Panic On The Road: Lost Phone

phone ring keysA couple of weeks ago, I was preparing to leave Hanover, PA and drive like mad to the airport and fly out ahead of a storm that was expected to drop 10 inches of wet snow on top of 10 inches of old frozen snow. All I had to do was go through my mental checklist and roll. Breakfast? Eaten. Car? Packed. Car Keys? In hand. Phone? Absent.

A quick pat down did not produce said phone and that’s when I went into a mild panic. Many thoughts, most of them not helpful, flashed through my head:

  • Go and retrace my steps.
  • Where did I  last remember seeing it?
  • Why can’t I keep up with my phone?
  • Call your wife, because she is always full of great ideas and she can help me!
  • Wait, I can’t call her because I lost my phone. Why did I do that?

Losing my phone reminded me of other times I lost something. Sometimes the missing item was recovered, like my wedding ring on business trip to Vegas. Other times, it wasn’t, like the time when I just got downsized, went to a career fair, was turned away because I forgot my suit coat, went back home, set my keys down somewhere and never saw them again.

My life, like many other people, is tied to the phone. I lean on the device…it’s my external memory drive. It holds numbers, contacts, apps I use for travel, GPS, music, Starbucks credits, my calendar and many other things. I strain my eyes and hold it ever closer to my face to read. My head tilts down, always scanning for the latest work email so I don’t miss a thing. I see this in others as well: heads bowed, phone clutched, and eyes strained to read the little blue screen. I am sure some among us do need to be engaged on the phone every minute of the day, but I suspect most of us only use it to check scores, read tweets, HuffPo, or texts about which shade of white to paint the bonus room closet.

So, with growing panic, I retraced my steps from my room to the hotel lobby to the breakfast area to the coffee station to the business office to my room, and outside to my car. I looked in the snow around the car.  I looked on top of the car. Nothing.  It was cold, so I sat down in the car for a minute to warm up and think. As I went to sit down, I fumbled my wallet and it dropped between the seat and the center console. I reached down and found my wallet…sitting on top of my phone.

Deep exhale.

Universe order restored.

On to the airport.


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