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Discover Western Prince William February 2018
14
Doug Horhota
Toward the beginning of the classic movie "Gone
with the Wind" a sign appears. It says "Do not
squander time that is the stuff life is made of."
Borrowed from a similar adage credited to Benjamin
Franklin, the meaning is obvious. Each of us has
a choice of how best to spend the brief moments
we have on this planet. While each person's life is
their own, it should be a common perception one of
the best things to do is build memories and
have experiences.
What makes a good experience?
The dictionary offers many
defi nitions for the word, but the fi rst
entry is "direct observation of or
participation in events." Something
special like a fi rst kiss, seeing a
loved one, or a favorite Christmas or
birthday are just a few examples of a
very long list. It could also mean an adventure:
taking a trip, going fi shing, zip lining, a ball
game, or something out of the ordinary. Whether
individually or with others, create experiences by
getting involved with others and being active. Seek
out "happenings." On our
tiny blue marble, it can often
be determined where unique
experiences occur. I've been
fortunate enough to be at
some of these happenings,
and whether it was Times
Square on New Year's Eve,
Berlin when the Wall came
down, or a presidential
inauguration, these memories
last a lifetime. So how best
to fi nd the experiences that
most interest us?
A second defi nition: "the conscious events of making
up an individual life." While this certainly applies to
the above, I think it involves a bit more--aspects
we encounter on a daily basis. As I write this
during the holiday season, the expression of
happiness from giving to others always provides
more pleasure than receiving, doesn't it? The
satisfaction of providing for the family, getting
a job done successfully, or a knowing look that
can be deciphered between people to emphasize
understanding and
agreement are
experiences that give
a different kind of
satisfaction. This
experience is more touching to some since it
involves helping others.
Considering who we experience with
is essential. In my role as a public
speaker and historian, I encounter
people whom I've never met
visiting a historical site, often for
the fi rst time. In the instant when
they arrive, a quick decision on
my part is regularly contemplated.
Why are they here? What do they
want to do? Do they want to hear all I
know? Perhaps they would be best served
with a 30-second talk? Or do they want to walk by,
pretending they don't notice me wearing the funny
period clothing? (A personal observation: when I go
to historic locations and encounter people in funny
clothes, I am the person who
doesn't want to be noticed--
maybe it's because of what
I do so often). It's nothing
against the person, just
not what is wished for the
experience that day: a sunny
day, someone's company, or
simply taking a walk. Solitude
is comforting too.
So what's the point of this
month's article? Welcome
to 2018! This year, Discovery Publications will be
listing places to visit where wonderful experiences
can happen. Best of all, they are all going to be in
the local area. There is a rich amount of activities,
educational and fun, ranging from music,
theatre, sports, local history,
and a lot more. It's
impossible to keep track
of everything going on
with the daily bombardment
of social media,
news, and running around, but we hope
to put a few of them out there for you
to discover.
So step back, take a look at what is
around you, especially with the people
who are important in your life, and
enjoy!
2018
VIRGINIA TOURISM STATE WELCOME CENTERS
Creating Local
Experiences
Cr
e
ativ
e C
om
m
ons
Jan Sutton Celebrates
25 Years with
Farmers Insurance
FOCUS
on business
Jan Sutton
~ Nancy Griffin-Bonnaire
It's hard to
imagine that an
unpleasant life
event can put one
on the path to a
fulfilling career,
but that's exactly
what happened
to Janice (Jan)
Sutton more than
40 years ago.
After her apartment was robbed, she
checked in with her auto insurance
agent and learned that she didn't have
renters insurance. Her agent wrote a
comprehensive policy for her--and
then offered her a job!
However, Jan was certified to be a
teacher and holding out for a teaching
position, so she turned him down.
After a few months of not being offered
a job as a teacher, she changed her
mind and got her start in the insurance
industry. "I fell in love with it," Jan says,
and she never looked back!
Twenty-five years ago, Jan decided
that after gaining extensive experience
in all aspects of the field, she wanted
to open her own agency.
Farmers
Insurance was coming to northern
Virginia and seeking agency owners.
She applied and was accepted as the
first female Farmers Insurance agent
in the area! Although she spent her
first year in Alexandria, Jan's office
has been in Manassas since 1994.
While technology advances have
eased certain aspects of insurance
over time, certain things remain the
same, primarily the need to have
insurance in the first place. Jan still
loves the field because she gets to
use those teaching skills obtained long
ago. "I don't sell insurance," Jan says.
"I spend time explaining insurance
to people, so they understand what
they want to purchase. I educate
them on options, and they choose
what they need or want. Being honest
with people has always been my only
option."
Jan works hard but likes to have fun
too. Her tag line is "Blah blah blah"--
which stands for "Business, Life, Auto,
Home"--the types of policies available
through Farmers Insurance! To learn
more, call
(703) 369-4127.