When Panic Sets In

Where did I put that?

Have you ever misplaced something? And then months later or maybe years have passed by, and guess what? You can’t remember where you put that treasured item. Then you panic!

On the evening of September 10, 2018, I found myself in a quandary. Husband Bob had left for his weekly Monday night band practice leaving the house empty save Maggie and me. I knew what I wanted/needed to work on…an outline for restructuring my memoir project. But where was that draft I so carefully wrapped in a bundle with beautiful ribbon back in 2016?

I searched high and low all over my sewing room/office shared space. In every nook and cranny. All this searching suited Maggie’s curiosity and the idea she was helping. My investigation took me nowhere. No folder, notebook, box, stack held my priceless (to me) stack of paper.

Frustration and panic set in.

What to do next? A cup of coffee, a good book, and Maggie in my lap. A calming and relaxing combination to ease the mind from my self-imposed stress. Perhaps I would think of someplace I hadn’t searched.

A half an hour or so later I had finished my coffee and put down my Kindle. As I stroked Maggie’s back, I struck upon an idea. Putting Maggie to the floor, I stood up and headed back to my workspace. I began plowing through standing magazine holders. To my surprise and relief, there it was–my beautiful, beribboned, marked up manuscript!

By now, it was time for bed and the next day other things took priority. However, I now know where that manuscript is, and I will try my hardest to remember its location.

Q4U: Have you ever forgotten where you’ve placed a manuscript, essay, or story you’re working on? Or do you have a nicely organized plan for keeping up with unfinished projects? Please share with us below.

Header Image Attribution: Via Lifewire

12 thoughts on “When Panic Sets In

  1. This lighthearted post touched me in a Been There Done That spot. Haven’t we all? I decided I’d given a missing necklace to my daughter. It’s really too big and heavy for me. A month later I found it on a hanger with something it goes with. Maybe I will give it to her. Now I’m searching for another seldom-worn adornment. What fun to go on treasure hunts in our own home.

    BTW, for me this is not age. I’ve always had problems like this. Maybe a bit of ADHD. Everyone else has it. Why not me too?

    Glad you are ready to get back in that saddle.

    1. Hi Sharon! So nice to have you leaving words for me to read and treasure. Yes, our lost and found searches are treasure hunts in the end, aren’t they? We wouldn’t search so hard if the item weren’t treasured for some reason. I have a hard time picturing you with ADHD, but you know you better than I! The saddle is waiting, and I’m waiting on an unexpected second opinion on the failed fusion in my spine. Something I thought had been shelved, but not so.

  2. As you know, I’ve written a few blog posts about lost & found – lost and not found.

    Manuscripts “tied up in a bow” are now safely nestled in my filing cabinet. However, they have been over-written by other readers and an editor or two, so even if they went missing, it wouldn’t matter much. Right now, I’m eyeing my external hard-drive, my back-up for “tres importante” editions.

    You seemed to be in charge even when you panicked, reaching for a coffee and welcoming Maggie into your lap. Sometimes the subconscious mind does its best work when we’re otherwise engaged. Great post, Sherrey!

    1. Oh, Marian, I thought of you as I wrote this post, thinking of your “lost and found” posts. It seems age has something to do with it, but I tell myself I’m less organized now than when working because it isn’t someone else’s important document. Well, if it’s mine, it should be more important than those legal documents I used to prepare. I too have an external hard drive, but the manuscript copy I was looking for had handwritten revisions not yet committed to my computer file. We just keep learning new tricks and methods, don’t we?

    1. Organized writers may be hard to find, Rose. Perhaps we should do a survey or a poll. Nope, I’d rather write. So good to have you stop by.

  3. As I’m getting older I lose more and more things. Moving almost a year ago and hiring an organizer for a while, really helped me find and bring together important documents, like my own manuscript and now it’s all in an easy to find place both on line and in hard copy.

    1. Joan, I have a friend who is starting a small business for the purpose of helping others organize the important documents and items. Perhaps I should offer to be her first customer at a discounted rate! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. When Mom and Dad moved to assisted living in 2005, I helped organize (sort of) some of her jewelry, which was in multiple containers. One of the pieces was a pin I’d given her for Christmas in 1970. I made note of which box it was in so I could claim in later. After Dad moved to independent living and Mom to the nursing center, I wanted to borrow a couple of pieces, including that pin. We eventually located what I thought was the right box but the pin wasn’t there. I still have no clue as to its whereabouts.

    1. Karen, I know how precious those memories are. Not because of any monetary value, but because of the person to whom they belonged. And I know how much your mom meant to you. I see so much of her in you. Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. Sherrey,
    I can relate to that sense of panic. So happy you found your precious manuscript 🙂 I thought I had lost my wedding ring once…it was terrible. So grateful when I found it 🙂

    1. Dolly, I’ve been down again and not on the computer each day so just saw your comment today. I think I’d experience a higher level of panic losing my wedding ring than my manuscript, but let me think about just a little bit. That’s lot of work hours in a manuscript! So glad you found your ring, and I found my manuscript. God is good!

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