The planning book

Bought a thin black book the other day and labelled it “The planning book.” Such an exciting day it was, buying that book. Epic, indeed. Ranked right up there with other major world events (i.e. elections, economic problems, etc.). Should have been there to take it all in. It was quite something.  

One newspaper headline captured the moment with this gripping title: “Man buys book at Walmart.” That about said it all. Such an exciting moment in world history. Truly amazing. An absolutely thrilling event to be sure that was now securely entrenched in our collective memory. Captivating. Compelling. How else could it be described? Children will be told this story for generations to come.

Yes, this book-buying expedition was really quite something.    

People stopped talking and turned to stare as I marched towards that checkout line. It was awkward, to say the least. The silence was loud. Complete strangers reached out to shake my hand and pat me on the back as I passed by. More than a few people said it, loudly: “Bon chance mon ami!” And when I walked up to the counter and slapped that VISA card down, there was a spontaneous and enthusiastic round of applause. It went on and on.

Throughout the store, everyone was on their feet cheering wildly for a good ten minutes. It was like being at a big NFL football game. It was like the NHL playoffs or the NBA; like the closing ceremonies at the Olympics games in London. For I moment, I expected a classic British rock band to emerge from under the floor on a hydraulic stage. U2 would have been nice. Thankfully, the Spice Girls didn’t show up.

But then, when the fireworks started going off inside, thought it might be about time to take my brand new book and get out – and quickly head for the door. But I didn’t get far.   

A dozen or so camera crews were crowded together outside blocking the way. Bright lights, microphones, jostling journalists, questions and more questions; it was quite a commotion. CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX, CBC, CTV, Global, etc…they all showed up to cover this incredible story and hit it from every possible angle. The colour of the book. The cost of the book. The size of the book. The reason for buying this book now. It seemed like the questions would never end.

A BBC reporter caught my attention with a crisp and delightful British accent. Said that he flew all night to get here and barely made it for this big day. But now that I was here with my book, and he was here in Canada with his crew, it would be brilliant, just brilliant, if I could tell people all around the world how I was feeling right now – at this very moment.

He talked so fast, like all the other reporters, that I barely had time to think.

“Well, I guess it has come down to this,” I said, slowly trying to gather my thoughts. “What I mean is that – it’s time. It’s time to move ahead in my life in a more clear and directed way. And this book…well, maybe this book will help.” 

“So your feeling pretty good about your purchase? And you really think that this new book is going to help you find your way and possibly your place in this world?” he said. “That sounds like a lot to expect from one little book.”

He smiled as he talked, and seemed to hint that he already knew it was going to make a big difference by his tone of voice. There was a sense of anticipation hanging on each word he said.

“No, this book isn’t going to change everything,” I said, considering the unusually positive atmosphere around me. “But it is the planning-type people who tend to change the world.”

Driving home, the whole experience played over and over again in my mind. It was a day I will not soon forget.

And there it sits, even now: My new planning book

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