by Carolyn Trower

I recently lost my checkbook. I don’t pay many bills with checks anymore and I can always get my balance online, but I had had that checkbook for a long time, well over 30 years. It was inconvenient, but I knew it wasn’t “lost” lost, just misplaced somewhere in the house. After going through the numerous bags I haul around, camera, work, and car bag several times, I finally found it in the glove box of the car.
I misplace a lot of things; little things mostly, whose temporary disappearance causes annoyance rather than real panic. Right now, I have an extra camera battery that is MIA and that is bordering on panic as the school sports season is upon us. I have also misplaced a library book and a book I recently bought. I finished the library book (The Outlaw and the Lady by Jessie Colter). I had started the new Creighton novel I bought a while back and was several chapters into it when it vanished. I don’t usually carry books with me in the car, so I’m pretty sure they’re here – somewhere – and I just need to take the time to sort through the chaos and find them.
There are worse things to lose. Car keys for one. I am so tempted to leave mine in the car, but I promised I wouldn’t. So, I drop them in the bottomless pit of my purse or stash them in one of the pockets of my work bag. Both result in a lot of unnecessary digging. I bought one of those clip things to secure them to the handle of my purse or bag, but it was always coming apart. If they dropped to the floor and made a sound I found them. Car keys do not make much sound when dropped on a gravel driveway or parking lot.
Did you ever fix out a bill and put it up to mail the next time you go to town? I usually put stuff like that on top of the TV, but sometimes, between the office and the living room, the envelope flies away to parts unknown. After looking frantically for it (honestly there’s not much on top of the TV) I find it has jumped ship and is behind the TV cabinet.
I have misplaced recipes, addresses, file folders, my music books, and CD’s. Frustrating? Sure. Sign of a cluttered house? I’m not on the hoarder watchlist, but I could cull some of the books and files. Sign of a cluttered mind? Afraid so. My mind is usually like a brightly lit up pinball machine and more than one corner is going “Tilt” at the same time.
But if things are all I misplace, I’m okay. After all, I could lose my patience, my faith, my optimism, or my sense of humor and be in a much worse state of mind. As it is, I know most of my hiding places and usually find what I’ve misplaced. And sometimes I find things I didn’t even know were lost.