Have you ever noticed how things sometimes disappear?
Yesterday I was driving along past the bank and decided to get some cash. I usually keep a small purse inside my big handbag.
When I run an errand, I like to take the smaller one to feel freer while leaving the big one behind.
Anyhow, I thought my debit card was in this small purse so only grabbed that one. As I excited and locked the car, my fingers were already searching for the card that I keep in it’s own protective sleeve. While walking briskly, I touched various cards, tissues, notes, toonies and change, realizing I could not feel the distinctive sleeve. Annoyed, I stopped walking and looked inside the purse until I took everything out. I had to come to the conclusion the debit card was not there.
Watching for cars backing up, I returned to my car and checked my large purse’s zippered compartment. It wasn’t there. Wallet? After going through it 3 times, I saw it wasn’t there either.
Upset, I got back into my car and drove home thinking it had to be somewhere in the house. On the table, in the closet, in a pocket maybe. I thought back to the previous few days. Another busy week it had been and remembered using the card at the art store a few days before. I thought I remembered shoving the cards and receipt in the pocket of my black coat.
When you lose something, your mind tries to reconstruct the past. But memories are not always totally reliable. We live such a distracted life that there are always a few pieces of information missing.
I got home and dumped everything out of my bag to no avail. I searched my house, pockets of my coats and pants, the office, even the garage (maybe I put it somewhere and don’t remember). I opened the computer and checked my account, no transactions since the one I remembered on Monday, which reassured me. I gave up looking for it after two hours.
All this got me thinking about things that disappear and how odd it always seems.
One time, we came back from a week-end trip to find my daughter had thrown a house party. One month later, my son wanted to wear the engraved cross I was safekeeping for him in my drawer. I was surprised and upset that it had disappeared from my bedroom bureau. I searched for it for six more months, refusing to believe that a party guest had gone through my things and stolen his property. I felt guilty for losing it and still think about it 20 years later…
Another time, when I was cleaning out a night table, I realized a very precious photo was no longer there. Do we do things and then forget about them? Where was that photo? To this day, I have never found it. This happened about 10 years ago, yet every now and then, I go through all my stuff again in the hopes of finding it.
Don’t socks disappear all the time? Where do they go? It is almost as if there is an alternate reality out there.
My friend’s i-pad disappeared in a strange way. She was there, she never saw anything. Probably stolen…
Distraction or selective attention is partly to blame. I recently read the book “Why we make mistakes” by Joseph T. Hallinan. It explains how it is impossible to be 100% present all of the time and “how we look without seeing, forget things in seconds and are all pretty sure we are way above average”. A very interesting read!
I used to be proud of being able to multitask yet research is clear that multitasking does not exist per say. We only shift our attention and each time we do, this uses seconds and the brain has to re-adjust, making both tasks less efficient.
Other things that sometimes disappear are people, friends, lovers and neighbours through move, break up, death, change of heart.
Everything and everyone will disappear one day. This is life, impermanence.
Things get misplaced
Things get forgotten
Everything shifts and changes
Everything will disappear one day
We try to hang on to people and things
But all we can do is enjoy them while we can
For all is disappearing every second that we live
While something new sprouts and takes its place
As for my debit card, I found it this morning, in the zippered pocket of my white coat, so it wasn’t lost after all. I was so sure I was wearing the black one, I never checked that one until today.
Thank you for reading and enjoy every second of your reality!
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