Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Serendipity at Work

Lately, I've taken to escaping the house on Saturday's alone- by myself, no one tagging along asking where we're going or when we're going to eat. This Saturday past, I decided to be practical. I needed to go to the library and do a little research on being a real estate agent (no I haven't given up on writing). My main character is a newbie real estate salesperson and I'm barely literate in the world of real estate. I also decided to take a bag full of books to the used bookstore attached to the library.

I adore this little book shop which is crammed from floor to ceiling with books and old records. Hardcover books are $1 and paperbacks are $.50 with all the proceeds going to the library. Now for those of you who don't know me, I'm a book-a-holic. There are books in every room of my house. I feel physically uncomfortable without books. So this book shop allows me to cart off a pretty good haul without putting a dent in my wallet and to feel good about my purchase- a win-win situation all around.

I had a sober conversation with myself in the car on the way to the shop. I would donate the books in my bag and I would only buy a couple of paperbacks by P.D. James and Ngaio Marsh and then I would leave. I forbid myself, upon pain of foregoing a trip to Borders for a Caramel Latte (I swear there's some kind of addictive chemical in these things), to not fill up the empty bag with new books.

I handed over my books, walked purposefully to the mystery section found a couple of James and Marsh books and was ready to leave but then I couldn't help but stop at the massive bookcase of "New Arrivals" and this wonderful book found me.

And it really did find me. It was right behind the head of the little girl who was jumping up and down screaming to her mother that they had to leave the store and get to the library before it closed. She bobbed right just as I moved to avoid the tantrum that was ready to explode and there it was sticking out just a little bit more than its neighbors. I picked the book up and I smiled. It was one of those moments of pure serendipity.

I've been walking around my house for years feeling that something wasn't right but unable to do more than just grimace. I'd started borrowing books on decorating from the library and scanning decorating websites with this vague notion that something needed to be done but nothing made sense. But then I read,
"It's simply not enough to think of our domestic spaces as design statements or as dumping grounds for our stuff. We need to approach our homes in a new way: as environments that actively affect us and our quality of life. Stressing the home's substance over style, House Thinking is a surprising look at how we live-and how we could,"
and I knew I'd found the explanation for which I'd been searching.

I love these moments. I love when you find yourself in the right place at the right time. So far my $1 purchase has given me more insight into what I've been floundering to articulate since we moved into this house. I'll have to offer a full review once I've read the entire book. Of course, I had to go to celebrate my find with a couple of Caramel Lattes.

Take a moment a share a moment of serendipity that happened to you.

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