The most stationary of all stationery items, scissors hate to be hurried. I learned this as a child. You did too, probably. Don't run with scissors. A clear and simple instruction. Pencils, glue, staples... no problem. For them, like us, it's a finite existence. Time is short so don't dilly dally. But don't run with scissors.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

lost and found

I lost something recently. It doesn’t matter what. It doesn’t matter when. Not for the purposes of this post anyway.

At some point or other we all lose something that’s important to us – it’s one of those certainties of modern life... we have stuff and sometimes we lose it.

When I lost it (the thing I referred to above) my immediate reaction was one of mild shock and slight disbelief. Those feelings were quickly followed by a sense of outrage – who had taken it? Outrage is a cousin of accusation and they like to hang out together. And so it goes with me; one visits, they both show up.

Ruling out things like leaving mobile phones in taxis (which I’ve done twice and on both occasions got the phone back) most of us generally lose things in familiar settings, whether it’s around the house or in the workplace. This is a no-shit-Sherlock observation. People lose things most often in the places where they spend the most time.

Another truism is that the things we lose around the house, at work, or anywhere else we class as familiar, are frequently found again later. Fear not, I’m not about to go down the route of “why do you find things in the last place you end up looking?” OK, I can’t resist... Because 1) if you found them in the first place you looked then technically they weren’t ever lost, and 2) if you keep looking after you’ve found them (thereby making the place of discovery something other than the last place you looked) you probably need professional help.

Anyway, back to the finding bit. I hope I’m not the only person who goes through the cycle of outrage and accusatory thoughts upon finding something is lost. But if I am, this is the pattern I often follow. Thing is lost (or misplaced). I figure out it must be someone else’s fault – either some light-fingered ne’er-do-well half-inched it, or else someone moved it.

Eventually I’ll find whatever it is I’m looking for and realise that there’s no one else to blame but me. Who misplaced it/moved it? Usually me.

It’s not always as easy as it should be to accept that I’m the one guilty of a casual misplacing of something that time and circumstance will eventually make crucial.

I don’t suppose it’s something I’ll ever be able to stop doing – one is, after all, only flesh and blood.

But I’m trying to be more careful with the things I care about, the things I ought to know are crucial to my life. And I’m learning to look at myself first when I can’t find something I’m looking for.

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