Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's Lost is Found

It was a really good week for me this past week. In addition to settling my insurance claim, I also found two items that I thought I had lost.

For quite some time, I have been unable to find one of my favorite pairs of earrings. They aren't super expensive, but I purchased them in my friend's store in Israel, and they are very special to me. I wear them all the time.

The last time I looked for them, was the morning of my burglary. I wanted to wear them that day, but couldn't find them. That made me fairly confident that they weren't stolen, but because so many things were taken from my dresser, I couldn't be sure. It was very unsettling to not know if they were just misplaced in the house, or if they had walked out the door with the burglars.

I went out of town last weekend for the first time since early September. I opened my glasses case to a wonderful surprise! There were my lovely earrings - nestled in with my glasses. Sometimes when I travel, I will store earrings in that case temporarily. I was elated! Such a simple discovery... so much joy! I had obviously left them in there on my last trip, and hadn't opened that case since then. What a gift!

The other item I misplaced was a receipt for a text book that I purchased at a local community college that I'm attending. I'm taking classes there and had purchased my books in advance. When I showed up at one of my classes this past week, I found that they were giving us one of the books that I'd already purchased. This book was $45 and now I had two of them! I asked the book store employee about their retun policy and was relieved to learn that I could bring back my second copy for a refund - as long as I had the receipt!

I assumed the receipt would be where all my receipts are - either in my wallet, or in my shoe box of credit card receipts (that I keep for tax purposes).

After searching high and low, I could not locate this receipt. I was frustrated, because I have a pretty consistent routine with my purchase receipts, and somehow this one had slipped through the cracks. Of course, this was THE ONE that I needed.

I worried that because of the frenzy of purchasing and receipt volume that I've had as a result of the burglary that this particular receipt might have ended up in my insurance paperwork or something. Again - an 'out of the ordinary' experience introduced a variable into my normal process of locating a misplaced item.

I was about to give up the search, but decided to check one last briefcase/bag that I had used in the past few weeks. I checked the bag, but there was nothing there. All of a sudden, I glanced down next to this briefcase to see a new canvas bag from the college bookstore! My mind flashed on the day I bought my text books when the store worker informed me that I got a free canvas bag for spending more than $25! I opened the bag... and there was the missing receipt. Another one of those wonderful moments in life when you just know that everything is OK!

In both of these circumstances, I applied a lot of energy and effort to finding the lost item. I've learned that when I lose something it is best to try to locate it as soon as possible - since my memory is fresher as to when and where I had it last.

Both of these situations were complicated by the burglary, and all that it disrupted and made 'unknown' in my life.

Yet, I found each item, right where I had left it. It was strangely reassuring to me that I could feel that hopeless at times in 'the search' and yet it all turned out ok.

For some reason this really gave my faith a boost. I would have survived if I hadn't found my earrings, or this receipt. I knew that and reminded myself of it often. I did believe it was possible to find the receipt. I was pretty sure I could the earrings eventually. Now, with both items recovered, I feel strengthened in the knowledge that often, we can recover what is lost... somehow... sometime.

I think a big key is to be OK with not finding the item, and then give the search all you've got!

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