I arrived at the library at 6:00 Pm. I was there 1 hour earlier than the time designated for the Author event, before any other fool arrived. I had one thing on my mind. Making sure I had a good seat to see and hear Ann Hood, a local Rhode Island author, and whatever words she had to share. I arrived early because, quite honestly, I was excited. I have not been so excited to see an author since I waited in line at the Avon Cinema in Providence to have Ann Rice sign my copy of Interview with the Vampire the year the movie was released. Quite honestly, it may have been The Vampire Lestat, for all I recall. I lost interest in vampires long ago. Needless to say, it’s been a long time and did I mention I was excited?
I approached the desk enthusiastically mentioning that I was there early for the evening’s event and was met with a disturbing reality check. It went something like this:
“Did you sign up?”
” Sign up? What do you mean sign up? ” I regress to 5 years old, feeling as though someone has just informed me, Santa’s toy shop is closed. For Me. I bite my lip and blurt out these words, “But it’s been in my planner for over a month!”
The expression on the face of the librarian does not comfort me. She explains ever so sweetly, that there are 100 people signed up.
Is all I hear is, “No toys for you, NEXT!”
I stand there, resolved to sulk for as long as possible, because it was in my planner. And I was early. And who can argue with this logic. I never saw or heard about a “sign up” . Only a big sign outside the library telling me Ann Hood, October 15th 7 PM. My planner and I are defiant. We do not take our planning lightly. However, what’s a girl to do? I had asked my Writing Group Instructor to meet me and so I stood waiting dejectedly at the door, living my own version of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
When Linda shows up , I inform her and ask if she or the others we know are coming are signed up. Apparently I am not the only Alexander there that night. However, being the first Alexander present is going to be my saving grace on this particular night. We settle on a couch to discuss Writing Group stuff and watch as many others arrive. At some point a Waiting List is made and I quick hop to my feet, step right up to plead my case and am readily added straight away to the top of the list, along with Linda.
Ann arrives, and the library is still filled with stand by folks trying to figure out the “sign up” situation; I look at my watch. It’s 7 PM.
The next moment is when this Alexander’s Bad Day comes to an abrupt end. My name is called, as is Linda’s and three other ladies. We breeze into the packed libarary room and I sit down with Linda on a bench near a women who asks if I am a wiggler. She has my number, doesn’t she? But she informs me, she’s a twitcher. Perfect. I grab Linda for a bear hug, snap a selfie and settle in on the bench happily between the Twitcher and my Writing Mentor. Ann takes time to address and sign books for those who cannot join us (awesome, right? ) and then begins to share her Rhode Island fabulous self with us. A happy ending for this girl and her planner!
A Practical Tip: Although I had the information in my planner for a month, it never occurred to me to call and check further. On behalf of the library staff who did offer sincere apologies for the lack of clear communication to all, the fact remains- sometimes things happen that we can’t anticipate fully. Such is life. So for today’s tip, let’s just do our best to make sure we aim for clear communication and follow through on confirming details that we can. Then again, sometimes you just have to roll with what comes. I mean I am glad that things went the way they did for me, but I also planned to leave graciously (win some, lose some) …OK, only after laying serious Italian Guilt on everyone who had a hand in not clearly communicating the facts.
Quotes to Ponder by Ann Hood:
“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.”
“God does give us more than we can bear sometimes.”
“Time doesn’t heal, I had learned, it just keeps moving. And it takes us with it.”
A Prayer for Today: Lord, You give and take away. You are the Author of all days, may my heart be satisfied with what you allow and gracious in the things you don’t. I thank you for grace when I fall short. Help me give the same grace you have given me to others. Freely, In Jesus name, Amen.
This is Day 16 of the series Planning with Purpose: 31 Days of Planner Tips
I wrote an INTRO POST here explaining everything!
I have also made designated a PAGE for it. Hope this makes it easy. I am happy to tackle a topic, or issue with regard to your planner habits.
Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me.
I pray this series is a blessing to you.