The holidays are upon us and time is speeding up like crazy. It’s a time of year though when we should stop, reflect, and be thankful for the things we have. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for a lot of things including surviving my health scare, getting to explore Belgium, feeling happy and prosperous in my life/finances/career (our 30’s are better than 20’s), and being able to write my thoughts down regularly and share them with you!
There’s one more thing in particular I am so thankful to have this year which you’ll find out by the end of this the true story I’m about to share with you today…
Being Thankful For The Things We Have: My Heart-stopping Experience
I consider myself to be organized, perhaps even a bit obsessive at times, and I’m pretty careful about where I put things. I actually can’t even remember the last time I misplaced my keys, lost an important document, or when one of my socks went missing. I’m also generally pretty paranoid about not losing my wallet because it happened to me once before and I swore I’d never put myself through that again.
But I know I’m far from perfect, and my memory and awareness admittedly aren’t as sharp as they were ten years ago. I wouldn’t say I feel old yet, but I’m no spring chicken either. Although I think I still look younger than my actual age (phew!), my focus has a growing tendency to wander off as my processing speed isn’t as expeditious as it once was. But I’m still far from over the hill, and sometimes it just takes a good kick in the gut to snap out of the fog I can wander into, and get back to better habits. I unexpectedly had one of those heart stopping, startling wake up calls recently and it freaked me out.
The More We Have, The More We Can Lose
So here’s what went down. On the weekends, I like to take strolls around my neighborhood to run errands and pick up groceries for the upcoming week from local produce stands. When I woke up last Sunday morning, it felt kind of cold so I put on pants and a sweater to warm up before I headed out. I didn’t realize that it was actually a hot, gorgeous day outside until I was several blocks away from home, and at that point I didn’t want to bother turning around to go back and change.
So I kept walking and went about my business, but by the time I got all my errands done and was heading back home with bags in both hands, I was burning up! I felt like an idiot with a winter jacket and a sweater on when I could have been comfortable wearing a t-shirt and shorts. My fingers had also started to swell with my rise in body temperature. I took off my coat and stuffed it in one of my bags, but I felt my ring finger getting squeezed tight by the rings I had on because I was still hot. It’s pretty crazy how our fingers can swell and shrink with our body heat and that can make a big difference on how how rings feel and fit!
Hot And Bothered
Melting in my sweater, all I could think about were the rings squeezing my finger tighter and tighter. It wasn’t like they were cutting off my circulation, but I decided to take them off my swollen ring finger and put them on my pinkie instead. Aaah, suddenly that felt so much better and I didn’t feel any more pinching. I consciously curled my pinkie finger closed to keep the rings from falling off just in case, and continued on my way.
After I got home, I went straight to the kitchen to drop off my stuff and put the veggies and perishables I bought into the fridge. I refilled my water pitcher and then wandered into the living room. There was an interesting show on about racoons that immediately grabbed my attention. Did you know that racoons adaptation to city environments is affecting their brain development, and evolving them into smarter animals? Fascinating! I also learned that Toronto, which I’ve visited a few times, has one of the biggest urban populations of racoons. Ha, who knew!
From Cute Cuddly Racoons To Total Panic
I was sitting back in my chair, happy and totally enthralled with this raccoon program until I glanced at my hand and noticed that I was wearing a ring on my pinkie. I looked down at my wedding band, sitting so comfortably on my littlest finger. But that’s weird I thought to myself, why was I wearing one ring and not two? And then I FROZE.
Within a second, PANIC set in. Where was my engagement ring?! I jumped out of my seat and started checking around me. Nothing. I ran to the kitchen and looked on the counters. Nothing. I started digging around in my bag of grapes, padding everything down, looking under papers, checking the sink, peering in the trash. Nothing. OMG, what if I dropped my engagement ring on the street, and worse what if somebody walked away with it?!
I immediately grabbed my keys and ran outside to retrace my steps. All I could think about was someone seeing my diamond ring on the ground and pocketing it in two seconds. I walked as fast as I could, scanning the ground with every step. I felt a lump growing in my throat, but I couldn’t succumb to my emotions yet. Even though I couldn’t bear the thought of someone else finding my ring first, I needed to have hope. I remembered the exact path I had taken that morning, and I let my eyes scan the street like a hawk. …But there was nothing.
How Could I Be So STUPID?!
After going several blocks past the place where I remembered putting both my rings on my pinkie finger, I turned around and started walking back. My ring was nowhere to be found. My heart started to sink, and tears began to puddle up in my eyes. How could I be so stupid?! Why couldn’t I have just waited a few more minutes and taken my rings off after I got home?!
Even though I knew I had insurance that would cover most of the cost for a replacement, it wasn’t helping me cope. I was so mad at myself for being so careless with something so meaningful, so personal, and also so valuable. How could I feel worthy of getting a replacement ring after losing something so precious?
As I walked the last few blocks home, there was still a chance my ring was at home somewhere, but I didn’t think my chances were good at all. Once I got back home, I did another full sweep inside, hoping and praying it could still turn up. I checked the bathroom, the trash can, in the couch, on my chair, under the coffee table, in the fruit bowl, on the counters, in the recycling bin, …and still nothing.
A Cold And Frigid Chill
There was only one other place I remembered using when I got back the first time, and that was the fridge. There really wasn’t a point, but I figured I might as well look there too, so I opened the door and looked around on the shelves. Didn’t see my ring there. Figures. But then I remembered putting some veggies in the crisper drawer, so I yanked it open and THERE laying on top of my bag of white button mushrooms was my shiny, beautiful ring!!!
I started bawling from relief and happiness of finding it, and couldn’t stop saying thank you through my tears that I hadn’t lost it for good. Now that I’ve calmed down and am writing this post, I actually find it a bit funny that my ring was nice and cold when I found it since I had been so hot and bothered just 30 minutes earlier, lol. Perhaps my subconscience triggered my pinkie to drop it there on purpose, who knows.
The Moral of This True Story Is:
1) Do NOT take your rings off when you’re out walking. Either leave them at home in the same safe place before going out, suck up the discomfort of finger swelling when it’s hot, or get your rings resized if they simply don’t fit well anymore.
2) Be extra cautious of what you’re doing anytime you are handling something valuable. Fortunately I didn’t drop my ring outside, but I was still careless and forgot I had it on my pinkie once I got home, and it fell off without me realizing it.
3) The more we have, the more we can lose. Get insurance for the things most important to you, that’s what it’s for. Understand too that the more things you have, the more willing you need to be to accept loss. We’re human after all and unexpected things happen all the time. This goes for business continuity and valuables too. If you can’t remember the last time you backed up your critical files, go do it right now!
4) Be thankful for the things we have. Even though I would have been devastated if I had lost my ring, I would still be fortunate to have my incredible husband in my life, which is worth more than anything else! We all go through times when we lose important things, which we can’t always get back. And even though it’s hard not to get upset when we do lose something, we must be thankful for all the things we have left. After all we all have more than we think and we need to make the most of what we have in the moment!
Untemplaters, have you ever lost something very valuable or meaningful before and did you ever get it back? How are you spending Thanksgiving this year? What are you thankful for?
Kevin@Invest It Wisely says
I recently had some back & forth communications with a woman in an shelter for victims of domestic violence, and apparently my app is quite important to some of them for catching the abusers in the act. I sometimes have nightmares about my own childhood experiences, but good god, I never went through anything like some of these women had to go through. That makes me both sad that there are people like this that get away with these crimes, thankful that not all of them do and thankful for everything I have even though my mood sometimes has swings, and hopeful that we can continue making the world better through improved technology. I never had domestic violence in mind when I started working on things, but it’s quite amazing to know that it’s used in that context.
Kevin@Invest It Wisely says
P.S., a little more related to your post ;), my girlfriend once lost an expensive gold bracelet in Korea at the dorm, and we thought it was gone for sure! We looked everywhere, then finally found it at the entrance in a highly trafficked area sitting on the table. Couldn’t believe that nobody had taken it, we were so happy to have found it. Koreans are really honest people.
That must have been quite unexpected to hear that your app is helping victims of domestic violence. I’m glad they’ve been able to get help using it.
And I’m glad your girlfriend was able to get her bracelet back! Jewelry can be so easy to lose because it’s so small. Finding something special and sentimental after you think it’s lost is such a relief!
Kevin @ Invest It Wisely says
I’m scared for the engagement ring. 😉
For the app it’s really interesting, because I have gotten people cussing at me and telling me what a horrible person I am, because my app didn’t do something in particular or maybe it crashed for them. You won’t believe some of the anger that comes out from the anonymous nature of the Internet, but at the same time I’ll also have the occasional person thanking me because they were able to use the app to collect legal proof against an abusive boss, spouse, etc… and that’s really quite something. Feedback is quite interesting but can be hard to deal with at times. 😉
Financial Samurai says
Yikes… cursing at you? That’s crazy! Do you address them one by one? How much does it cost again?
Kevin @ Invest It Wisely says
I can’t address the people that leave public comments because Google doesn’t allow that, but yeah I reply to everyone who emails me personally, even the haters. Current price is free or $3.99 for a few extra features, so about the same as a bag of Doritos depending from where. 😉
Jeremy Noel Johnson says
Sydney, I’ve had a few brushes with losing my wedding ring (usually when I go play basketball and take it off) as well, although mine isn’t as much to lose and is only worth a couple hundred dollars.
One thing I’d like to mention is your persistence and determination to track it down. Not everyone is willing to attack the problem like you were. You seem like the kind of person who will not give up easily, which I think is a great quality to have in life.
Have you ever thought about getting a fake wedding band/ring? My wife has one that she uses when she goes out or we are traveling.
Thanks Jeremy. Yeah I normally wouldn’t just run outside like that, but I HAD to go retrace my steps immediately after I couldn’t find it inside after a few minutes. I knew my chances of finding it on the street were small, but I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I didn’t try as hard as I could to find it when I had the chance.
Yeah I think I still have a fake wedding band somewhere. I usually wear that or no rings at all when I go overseas. I try to travel with as little as possible because the chances of getting things lost or stolen is so much higher on the road!
Savvy Scot says
I’m glad you found it… Unfortunately I lost my wedding ring on our honeymoon this year whilst diving. I know exactly what the heart-sinking feeling is like. You will always be careful now 🙂
Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that. What a heart wrenching feeling. I wish I could help you find yours.
Wow, what a story. I have that panic too (although my “stuff” is the keys, cellphone, wallet variety) almost weekly. Even if it only lasts a minute, it’s really irritating. Glad you got it back, and now you know that calling yourself stupid doesn’t help anything!
I used to lose my wallet and keys all the time until I forced myself to only put them in one place. And when I set them down in a different location, I force myself to visually take a picture in my head of where I put them. Visualization helps a lot with memory!
What a story! I have lost so many things over the years, but fortunately I don’t care much about things, it is just a hassle to issue a new passport or driving license when losing a purse or wallet. A ring is much different though, I don’t know how I would react. I lost my baby brother who was about 8 in Disneyland, that was a scare!
Oh wow losing your brother must have been a major panic day! I wandered off a few times when I was a kid and remember how terrified I was when I couldn’t find my family. That’s the nice thing about having cell phones now, it’s so much easier to reunite when we get lost and separated in crowded areas.
Edward Antrobus says
Glad you found it. Of all the things that can possibly be lost, that’s probably the most gut wrenching.
Because of a few close calls with my wedding ring, I take my rings off and put them in my pocket when I’m picking up equipment at work. And then I learned the hard way to put them in a pocket that DOESN’T have my keys. Wound up driving all the way back to work to luckily find my wedding band on the ground at my parking spot!
Keys always go in my pants pocket now because my old set is probably a part of this new overpass.
Yesterday I lost my phone at home.I was tearing the place apart minutes before company was coming over and I found it in a place that I had already checked twice. Apparently the gap between the arm rest and body of the sofa is deeper than I thought.
Oh man I’m glad you were able to find your ring! I can see that happening when you went to take your keys out. I’ve done that when I have more than one thing in my pockets too.
I’ve misplaced my phone at home a few times and I love how Apple has the fine my phone feature which really helps! I just login to my account, and activate the feature and then my phone starts ringing until I locate it.
Edward Antrobus says
It was really in there. I was calling it from my wife’ phone and standing less than two feet from it at one point and still didn’t hear it!
I can sympathize with your advice to never remove your ring while you are walking. I have lost rings twice by not following that advice.
Now, I just leave my ring on 24 hours a day. Since I started this regime, I haven’t lost any more rings.
It’s so easy to start playing with rings that they end up falling off. I lost a different ring myself that way. I tried wearing mine 24/7 but I prefer taking them off when I’m cooking or doing activities like running. So I always put them in the same place at home when I take them off, and now I know not to take them off when I’m outside!
Financial Samurai says
PHEW! So glad you found your ring Sydney! It’s kinda crazy to think how easily we can lose some of our most valuable possessions due to absent mindedness.
A great reminder for everybody to get personal property insurance via their homeowners insurance or independent if you don’t own a home!
I lost my wallet when it fell out while I was doing situps on the beach. Luckily, someone handed it into the local police station and the cop dropped it off at my house!!!! I will always do my best to return a lost wallet to someone as the feeling is horrible. Good karma!
Oh wow that is lucky you got your wallet back. It’s the worst feeling losing something like that. I thought I lost my passport once when traveling overseas and almost had a heart attack. Turns out I hid it too well that I myself couldn’t even remember that I hid it. Fortunately I ended up finding it!
Happy Thanksgiving Sam!
Financial Samurai says
Losing things is the reason why I really don’t like to have many things any more. I’m always losing my sunglasses for example. It’s ridiculous! I hadn’t lost a wallet in 8 years, until that day too.
The less we have, the less we have to lose.