The tale of the misplaced wallet

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Grand philosophical ideas around peace and harmony are great. But they are only useful if they can hold up when coming into contact with our real, messy and unpredictable lives.

This week I had the fortune (or misfortune) to be tested on my worldviews.

On Wednesday, when looking to leave the house I simply could not find my wallet. After a rather long search I came to the conclusion that I must have dropped it when coming off the bus the day before.

Here I had a choice of how I reacted to the situation.

Naturally, losing a wallet is not particularly nice. It meant quite a lot of administrative burden, blocking and reordering various bank cards as well as losing my Belgian ID. For this, I had to go to the police station to file a claim, which took out two hours in total yesterday.

For a second, I fell into a negative frustration of ‘why me’ – I actually had a nice day when I had lost it, so for a moment I had this pessimistic thought that the world was pushing me back down.

But on the whole, I was quite happy with how I reacted to it. Considering my current state of lethargy, I was quite surprised at how functional and direct I was to sort out the situation. Thanks to our world of technology, I could see my bank accounts were untouched. Within moments, I blocked and reordered the cards.

These days you can even add a new card straight onto Google Wallet, meaning I could pay for things with my phone – I was effectively cashless only for about an hour.

I was worried that not having my Belgian ID would mean some complications for a medical appointment next week. But after a quick google of the process, I figured out the system to get a provisional document in the police station. I have a tendency of underplaying how well I can manage these things, particularly considering all the information and interactions I had with the police were in French.

These small bumps in life can be a good moment to check in with our current state of mind. Now when I think about it, the thought of blaming myself for making an error didn’t actually cross my mind at all. In fact, I haven’t lost my wallet in probably around 15 years, so with the benefit of that perspective I figured that I’d actually had a pretty good run of it, all things considered.

For someone who is still in the midst of anxiety and fatigue, it’s nice to see that I’m a lot more effective at dealing with situations than my current predicament suggests.

It has crossed my mind that this could be a sign of ADHD – being prompted to act in a crisis gives me a good level of dopamine to act effectively and efficiently. This is in contrast with things with a longer timeline, often with far less work that I’m struggling to do. But for now, that’s just a hypothesis.

I’m very grateful for the work I’ve done over the last years to re-frame my worldview. Considering how much I’ve invested in that space, there have definitely been points where I’ve questioned whether the time, energy and money was worth it. But it’s moments like these which demonstrate how valuable it is to work on ourselves.

When challenges are but small bumps rather than big mountains, it is far easier to glide through life.

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