Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The year 2020 started with much fanfare, optimism, and lots of sequins, fringe, and feathers! Reminiscent of the roaring 1920s.


January and February weren't as roaring as we thought it would be. Did we ever think March was going to arrive? And then it did. And it dragged on too, but in a very different way! Perhaps time crawling early in the year was a warning for us to savor every moment we could.

Last year was a challenging year for all of us. Unfathomable for some of us to relate to how hard it was for others. In many ways, we saw tragedies: illness, death, job losses, divorce, and abuse. Even introverts felt the loneliness of isolation. However, just as new growth emerges from the ashes of a forest fire, so does serendipity comes out of adversity.

I found serendipity in the form of creativity. With the help of a book called The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, and a world with fewer distractions, I discovered creativity that I had long forgotten I had. I was inspired to begin writing Sips of Serendipity to uplift others. I know I wasn't the only one who experienced a similar journey. Many others took a plunge into the world of creativity. New blogs, podcasts, and art were all created in the last several months.

For example, Kiley Doll had created the Entrepreneur's Hangout not long before the pandemic started. It is an event where entrepreneurs and community members can collaborate, learn, and network. She always knew she would start a podcast but didn't see it in her near future until she couldn't have her in-person events. By accelerating her podcast plans, she has been able to increase her audience and bring together creators from all around the world, right from downtown Culpeper.

In one of her podcasts, she interviews Nema Semnani, Precision Sales Consulting. Nema had just opened his new in-person training facility in March, one week before the shutdown. He was able to shift to a full virtual model within one week. He, too, found serendipity in a larger audience when he went online sooner than he originally planned.

Businesses struggled, and some shuttered their doors for good. However, the ones who adapted and found new ways to do business were able to stay. By offering curbside delivery, people could still get their favorite products. Some went online, like Pepperberries, growing their clientele outside their community. Laws changed so restaurants could add alcoholic beverages to their carryout menus. Customers showed their love and did what they could to help support their favorite places.

Families found serendipity in a few different ways. As parents worked from home, they found more time with their children—no more time lost with long commutes. Many took advantage of learning to cook healthier meals leading to weight loss and healthier habits. The first few months of the pandemic allowed couples to find time to spend together, causing a baby boom starting in December.

As we reflected on the difficulties of 2020, we found examples of positivity in Facebook posts. Jessica Cranfield shared her experience of serendipity in 2020: "While this quarantine has brought many positives (uninterrupted family time) my biggest positive was being able to reconnect with a family member who quarantined with us for 2 months." Others had noted being forced to slow down helped them appreciate what was most important to them.

We are a few weeks into our new year; it has not been an easy start. We have a way to go before we can go back to normal as we knew it in January 2020. Yet, positivity and serendipity continue to be present. Let's remember the positive things that happened last year. Hold them in our hearts. When we are feeling low, examine our day, week, or month. Reflect on what positive thing happened. Relive that moment, even if for just a minute. Hold onto the emotion felt as we go through difficult times. And always be ready to experience outcomes that are happy or beneficial in some way!

Would you, or someone you know, like to be featured in a future Sips of Serendipity? I would love to hear your story! Please email me at SipsOfSerendipity@gmail.com.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Christmas Kismet 🎄

Close your eyes… Take a deep breath… And remember a time without internet and no real-time tracking of shipments! People shipped all over the world and wouldn’t know the package was delivered until it showed up at the door. 😳

My grandmother was with us almost every Christmas. When she couldn’t join us, she would send a package of surprises to us. One year the package didn’t arrive by the expected date. We were not concerned, it was the holiday season and delays were to be expected. But a week, maybe more, went by, and still no package. We (Grandmother and us) were all heartbroken.
Not because of the lost presents. She could have shipped a box of coal, we wouldn’t have cared. That delivery was like having her with us on Christmas Day. The box was full of Grandmother’s spirit!
On Christmas Eve my mom stood next to the Christmas tree, trying to get past her mom‘s lost gifts. As she turned to walk away from the window, her eyes dropped down. Outside, behind the azalea bushes and tucked safely under the bay window, she saw cardboard boxes. We were so excited, Grandmother had arrived in the nick of time!
My family always has and always will believe in Christmas magic! 🎄 ✨ 🎅
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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Pandemic Housing Market is Serendipitous

The housing market has not slowed down despite the pandemic. From what I have been told, the market is great for sellers due to the low inventory and great for buyers because of the low-interest rates. That alone is serendipity! Today’s Sip of Serendipity is my mom’s story of finding her forever home. 

By tax standards, she is not a first-time buyer because her name was on the title of the home I grew up in. She was more of an observer of the process. My stepdad, Joe, had the experience of buying a house before, so he handled most of the buying process.

A couple of years after Joe passed away, my mom started to look for where she would want to move to. She knew it wasn’t going to be anywhere near Fairfax County or any other congested county. She wanted space to breathe and Be. She started looking at online sites, like Zillow. 

A sweet yellow house showed up in her recommendations. Despite it being outside her budget, she looked at the pictures anyway. It had unique characteristics, much like my mom, and had her dream wrap around porch. Soon after she discovered it, my brother, Adam, showed her what he found to be a sweet yellow house in the mountains, the same house she was admiring. 

The house was outside their budget, with a deep sigh they continued their search. They visited many homes that paled in comparison. There were two occasions they found houses they liked almost as much. Mom was outbid on both of them. After losing the second house, she said she wasn’t worried because the second house was even better than the first. 

Mom was starting to feel like she was never going to find anything when she got an email from Zillow with a list of houses that had recently dropped in price. The sweet yellow house was there! The reduced price was below her budget. Adam and her visited the house, it was beyond their expectations. On the way, numerous synchronicities paved the way. For example, in the neighborhood, there were street names of people and places we know and love. On her way home, she made an offer. She bid high, she was not going to be outbid this time!

Even though this first time home buyer loved this house and didn’t want to see it go, she stood firm on her negotiations when the seller didn’t agree. Finally, agreements were made and the house was Mom’s.

On her first day as a homeowner, she was walking around the house and property. She discovered serendipitous synchronicities that gave her goosebumps. The garden has butterfly decorations, her mom’s favorite. A weathervane that reminds her of her best friend’s home in the Chesapeake. On a hike we took around the edge of her property is a boulder that I am looking forward to climbing! The deck furniture that was left behind is just like the deck furniture we used to have at the old house. 

Synchronicity is a sign of serendipity. It helps us know we are on the right track to discovering something serendipitous. To the house hunters out there, be patient and keep your eyes open for synchronicity. Your serendipity home will be just around the corner.

Would you, or someone you know, like to be featured in a future Sips of Serendipity? I would love to hear your story! Email me at SipsOfSerendipity@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Drops of Serendipity

As I go about my day, I encounter moments of serendipity. Individual moments that are only about 1-2 paragraphs of a story. So I decided to create Drops of Serendipity. Little drops fill buckets too! 

A drop of serendipity:
I listened to a video on YouTube the other day. It had a line I wanted to share with my mom, but I was driving and couldn't send it to her at that moment. Later I couldn't remember the line. When I opened the app and retrieved the video from my history, it was there and showed it partially watched.
I thought that was odd because I know I had finished watching the video. I went ahead and hit play to listen for the line rattling in my mind. The video was cued to where I needed to be already! How serendipitous of YouTube to help me like that...or is it creepy that they knew I'd be back for that one spot in the video?!
Has something like this happened to you? How did it impact you?

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Serendipity Noun Ser*en*dip*i*ty:

The faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.
What does that actually mean in a world where it seems we are constantly looking for instant gratification and happiness?
To some, it can be finding a lucky penny when they are feeling down. To others, it has to be bigger than that. It has to be life-changing, like the amazing job offer when they are not looking for a new job or meeting the love of their life while running a mundane errand in town. And some, are like me, who see serendipity all around them in the simplest discoveries, to the mind-blowing experiences, and everything in between; we feel it’s enchantment ripple through us with delight.
Serendipity was first used in 1754 by Horace Walpole in a letter to Horace Mann. Walpole shared that he had made an unexpected discovery of a painting. He likened it to a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. Where the princes were “always making discoveries by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.”
Many years ago, my brother and I had a long and fascinating conversation about serendipity. We talked about how we have experienced it, what it means, and the movie Serendipity. I don’t remember much about our talk, but I do remember, all these years later, the magic felt during it.
I moved to Culpeper five years ago. When I was unable to find fulfilling work that did not involve driving up north or taking a pay cut, I created my own business. I had a business plan, but no business name. One bright sunny day, I was strolling Davis St. I visited one of my favorite shops, The Original Hope Company. Cam Parody and I talked for a bit. At one point she said it was serendipitous that I walked in that day. Aha! I was flooded by the memory of the conversation I had with my brother and Serendipity Services, LLC was born!
I love to hear people’s stories of serendipity and how it helped them. Like how it helped a friend of mine. She was feeling low and was dreading going to her job that she normally loves. As she approached the door, thinking about quitting, she saw a beautiful Culpeper Rock. It was painted with an uplifting message that gave her the encouragement she needed that day. She was amazed and touched by this serendipitous discovery. Months later, she still has it and it still encourages her that things will get better.
I hope you have enjoyed this Sip of Serendipity and it helps you find your own bit of serendipity in your day. If you, or someone else you know, would like to share your stories of serendipity, I’d love to hear them and maybe feature them in future posts. Please contact me at SipsOfSerendipity@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

 Woo Hoo! Things are moving and shaking! 😀

Looking forward to what is on the horizon. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Coming Soon!

Something is better than nothing and definitely better than 404 Not Found!

I recently switched my domain host from ionos.com to Google Domains. Now I just need to find time to work on my own projects, like redoing my website. So stay tuned for updates to Serendipity Services and a new blog featuring stories of serendipity.