days get longer I feel arising anticipation for what is around the corner.

  • Pattie Anderson says:

    Jan, I remember my first visit to your original Pineridge Hollow establishment on the old homestead. It was such a wonderful peaceful day, I didn’t want to leave. Your continuous endless energy is still shown today. Even though I have lived the past 20 years in another province Pineridge Hollow always will be my favourite go to place and of course always first on my agenda to go to. I look around my home during each season and am reminded of your place from each purchase I have and will always treasure. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for enduring all those trials and tribulations of running a business as most only survive around five years. I love reading your blogs they are always so deep and uplifting.
    Pattie Anderson (Fort Frances, Ontario)

    • Jan Regehr says:

      Hi Pattie,
      Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments. My greatest joy has to been to share this journey with you and the many other long time loyal friends of Pineridge. It is a truly such an honour to be on this journey. It is only because of our many loyal guests that I have been allowed to continue to pursue the dream. Looking forward to seeing you soon Pattie.

  • Aileen says:

    Lovely thoughts, Jan. It is how I feel too.

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