I intentionally carry a small purse (7 ½ x 5 ½ x 2 ½ inches) and I keep very few things in it. I believe that having a small purse increases the likelihood that I will be able to find items when I look for them.
Despite that precaution, I find myself constantly searching for things. I often say that if I could get back all of the time I have spent looking for my keys, it would add years to my life.
Sometimes I lose items due to not paying attention to where I put them. At other times though, the circumstances are more bizarre.
A few weeks ago, I bought a clock at my local Rite Aid store. I was aware at the time that it might not work out, so I took care to keep the receipt. The next day, I decided to return the clock. I looked through my purse, the place where I was sure I had put it, and it wasn’t there.
I mentally retraced every move I made after having left Rite Aid. I remembered that I had carried the unbagged clock to the QFC next door. Had I kept the receipt in my hand instead of putting it in my purse? Had I put the clock and the receipt in the grocery cart and accidentally left the receipt in the cart? That didn’t seem right, but at least it was a reasonable explanation.
For two days, I searched everywhere for the receipt. I looked through my purse over and over again. I finally accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to find it. A day or two after that, I looked across the table and saw this:
It was the receipt for the clock! There was NO way that receipt had been hanging out of my purse all that time. And I live alone so it was not reasonable to think that someone else had placed it there.
Hinduism has a word called leela. It means God’s play. The whole thing sure felt like a leela to me. God’s play would have a purpose though. So if this was a leela what was the purpose? Well it had given me the opportunity to practice being calm in all circumstances; trust the process of life; remember the importance of being mindful; be persistent in going after what I want, yet know when it is time to let go; and remember that everything happens for a reason.
Decades ago, I had many experiences of losing things and then finding them days, weeks, or months later… in plain sight. So often the items were in places I had looked many times. I began to wonder if there was something physically wrong with me. Did I have a dissociative disorder (i.e. in those days the extreme version was called Multiple Personality Disorder)? Did I have Alzheimers? Did I have some other medical problem? None of those explanations seemed right but I went to a psychologist anyway. He reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me and said he believed that my unconscious mind had found a way to get my attention FAST. There was no doubt about that; I hated having my memory challenged.
This morning, as I was contemplating writing this post, it happened again. I have a brick wall in my garden that I build two years ago out of loose bricks. My garden has gophers and their tunnels cause the wall to slump. Therefore, I need to rebuild parts of it each spring.
I decided I would start that rebuilding process this morning. I’ve been having back problems the last few months so I knew I would have to do it slowly, a small section at a time. I finished what I considered to be a reasonable amount of the work…. and then decided I would do just a little more. I reached for my trowel and the level, and they were nowhere to be found!
I hadn’t moved from where I was working. I searched for the tools for a while and then gave up. Clearly I shouldn’t be doing any more; I had done all my back could tolerate. I also decided there was no point in continuing to look for the tools. I went back into the house to rest my back.
When I took the garbage outside, two hours later, I found the trowel and level in another part of the garden. When I saw them, I remembered that earlier I had seen some bricks that were not straight in that part of the garden and had walked over there to straighten them. I had set the tools down at that time.
I imagine there are rational explanations for everything I lose, although I often don’t have a clue what it is. I do believe things happens for a reason and those reasons are for the good. I appreciate any process that gives me opportunity to learn and/or protects me from me.
Written for The Daily Post Prompt: Misplaced