| Musings |

Lost and Found

Often, it’s about the search itself and the things you learn along the way


ituated somewhere in the kitchen right next to one of the meticulously arranged and partitioned silverware drawers, is the infamous “junk” drawer. We all have one. Except that’s not what it really is. It’s actually a Lost and Found.

Anyone who questions my ability to save-it-just-in-case has never opened that drawer. Once you’ve seen it you will readily realize that not all “Lost” is “Found,” and it’s certainly not junk.

That drawer is strewn with a treasure trove of items: buttons; earrings both with and without their backings; pens, most of which don’t work; paper clips; rubber bands; screwdrivers; and the scissors you begged your kids to put in its proper place (and this drawer isn’t what you meant).

That’s not all. There are too many unmarked keys of all sizes (is that the house key Shari gave me in case someone had to get into her condo?), plus the requisite hardware fittings to the sink disposal, and motley screws and washers (none of which match). Then there’s the remote to Grandpa’s recliner chair plus numerous batteries (both new and used; how can you tell?) rolling around and lending the necessary sound effects.

Similar to the unmatched socks in the boys’ sock drawer that are clean, bored, and lonely, nothing matches anything else. Think single hair clips, at least one cuff link, a pretty mitten in pristine condition, and a baby’s sock that just needs to have the lace reattached.

The tennis, ping pong, and golf balls — none of which you play — seem to fit right in with the old tarnished teaspoon that once belonged to Aunt Sadie (I think), and the assortment of watches that never did tell time correctly complete the picture.

In the safety of this mayhem lies the watchband that once encircled a loved one’s wrist (minus the timepiece itself), and a slightly unraveling headband (missing a rhinestone) that you won’t toss because it isn’t yours. Oh, and two slightly used though thoroughly acceptable plastic ziploc bags, both empty.

I don’t need to tell you that the only time you will find a match to the button, the sock, or that favorite cuff link is as soon as you’ve emptied and tossed the contents of the drawer.

I don’t like to think about the possibility that most of these items have taken up too much real estate in the drawers of my home, and most certainly in my mind, to warrant that kind of preoccupation.

There are many things we lose in life that warrant searching for. Some were never ours to begin with. Here’s where entitlement shows up.

Other things were once ours, though they have since wandered out of our purview. That doesn’t stop us from obsessing. We’d do well, however, to bear in mind our sacred obligation to define where we put our efforts. Searching for lost youth or the just-as-elusive waistline doesn’t count.

I’ve misplaced relationships, or they’ve gone dormant, and when I find them again, that’s truly worth celebrating. A party is a party, and I’m partial to enjoying some private-time coffee and muffins — with cake muffintops — with friends who are family and family who are friends.

 WE all celebrate, and mourn, differently. Things can happen and trying to find a reason is futile. Maybe that’s the only clarity there is. Trying to figure it out is sometimes just too hard, so I let Waffle, Wordle, and Quordle keep me humble.

Sometimes finding what you’ve lost isn’t the real reward. Often, it’s about the search itself and the things you learn along the way.

Faith and a sense of humor help keep us on track. Either one alone is a treasure. Throw in a little perspective and they are empowering. I need them all in my personal toolbox. I just have to keep reminding myself when and where to use them.

Finding something, or someone, when you didn’t realize what was missing or lost is the greatest gift of all. Looking for a spouse and finding a partner and friend is like the rich, creamy icing on your favorite cake — without the calories.

It only takes a lifetime to develop, it’s Worth Every Minute, and it’s never enough.

And that’s not a gizmo you’ll find in a junk drawer.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 848)

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