All of us at Compendium will tell you that the work we do every day is about connecting. It's about creating products that bring people together in times of celebration, times of joy, times of challenge, and in simple, everyday moments. One of the greatest joys in this work is hearing from people who write to tell us how a book or product of ours has made a difference to them.
When Dan Zadra, our founder and senior writer, met Carrie and her daughter Skylar during a book signing at a local store, it was just the beginning of a unique friendship. Carrie and Skylar have been longtime readers of Compendium books, and had plenty of stories to share about the ways they live inspired in their own lives. When Dan found out that Skylar's 13th birthday was coming, he invited Skylar and her mom to the Compendium offices for a celebration. And they came!
We asked Carrie if she'd be willing to write us a blog post for us, and she graciously agreed. Want to share your own story with us about a product you love, or how you live inspired everyday? Feel free to comment below, or on our Facebook page.
When my 13-year-old daughter, Skylar, and I recently met Compendium founder, Dan Zadra, at a signing for the 2 book, we were thrilled to share with him how Compendium products have impacted our lives over the years.
Compendium's 5 book and video gave me the courage to move across the country from Cincinatti to Seattle to start a whole new adventure for my family. And the messages of kindness in Compendium's books have inspired Skylar to leave surprises on our neighbor's doorsteps and to hide notes in unexpected places for strangers to find.
After sharing these stories with Dan, he invited Skylar to tour Compendium's headquarters for her birthday so she could meet the creative people who give birth to the products we both love so much.
Our visit was an eye-opener, especially for Skylar. As we walked into Compendium, we were inspired by this place where creativity and collaboration are valued and where you can hold onto childhood whimsy and playfulness even as an adult. We loved how Compendium's space was filled with reminders...
to always celebrate your inner child...
to take your dreams seriously...
that creativity can be a messy process...
that no matter how important you are, making time for others is just as important...
...and to always tend to your soul and to others.
I am so grateful to Compendium for sharing these messages with my daughter as she officially becomes a teenager. Walking into Compendium's office was like walking into one of their books--joyful and inspiring. This experience has made Skylar and me more aware of the messages we send through our words and actions.
Thank you, Compendium folks, for taking the time to invite us into your world.
All of us who work at Compendium love to receive emails and messages from people who tell us how our books have encouraged them to try something new, think more positively, or live a more inspired life. Sometimes, we're so caught up in reading our mail that we forget about the similar stories we have right in our own office. Today, we're bringing you a guest blog post from Carin, our sales director, whose story about the 5 book is one we knew we had to share.
Goal-setting is powerful. We all know that to be true. But two years ago, my husband and I sat down, independently of each other, and worked through Compendium's 5 book to map our values and dreams in addition to our goals. What came from this was more life-changing than we could have imagined.
When we compared notes, my husband and I realized that we both had a passionate desire to live and work abroad. It had never seemed practical to pack up our family and embark on a journey overseas. Recent changes in the economy had put the brakes on Rod's real-estate practice, though, and we soon realized that this was the perfect time to explore our dreams. Why not have a 40-something married couple and three kids under 13 go to a third-world country?
Two months later, we had lined up teaching jobs at an international school in Baguio City, Philippines; we sold our non-essentials, put the rest in storage, and made plans to say goodbye to friends and family for a year, or perhaps longer...
Living in the Philippines was always an adventure. We learned how to turn a two-lane road into a five-lane one and how to drive in a place where people stop in the middle of the street to change their oil. Our children were immersed in a school of many cultures and learned that kids don't act the same everywhere in the world. Our blond-haired, blue-eyed child adopted a stronger Filipino accent than her native peers and cheerfully accepted cheek pinching from strangers on the street.
We learned that we bonded as a family (and with new precious friends) through the wacky and the challenging. We found that our assimilation and adaptation to new cultures wasn't as flexible as we once thought. We tried new things every day (though sometimes only once--fish head soup, for example). These experiences provided a chance for our family to rise above circumstances.
We observed a culture that is resilient and understands that hard times happen, and learned to stay calm even when things don't go as planned. We saw an entire neighborhood washed away by a landslide from one of the worst typhoons in decades, and we realized that you don't have to rely on electricity or the predictability of your favorite things to bring you joy. Above all, we witnessed the simplicity and beauty of a culture that is fueled by relationships.
I feel humbled that we were able to live this dream. I am grateful for the 5 book that magnified our dream and gave us the courage to check off quite a few boxes on our bucket list while impacting and being impacted by so many lives along the way.