She had occupied that fast-food booth for quite awhile before I arrived. Restless and hungry, she eyed everyone’s food tray, and I presumed a tardy companion delayed her own order. However, when I finished my meal and dumped my trash, she rose with a sigh of frustration and asked the cashier: “Did I already eat my burger or did I forget to order it?”  
The poor woman had misplaced her mind. Most of us seniors can relate. As a matter of fact, while I snickered about that lady’s confusion, and tottered home with burger breath to crash on my sofa and catch a little CNN, I was supposed to be feasting on gourmet fare at Tanya’s. This much-anticipated happening had entirely skipped my mind until my telephone jolted me from my pickle, lettuce and tomato doze and Tanya wailed, “Did you forget to come to my dinner party or did I forget to invite you?”
    When I’m tired, distracted or pulled in many directions, I sometimes function on autopilot, without conscious thought, and whatever passes through my mind or hands at such times may go missing for awhile. However, I have learned that both mind and matter eventually turn up. They aren’t really lost — they’re temporarily misplaced.  
For instance, after a restless night of worry about my overwhelming “To Do” list, I arose yesterday, determined to plough through most tasks.  I dressed quickly and when I reached for my shoes, the left one had vanished. Nearly an hour was wasted as I crawled around on hands and knees in search of that shoe. Someone had stolen it! When I settled for Plan B shoes, I next discovered that my “To Do” list had also been poached. It seemed saner to go back to bed than to call the cops about the night burglary of my shoe and job list.
Laissez-faire seems the best way for me to keep track of my belongings and my mind. It also stabilizes my blood pressure.  Patience and faith are my tools. When the worrying stops, items generally turn up of their own accord or my mind calms enough to remember where I put them. Although my best pillowcases have been missing for two years, I trust they will be back when I quit looking for them, when I least expect to find them — or, almost assuredly, when I purchase replacements.  
Frantic searches actually delay discovery. I fussed for six months about a lost amethyst bracelet, yet last week it turned up in my jewelry box.  In panic, I must have overlooked it there 500 times.   
Yet I do keep a “Missing” list to record items which I might otherwise forget that I have lost, and nearly everyday I cross something from that list. While I searched for that left shoe yesterday morning, I came across binoculars which were AWOL all winter.   Today the shoe itself turned up atop my piano where I had used it as a paperweight.  Tomorrow I hope to recover my mind.


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