Over the years, I’ve been the butt of many gentle jokes in my family’s house thanks to my propensity for losing and misplacing things. I am, I’m told, my father’s daughter in that regard. I can remember, as a kid, dissolving into tears when a folder holding some science homework went missing from my bedroom. And having taken them off my sweaty face while helping with some work in my parents’ yard, I swear, to this day, that a pair of glasses was swallowed by the good green earth. Wallets? Forget it. Like a trail of breadcrumbs leading straight through my twenties, I’ve left them behind in parking garages, taxis, and bars. In recent years, I’ve taken to misplacing clothing: two t-shirts and a favorite silk tank come to mind.
For a while, I thought I had shed my absentmindedness. Lots of time passed in which I could find all my possessions right where they belonged. But my streak was broken last week when my keys vanished into some deep, dark abyss. I can remember the moments and events leading up to their disappearance plain as day. And yes, they were hurried. But, at the moment my focus detached from my keys, my memory abandoned me, too.
I’m resigned to the fact that my keys are gone, but in the 10 days since they’ve disappeared I’ve repeatedly wondered this: What’s so wrong with my wiring that I can’t get from my car to my kitchen without losing my keys? Why, for so many years, have I been unable to keep track of such essential possessions? If you’re not someone who loses things, it might be easy to think that those of us who do are goofy, sloppy, or uncaring. But I am none of those, which makes this thing I have about losing things all the more upsetting.
Are you a loser, too? Here are a few helpful articles I found online about why we lose things, and how to stop doing it.
An explanation from The Wall Street Journal about Why We Keep Losing Our Keys (hello!).
This piece from Psychology Today is my favorite. Say it with me now: Conscious. Awareness.
This CBS News piece pretty much confirms it.