I was out today, browsing around various stores in search of some post-Christmas bargains.
Okay, that is a lie.
I was the chauffeur for others who were out searching for post-Christmas bargains. I am generally not very enthusiastic about shopping in general, and am even more intensely disinterested in picking over the tawdry, gaudy, garish leavings of what looks to be the aftermath of a rioting and looting spree (though a very festive one). I am always amazed (and somewhat depressed) that something that seems so darling and adorable and Christmassy in the weeks leading up to Christmas can seem so meretricious and tacky and shopworn just few days after Christmas. It’s as if we get caught up in some mass delusion that makes tinsel seem like gold.
But even among veins of fool’s gold one can sometimes find an actual flake or nugget of real gold.
I had stopped to look (mostly out of boredom) at some day planners, desk calendars, and project planning notebooks that were on sale. My particular strain of disorganization makes me immune to the miracles promised by most day planners and other organizational tools, but I am oddly drawn to them for some reason. Maybe for the same reason that raccoons like shiny objects. Who knows? But anyway, there I was, staring at an array of organizational notebooks like one of the hominids staring at the monolith in the opening scene of “2001: A Space Odyssey“, when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a project planning notebook, but with a printing error on the cover as follows:
Here’s a closer look for those of us who have failing eyesight:
What a fantastic find! My heart leaped for joy. This is what I imagine Charlie Brown felt like when he found his special little Christmas tree. Except what I had found was the perfect metaphor for every project I have ever undertaken. I always start projects with enthusiasm and wide-eyed optimism. I always think I have the project all mapped out, every detail accounted for, all contingencies accounted for … and then I actually start the project. I rarely get more than 2 or 3 steps into said project before the train begins to leave the rails and seek alternate paths through ditches and underbrush and alligator infested swamps. Soon I am standing amid all of the burning wreckage while consulting my project planner to see where things began to go awry. It usually turns out to be right around the time I got the inkling to start the project in the first place.
So naturally I bought this project planner. How could I not? With the large list of projects I have made for myself in the form of New Year’s resolutions, this is the perfect planner.
This shall be my “banner with the strange device, Excelsior!”
Or, in my case, Pprroojjeecctss!
I can hardly wait to get started. Now where did I put my planner?