These days I spend a lot of my time looking for things. I get into the car to go somewhere and pretty soon I’m running back to the house to look for my sunglasses. The other day I realized just as I was about to pull out of the driveway that my cell phone was not in my purse and we all know what that means.
Calling the phone and then if I hear it – or worse, I don’t hear it because it’s turned off – I am frantically looking around for it.
A few days ago, right before the bris of my newest grandson I realized I was missing my watch. Even though I remembered taking it off and putting it on my night table before going to sleep the night before, I couldn’t find it there or anywhere.
Okay, my arm felt naked and it bothered me not to have my lovely watch, but I tried to let it go and moved on. This was the bris of my grandson, for Heaven’s sake. Why worry about a stupid missing watch?
There are more important things to worry about than lost key. Because that’s a thing too. So is misplacing my work badge that I wear around my neck on a lanyard. The other day I found the lanyard but the little badge was gone. Oh no! I was all farklempt.
But honestly, why would I or anyone spend time fretting over something that is missing when I know I will probably find it in the last place I look? Right?
Seriously, this topic has been bothering me a lot lately. As I go through my middle aged years I find myself missing things a lot. Sometimes it’s my ATM card just when I’m standing at a store checkout and ready to pay. How embarrassing. It happened a few weeks ago and I had to walk out without my purchases. I didn’t have checks on me either.
Am I scatter brained, spaced out, experiencing G-d forbid too many senior moments? What is the deal with all this missing stuff? The truth is it’s not a new thing for me. I lose things these days just as much as I’ve misplaced things when I was a younger mom and grandma.
So is the losing habit a chance for me to appreciate what I have and let go the obsession with material objects? Is that the message for all of this? Should I accept it and just learn from it? If so, what do I learn from all this?
My thoughts on this matter came to a head when I misplaced all my photos on my phone the other day. I had taken a whole bunch of pictures and for some reason hadn’t checked that any of them were uploaded. When I looked later I noticed that the last pictures visible were from a few days ago. I panicked. These were pictures of my new grandson’s bris. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing all these pictures.
Mixed into these feelings of frustration was the feeling of embarrassment at not being able to move on with my day when I misplace things. I got all tense and couldn’t relax. I kept asking my husband for reassurances that I will definitely find the items.
And then when I found the pictures (my son the techie was able to locate them by switching my settings on the phone) I was in ecstasy (a little exaggeration but you get the idea).
But I’m back to the old idea of learning a lesson from all this. Because you know, I know, my husband knows, my children know, and everyone reading this knows that I will definitely lose things again very soon. It’s going to happen.
Mindfulness. That’s the term I’ve been reading a lot about lately. It’s about being present and in the moment. It’s a lot of things that are beyond the scope of this post but for the purposes of this post here’s my lesson
When I put something away, I ought to think about where I’m putting it. I ought to also try to put things in the same place every time.
Because when I don’t, that’s when I get into trouble.
Like the time I threw my car keys on the chair in the living room as I came home ran to the restroom and then forgot where they were. Later when I was leaving the house, I couldn’t find them. After using the spare key (thankfully we have that), and being mad at myself for not putting the keys on the hook where they belong, I ended up tracing my steps in my mind and recalled putting them in the couch.
They were buried under the couch cushions. All’s well that ends well. Life can go on. I found my keys.
That’s it. Mindfulness. Be more conscious of what I’m doing when I’m doing things. Do one thing at a time. Don’t multi-task. Take deep breaths. Slow down. Pay attention to what I’m doing and where I’m putting things.
It’s not enough to set up a system in our home and office of where things go; we have to take the time and focus to actually use those systems.
So when my husband asks me “where is the community directory book that’s usually in the kitchen,” I can run and get it from the car because I remember using it in the car when making phone calls in my driveway.
Life happens. We can’t always be in the same place when using certain items but if we are conscious when doing things and don’t just act on autopilot, we will be less likely to lose things.
And more likely to enjoy our day to day adventures.
Now, where is that list that I had with all the ideas I wanted to write?
Breathe in and breathe out. All is well.