Lost (and Found)

lostI lose things. Gone is the Benetton scarf that was my only souvenir from a great vacation in Italy. Gone are the pricy sunglasses I bought in France (as a replacement after losing the previous pair). And on this Sunday morning, I cannot even find my phone. I feel dangerously close to losing my temper as well.

And then there is the prototype.

It was one of two engineering samples that a client entrusted to me, and I cannot find it. If this little piece of electronic equipment fell into the wrong hands, this mishap could scuttle my professional reputation and sink my career. I already searched the bag five times. I already retraced all my steps since I last saw the prototypes, when I showed them to a potential customer. I clearly remember putting them back in my bag at the end of the meeting. Could one of them have fallen out of the bag when I rode home on my motorcycle? Did I just leave it there, on the cafeteria table? What am I going to tell my client?

Focus! Right now I am looking for my phone; there is nothing I can do about the prototype until Monday. So I search the living room, the dining room, my home office, the kitchen, the bathroom, the toilet, the dogs’ beds, and even the garbage can. Nothing. My blood is boiling, and I’m thirsty. I look for my water bottle on the side of the bed.

Right next to it, my cell phone awaits.

I simply left it there when I got up, instead of taking it with me as usual. Baffled, I grab the phone and sit on the bed. The phone was right here all along; everything else was a story I told myself, a trick of the mind.

A crazy idea goes through my head: maybe the prototype is also exactly where it’s supposed to be. I run to the computer, search for the shipping confirmation email, and open the packing list. The truth explodes on the screen: my client only shipped one prototype, not two. I slap my forehead and let out a sigh of relief.

My martial arts Master once explained that losing something is an illusion: the item you are looking for is exactly where you left it. I just learned this lesson first hand.

Now If I could only find this Benetton scarf…

~Cedric, 10/26/14