I lost my keys…again

For as long as I can remember, I have been losing my keys. I’ve lost them on buses, planes, beaches. I have lost them in the grocery store, the doctor’s office, the neighbor’s house, my kid’s school – you name it. Anyone who knows me has had to help me search for those keys.

I’ve also tried every idea to keep track of those keys—hooks, lanyards, big key chains. My husband, who never in his life has lost his keys (I married well), has giving me many good ideas and much emotional support. But in the end, the keys are not his to find.

Despite the frequency of this event, in the past few years, I’ve idiotically doubled down on my problem, attaching my wallet, including debit card and license onto the keys. Sometimes, when I simply cannot locate them, my husband has a second set safeguarded for me, holding out hope until I can find myself. Isn’t this what a good partner does? But even though I can drive and get into our home, I need my wallet. I need to find the keys.

As soon and they are lost, the panic within me is quick, sharp and familiar. Almost always, the losing of the keys is recognized on my way to somewhere else. The moment of realization is certainly marked by the fear of the keys being in the endless space, never to be found. Where even to start?

Where did you last have them? Why don’t you put them in the same place? They must be somewhere… These are all not helpful comments, in the midst of the search.

But remember, this has a long history, and I’ve learned some things at this point.

The keys are always close at hand. No one has taken them or moved them. I’m old enough to know the search is here, not out there. This is always true; despite the fact that my mind will continue to assure me the keys are lost out there in the vast landscape.

The metaphor is becoming more and more clear.

I lose “the keys” often, and as often, I find them in the same old spots, even the spots I thought I checked already. The keys are often covered by the clutter of my life, the unimportant items I dutifully and moronically collect. The keys continually bring me to the present moment, because they are always lost when my mind is lost. The search requires slow, careful movement and attention. Once found, my mind is present, alert, relaxed. I am slower as I move on, grateful to have what I need. Hopeful I won’t lose them. Again.