May 07, 2013


I had a wonderful evening Friday night and blissful morning Saturday (see Saturday's blog entry). Sunday morning I realized I left my garnet necklace at the motel. It isn't tremendously valuable in the money sense, but it was a Valentine's Day gift years ago from my husband; it's valuable to me.

I tried calling the motel, but got no answer at the desk and no answering machine, either.

I forgot all about the necklace during the rest of Sunday and all day Monday. (Every other mom is now nodding her head in sympathy.)

The psalmist writes about lying awake in bed during the watches of the night, thinking over things, and I understand that. When I woke early this morning, the necklace came back to mind. While pondering it--ok, obsessing--I found a new layer of dross buried deep inside me.

In the last week, 'things' have been in the forefront of my mind. A lot. I dislike my near paranoia for losing track of things. Whether loaned out to someone, lost in a forgotten location, or heedlessly pitched because I wasn't paying attention, I hate losing things. For a recovering pharisee with a gift for administration and organizing AND a weakness for over-analyzing, such loss isn't brushed off. "What's wrong with me?!" "How could I possibly have lost track of that?" "Didn't I think to keep an eye on that/take care of that/make sure it was somewhere in the bag?"

My memory unhelpfully called up the other things I've lost over the years in hotels: the silk pajamas from college that I loved, forgotten on the hook behind a bathroom door and impossible to replace; the dress I found after hours of systematic hunting for style, fabric, color, price--I wore it twice, then accidentally left it in a motel room after a friend's wedding. What galls me most about this one was that I didn't notice I'd left it until THREE MONTHS LATER. I was appalled at my mind lapse, lack of concentration, and (in a tiny way) that I apparently had so few occasions calling for a dress.

I say I want a right attitude toward things, but when I look back at these times, I WAS treating them as things. I didn't obsess about them or make them a priority. Where I've run off the rails is when I realize I treated it as a thing and it's gone. I don't think I'm mad about being careless as much as my pride smarts that I can be very absent-minded at times.

Perhaps my problem isn't my attitude toward things, but my attitude toward my imperfection. It's OK to mourn the loss of something special, but I can also tell myself the truth: that the sun will continue rising and setting whether I get my necklace back or not.

But oh, how my heart still hopes I can find the necklace.

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