An Unhealthy Reaction to Losing Things

The sudden discovery of a lost or missing item throws me into a panic. My brain and stomach tense up. My thoughts have a singular focus, whispering with forced calmness, more devastating than a yell, “How could you let this happen?”

I’ve lost several earrings to stretchy, chunky scarves. I’ve misplaced adhesive backings to temporary plastic hooks used to hang holiday wreathes, that I knew, just KNEW, I had purchased on clearance December 26 of the previous year.

I thought I left my iPhone at a Firestone during an oil change the night before leaving on an international flight. Minutes before the close of business, I drove over to search the Firestone waiting area, while baffled and slightly amused employees inquired if I needed help. I later logged into “Find my Phone” and saw the blue dot hovering over my street address. I found the phone plugged into a random outlet.

I’ve searched aggressively through carry-on items and later, checked baggage, fueled by unwarranted suspicion of petty thievery by hard working laborers in the travel and hospitality industry. I could visualize exactly the last time I had packed “safely” away in its zippered spot, that ONE tank top I absolutely needed.

The tremendous relief when I find items never seems to temper outsized future anxiety. I’ve found earrings months later inexplicably on the driver seat of my car and in a subsequent incident, that same earring was located during the summer lying on the floor of my laundry room beneath the hook where the winter scarves hang.

As a child, I was brought to tears once, holding my stuffed bear, imagining a day when I might lose her. Or even worse, forget her. Have no need for her. I promised never to let that happen. To this day, this bear sits on a bookshelf, an old sock holding in the stuffing on her crumbling leg.

As an infant who was lost and found by strangers, tracking things feels like a major aspect of my life’s work.

About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in Slice of Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to An Unhealthy Reaction to Losing Things

  1. Carol Wilcox says:

    Glad I am not the only one who loses things. A friend and I joke that we are “Wonder Women,” as in “I wonder where I left that. I’m hoping I will find some lost items while I’m doing some spring cleaning on this break.

  2. Tim Gels says:

    I regularly lose things, and it’s always hard. Fortunately, I usually find them. I try to have specific places where I put things, but I can definitely relate to your “random outlet” situation.

  3. Lainie Levin says:

    I am completely with you! Growing up as a super-messy and disorganized kid, I have found that my adulthood best runs when I am A Person Who Does Not Lose Things.

    I’ve become so organized and careful about things that it sends me off the deep end when I can’t find something. As a matter of fact, I kind of use it as my gauge. If I go through a few days where I misplace my keys, my bag, my wallet – I take that as my sign that I am stressed out and need to downshift in whatever way I can.

    But OH. The feeling of losing something. OH.

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