When my children can’t find something of theirs, I always remind them of my method:
“If you always put it away in the same place, you’ll always know where to find it.”
Given that I tend to be forgetful, this is a rule I live by. If I set down my keys on my desk “for just a second” while I grab something I need for a meeting, those keys will sit on that desk until I’m frantic and late. I will search every place that I “know” they could be and the desk will not be one of those places. I will curse myself and promise never to do it again.
Having done this approximately 2365 times—in the last ten years—I have mostly learned my lesson.
Occasionally, I do mess up. Usually it’s with something I don’t have a routine for. One day I set my tea on top of a bookshelf “for just a sec” while I got my other stuff ready to go. When I returned home, there it was…still slightly warm.
And then there’s the case of the Perfect Hiding Place. This is my biggest foible in terms of losing things: I realize I need to put something out of sight for one reason or another and I think of such a brilliant place! That’s a perfect place and it’s so perfect I’ll definitely remember it!
Ha. Such items end up becoming time machines for me. I’ll come across 3 $20 bills stuffed behind a book or a pair of earrings in a jar in the kitchen. The most valuable thing I ever found was not actually mine. When I was in high school, one day I got down a crystal vase that my mom kept up on a very high shelf. It jingled. Inside, I found a gorgeous watch I didn’t recognize.
“Oh, my!” my mother exclaimed. “That was a gift from my parents for my high school graduation. I haven’t seen that in years.”
As a prize for finding it, I got to keep it. And yes, I do keep it in the same place, so I always remember where it is.
This is on my mind because I can’t find my camera. My first reaction was to say, OK, who used my camera? Because although I have my almost-perfect system for not losing things, others in my family have not yet realized how brilliant it is and tend to leave my things in odd places.
But the camera was nowhere to be found. Then I had a vague memory. We were getting ready to go to Greece, readying the house for our housesitters. I noticed that my camera was in its usual place…right at a two-year-old’s eye level. Our housesitters have a two-year-old. OK, I thought, where’s a good place to stick this so it doesn’t tempt him?
And then I found the perfect place to put it! I’d definitely remember where I left it when I got back to Greece.
I guess you know the ending to this story. If you have any ideas, please let me know. Yes, I did look in the piano bench, in that drawer in my dresser that sticks so I only put things I don’t use in it, and in the catbox.
Apparently, my almost-perfect system for not losing things needs a little more fine-tuning.