Friday, April 25, 2014

Not Lost But Not Yet Found

The Second in a Series:
Aging Not Quite Gracefully

How often do we put something in a safe place, a place we know we will remember, and then when retrieving the item forget where we left it?

We know it is in a safe place.

We know we did not lose the item.

We just cannot find it.

Maybe I misspeak when using the all-encompassing “we”. Maybe this sign of aging does not affect most people. Maybe it is not even a sign of aging, but something more sinister.

I hope not. I believe it is just one more indication my mind is so full of other stuff – important stuff – that a minor detail, like where something is hiding, gets lost.

This absent-mindedness, amnesia, blankness – whatever you want to call it - happens to me. Not all the time, but occasionally.

It happened the other day. I was on my way out of the house when I went to get an item – a Mah Jongg card.

I carefully placed the card in a safe place after my last game. I knew I would not need it before the next time I played.

Now I needed the card immediately.

I looked in the place I thought I put it a couple of weeks earlier.

The card was not there.

And so the search began.

While I dashed around the house, rummaging through drawers, overturning books and newspapers, carefully scanning shelves and looking behind furniture, hub berated me for waiting until the last minute.

But there was no reason to retrieve the card earlier because I knew exactly where it was.

Or I thought I knew where it was.

OK, I did not know where the card was and could not find it quickly.

But eventually I did find the card. It took only 10 minutes of frantic searching before it suddenly dawned on me where my perfect hiding place was.

I am not sure what I was thinking when originally putting the card away. Maybe I was tired. Or in a hurry. Or not thinking. The place was not an easily remembered place.

This chain of events does not happen often, but it does occur occasionally.

The hunt begins. I have a small house. It should not take long to find something temporarily lost or misplaced. The search should take a few minutes or a couple of hours at most.

Unfortunately sometimes the hunt continues for days. I pull my hair out (metaphorically speaking – not really) trying to remember what I thought would be the perfect location, a place I would be able to recall immediately when ready to reclaim the item, no matter how far into the future that time may be.

Except it does not work out that way. The perfect place turns out to be not so perfect.

I forget my ideal hiding place.

I guess the moral of this tale is never to wait until the last minute to get your act together. Collect everything in advance before heading out the door.

And maybe make a note of that perfect place.

Just remember where you wrote it down.


  1. So basically, I'm just going to copy this post and paste it on my blog, replacing Mah Jongg with - what? Any number of things, because the experience you described is, sadly, not a rare occurrence for me.
    I'm just waiting for the day when my "safe place" reveals itself and the recipes/addresses/books/scarves/etc are finally found.

  2. I make lists; I lose the lists.

  3. You described a frequent occurrence at my house. I also lose my car in parking lots. I leave the store and head off to a parking place that I used on a previous visit. Now I try to remember to pay attention when I park. If I consciously make note of where I have parked I have no problem, but most days I'm just not paying attention.

  4. Sadly, i join the club. I have been doing this all my life.

  5. The sad thing is when I decide I'll put something in a special place for safekeeping. And yes, then I forget where it was. I actually have lost things in the manner you describe, and they are lost forever. You are not alone in this; I try not to put things away like this any more.

  6. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now Isee... Have you tried prayer?

  7. I have had to write down where I put things on the computer because I forget too. I'm also 6 decades and counting so I'm afraid we're all relating to what you're saying. Great post!