December 29, 2011
Today I will choose to do whatever I think is valuable. As the days that remain in 2011 go by, I will take advantage of opportunities that will enable me to sharply focus on the belief systems I have formed that determine my personal values. Last night I discovered this quaint and charming bookstore called the Book Carriage in Roanoke, Texas.
Once I stepped inside, I was reminded of how important it is to maintain a life balance - after all, I am only human. I have always been attracted to the arts, books, learning opportunities. Education is a lifetime process - it doesn't end with a diploma.
Almost immediately, I was transformed by the ambiance behind the front doors. This wasn't Barnes and Noble; it wasn't even a mini version of Borders that closed its doors in 2011. The Book Carriage opened up its doors three years ago. I discovered it yesterday and found it to be quaint, charming, homey, and stimulating as it freshened my outlook on how successful a small, unique business can be to an outsider.
As I meandered, I was reminded of the movie, "You've Got Mail," that starred Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. In the movie she owned her mother's book shop that was eventually put out of business because of the BIG competition that came to town. I thought about how intimidating it is to feel threatened. In the movie, she did surrender and like all good movies with happy endings, everyone felt good at the end.
In real life, 2011 brought challenges to many big businesses, homeowners, small business owners alike. I kept moving, kept looking, poking around the book store for inspiration.
On the second floor there was this wall of photographs from the local Elementary School created by the 5th GRADE PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB. Instantly I felt strengthened; inspired by hope for their future and mine plus every person born and raised in America or those who comes to America legally because they believe in the American Dream. From the moment we are born, we are met with disappointments and challenges. We become educated, the rich and the poor and we have opportunities to ride the waves when the blowing winds of disappointments come our way!
We seek knowledge and wisdom to have dreams BIG enough not to lose sight of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I value education, books that have been written by reputable authors, talented human beings who express themselves through the arts, the words that were written that have been proven to be true, and autobiographical accounts of people who lived with courage.
What I like about the Book Carriage in Roanoke is how well it's put together. The floors are real wood. The books are organized. There are places to sit down and read. There's that feeling of being invited to come in and experience the things you value and embrace, such as life balance. The Book Carriage is a safe haven. It's a rest stop, a port of entry into the world of knowledge so that you can regroup, get recharged and energized.
Here you have choices. You can leave or you can stay. The choice is yours. I chose to stay and think about the things I value. I decided to broaden my knowledge by picking up a book and sitting down to enjoy a few passages. I was pleased they sold coffee, tea, and nutritious snacks. At the Book Carriage, I wasn't rushed. I could be myself. Plus, they served their coffee in real nice BIG ceramic coffee cups! Of course, if you prefer Styrofoam, you could have it.
I was asked to sit down, the food would be brought to me. I felt like a welcomed guest! The coffee was hot, fresh and flavorful! My dessert was scrumptious! At the table, I was surrounded by words of wisdom, knowledge, inspiration, and different philosophies about the good things in life.
I truly enjoyed my visit here at the Book Carriage. People came and people went. As I was enjoying my coffee, there was another Realtor in the shop meeting with a client. The Realtor talked non-stop. I never heard the voice of her clients. I learned a lot....
On the second floor I met a Teacher who showed me some of her own paintings on exhibit - we talked at length about the value of introducing children into the world of the arts. Children are our hope for the future. Honor them. Educate them. Respect them. Cherish them. Be a strong role model whenever you encounter children - they are the eyes, the ears, the heart and soul of what our nation and our world will be or could be.
It is the responsbility of every human being to design a better future and focus on plans that will get positive results. The place to begin is with ourselves. Today I will choose to do whatever I think is valuable.
© Photos by Patricia Feager on December 28, 2011; Written content by Patricia Feager on December 29, 2011.