I’m a loser. What I mean by that is I am someone who loses things. Two months ago I lost my phone. I retraced my steps and found it sitting on top of the vacuum at the Shell station. On Easter Sunday I lost my keys. I never got those back. And this morning, I discovered my wallet is gone. What a great way to start my sabbatical. I am grateful for the technology that allows me to lock my cards using my phone, denying someone the opportunity to use my Visa to buy themselves a new frock for the upcoming Coronation of King Charles. Lest you think I am simply having a run of bad luck, I’m sorry to tell you this problem has much deeper roots. I am not just a loser but I am a perpetual loser. It happens a lot. Like A LOT!! In fact, my ability to lose things has made me a minor celebrity at Loblaws. Three times I have left my wallet in the cart after doing my grocery shopping, and each time it was returned to the front counter with cards and cash intact, proving that we Canadians are an honest bunch. On the third time the woman at the counter said, “I knew it was yours without opening it”. How humiliating.
Why do we lose things? I had to look it up. A guy called Dr. Kenneth Morgan, a Princeton psychologist, wrote that is has to do with the hippocampus failing to properly encode memory. Not only do I have a bad memory but I have a short attention span, so I quickly lost interest in the musings of Dr. Morgan. But I did learn that men are twice as likely to lose their phones as women. I also learned that the average person misplaces 9 items a day, and we spend 15 minutes a day looking for things we can’t find. Wow, I burned through my 15 minutes by 7:15am. It did make me feel better learning that to some extent we are all losers. So, I’m thinking that the uppity woman at Loblaws should keep her thoughts to herself.
It’s no fun losing things, but do you know what is fun? Finding things! This weekend I cleaned out my desk and discovered pictures that were taken celebrating my 50th birthday party at the church. That took me down memory lane. I also found a box of golf balls, a deck of cards, a Tim Horton’s gift card, and a picture of my daughter Rachel in a frame that read, “To Daddy On Our First Father’s Day” (cue the tears).
Jesus once said, “if you want to find your life, you must first lose it”. In my arrogance I think he had me in my mind when he wrote that. I find those words reassuring. Losing stuff isn’t always bad if it can lead to something better. For example, have you ever gotten lost while on a trip, and ended up discovering something amazing you would not otherwise have seen?
Someone once said this, “when you lose something, don’t think of it as a loss; accept it as the gift that gets you on the path you were meant to travel on.”
I’m not quite ready to accept the loss of my wallet as a gift, but maybe as I spend the first day of my sabbatical searching for it, I will find something good in the process. Maybe I’ll bump into an old friend, or maybe I’ll discover a fortune between the couch cushions. It was no fun losing it, but finding it is going to be a blast!