Enlightenment may be in the last place you left it

I don’t know about you, but I hate losing things. Losing things wouldn’t be so bad if finding them wasn’t such a chore. There’s always the chance you’ll never find what you were looking for.

I was in this exact predicament today.

Mundane Moments

I’m at a store purchasing screwdrivers. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but I need them. I know what store I’m  going to because I have their store credit card and also have rewards to use for the purchase. I just can’t find the credit card.

I find the rewards card (why this requires another piece of plastic I will one day lose is beyond me) but not the store card. I look in all the usual suspect places. Wallet, coats, counter tops, junk drawer, dresser, under things, on things, in things and then it occurred to me. The old, “where is the last place you remember seeing it?” question.

Of course!

The problem was, I can’t remember that either since the last place I remember seeing it was in my hand, at the store buying a washer and dryer over a year ago. Back to square one.

So, in my mind, this isn’t that bad. I’m sure other customers have this happen and the store will know what to do. I’m sure they can find my information and find another way to charge the card without the presence of the physical card. I was correct, but I almost needed to donate blood and perform a retinal scan to do so.

It also took much, much, much longer.

In the technological age, waiting is not something many of us do well. Even if we’re old enough to remember a time before texting and even before desktop computers were in almost every home in the US.

Today, waiting for more than 60 seconds can seem like a lifetime to some.

And there I was, waiting two millennium to buy screwdrivers without my misplaced store credit card.

The Ah-Ha! Moment

Driving home after my purchase, much, much older and wiser, I realized that it was tucked neatly in my other wallet, in my work briefcase, sitting directly behind me in the trunk of my car!

I’m sharing this relatively bland story of my life with you today because it illustrates something much bigger and more exciting than something lost is found. As soon as it occurred to me that I knew exactly where the store card was, I simultaneously realized that many things we’re looking for in life are often right there, close by.

Chances are, if I took the time to slow down my mind, and practiced being mindful in the moments before I walked into the store, I would have remembered the card was in my wallet, in my work briefcase in the trunk of my car. It was there, only steps away from me while I contemplated banging my head into the computer terminal as a way to escape the incredibly long wait.

The Point

Many of us are looking for things we’ve lost.

Our confidence, our fitness, our loving relationships, the fire that gives us meaning, even our sense of wonder.

I’m here to tell you that these things are as easy to find as a wallet, in a briefcase, in the trunk of your car. They’re right there. Right under our noses. Not long lost years ago. Not lost due to age or distance, or some other nonsense thing we create in our minds.

Things are only truly lost once we’ve given up on them completely.

I urge you to slow down, be mindful and see what you can find.

In this new year can you find the new you? Can you find that fire that pushes you to challenge yourself in all areas of your life? Or, will you find the fire that reignites the passion in your love life or your career? The answer may be closer than you think.