Where is my wallet? Why we find it hard to learn some really important lessons

It never fails, I temporarily lose my wallet when I have to be someplace. Last night, while getting ready for an early am flight today, I couldn’t find my wallet. Looked in all the usual spots, including my pockets but no wallet. I knew I had it a few hours before so it couldn’t be far. And yet I couldn’t find it. So, off I run around the house looking here and there with a growing sense of urgency. My wife didn’t even get up to look. She’s been through the fire drill too many times before.

Adding to the sense of urgency was my last trip where I got to the airport only to discover to wallet and no photo ID.

Why is it that things like wallets disappear right when they are most needed? Well, if I’m honest, that is the wrong question. The right one is, why don’t I always put my wallet in the same place every time when it is not in my pocket. The answer is likely that I don’t think about the crisis until the crisis. I’m too willing to put it in the right spot later when it might be more convenient for me. This method “works” for me a good portion of the time. The crisis only happens every time I go on a trip. Now if I went on a trip every week, I suppose I’d learn faster…

Ever have that problem–that you keep remembering you need to learn some important thing but only seem to remember AFTER the fact? Some things I learn with only one mistake–like the time I went to fix a lamp cord but hadn’t unplugged the lamp yet. Other things need a couple of times–like the 2 times I accidently cut an extension cord with an electric hedge trimmer. Then there is my forgetting to wipe the table after cleaning up the kitchen and the dishes. We’ve been married 17 years and I’m still learning to go and wipe down the table in the dining room.

Relationally we fail to learn as fast as we might. An extrovert keeps thinking his/her spouse would want to go to a large party. We starting conversation with “constructive” critism but fail to remember that it rarely goes well. Or we say, “I probably shouldn’t tell you this but…” and wonder why no one trusts us with their secrets.

What is the lesson you keep forgetting to learn?

Oh, I found that wallet in my computer bag. Now what possessed me to put it there? Probably not wanting to forget it…


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39 responses to “Where is my wallet? Why we find it hard to learn some really important lessons

  1. Lana

    This morning I was frantically searching for my 4yr. old’s lunch box, which I had seen my husband graciously make and fill up. He had already left for work and could not be reached by phone. We all ended up late for school. The older kids missed their bus and I had to drive them and then return home in search of the lunchbox again. I finally found it in the freezer (why?) and dashed off to drop my daughter at preschool.

    My lesson that the Lord is repeating over and over again with me through circumstances like this? How to stay calm during chaos. I fail it every time. I yelled, grumbled, complained – and used a colorful word on the way to school that my son heard and wondered what it meant. How many more times will it take for me to learn this character-building, sanctification lesson? I’m grateful He is patient with me. 🙂

  2. My husband has this same problem, and he travels frequently. Not just his wallet, but his keys and sunglasses too. I don’t have much empathy at this point. I’ve even organized our entryway to include a place for bills and outgoing mail, keys, wallets and cell phones, shoes, etc. How easy is that? Just walk in and plop stuff where it belongs?

    I’ve stopped getting up to help him look too. I’ve decided he must enjoy the drama of it all or somehting…

  3. Lana, maybe its our 40 year old brains but my mother will tell you that I was like this when I was 10. More than once I heard, “you’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached.” Llama Momma, hadn’t thought about the drama piece. Do women who use purses avoid this problem?

  4. @Llama Momma…

    I don’t think he enjoys the drama. It happens to me quite a lot too and I can promise you that it’s quite traumatic. I actually just lost my wallet today and have an international trip the day after tomorrow, if I can’t find it in time, I won’t have any credit card, drivers license, etc. I’ll be devastated 😦

  5. I accidentally left my wallet with the fine customs people at the ferry terminal in WA state. We had to “go through customs” because the ferry we took originated in Canada–it was so silly. Anyway, I dropped my wallet, realized it 10 minutes on our shuttle to the airport, got out, called the terminal to find out they had my wallet, took a cab back to the ferry area, got my wallet (hooray!), and then got a shuttle back to SeaTac in plenty of time to make our flight home. It’s funny looking back on it–it’s weird how some of our most trying moments are amusing in retrospect.

  6. Pam Smith

    Glasses. That’s why I buy tons of them at the Dollar Store.

    My theory on why you lose your wallet….you, my friend, are not motivated by money so the vehicle that holds the money is not all that important to you….until you need to check in at the airport…or pay the bill at a restaurant birthday party celebration. :o)

  7. Hysterical! My husband is looking high and low for my wallet (I lose EVERYTHING!). I decided to help by doing a Google for “where is my wallet.” As I write this, he finally found my wallet – phew; what a relief! I would rather take a beating than to spend the entire day at the DMV. I am going to try putting things in the same place every time. Maybe we’re just too spontaneous…

  8. a

    I also just googled “where is my wallet” because I have just searched for an hour. I can’t find ti anywhere and I’m freaking out. I’ve never lost it before, and I’ve been a million places since I used it last. I assure you, there is no way anyone likes this drama.
    i feel like crying and sleeping with my saint jude medal.
    night all.

    • Bjorn

      me too. I just googled where’s my wallet because I’ve looked for 2 or 3 hours today – and can’t find it. Starting from scratch now. Im even going to change into more comfortable clothes in order to dig deeper, reach further and FIND IT! And yes – Im praying too. God is good.

  9. At 60, I’m finally finding the discipline to quit playing “where’s the (fill in the blank) today.” As it becomes apparent that there is less and less time available on this planet to do those things left unaccomplished on the “bucket list” I find it interesting to improve my consistency at being consistent. Interesting? Now if I could just find my mouse…

    • So funny… but yeah must be consistent! =)

    • Patti

      Several yeas later, and I wanted to share that the 60 thing may be a key… we’re tired. Seriously, I finally created “a habit” for my keys… I consciously clipped my keys to my purse strap each time I plled them out of the ignition in the car. I am happy to say that I clip them on for the most part, without giving them a thought and I’ve got so much more free time to find the latest thing I’ve “laid down” without much thought. 🙂 Now if I could only convince my 2 children (in their 20’s) tof the benefits of doing the same!!!

  10. Robbie

    I recently did a personality test and one of the questions was I better at starting something or finishing it? I love starting new things, I loathe the end of anything-the cleaning up, the closure, the return to baseline. There is something crazy about keeping the activity alive by not truly finishing it. It leads to a lot of negative things like losing things. For example, I go out to dinner with friends-starting something I like, I get home glowing in the delicious food and company and toss my keys wherever-not wanting to break the spell of the evening with compulsively and deliberately hanging my keys on the hook. The next morning, when the glow of yesterday is gone, the harsh reality of the thrown keys brings shame and amazement at my careless act-then I do it again next time. I think it is an act of laziness on my part, somewhere in the back of my mind equating putting things away to some kind of a nerd who alphabetizes his spices. Funny thing is I am a nerd of sorts. Since my natural bent is to start things enthusiastically and finish poorly, I am trying to focus on finishes….the starts will take care of themselves.

    • Robbie – I can so relate to your reply. This is EXACTLY the reason I lose things and/or do not put them in their proper place. I love the way you put it – “not wanting to break the spell of the evening with compulsively and deliberately putting my keys on the hook.” I also so appreciate your challenge that this is laziness. For me, it is also neglecting to serve my husband, who receives love through acts of service (like putting things away). This whole conversation (and especially your reply) has given me more insight into what I am needing at the moment I fling the keys (or leave a door open, or throw my clothes on the floor instead of putting them away). And so I will try to turn to Jesus at that moment – looking to Him for the comfort my soul needs at the end of a good time, and for that spirit of love, power and self discipline only He can provide me! Thanks again.

  11. Minty

    i have lost my wallet :((( and i need it NOWWWW

  12. Stephanie

    I too have just realized that I’ve “Lost” my wallet! After spending a half hour searching for it, I’m now drinking my coffee, will jump in the shower, and am hoping and have an inkling that when I’m ready to look for it again it will be obvious to me where I left it.

  13. Stephanie

    I just found my wallet!! After relooking in some of the places I looked before, and hoping I hadn’t lost it outside — I found it on the chair in my “home office”, the one where I usually hang my purse on the back and lay my gloves on the seat. Only this time, it was under a sweater I had worn last time I went out. Ha. I hadn’t misplaced the wallet, so much as the sweater! Anyway, relief! And yes, I looked in the freezer too. Good luck to all you wallet searchers, till next time!

  14. matteo

    Oh my gosh……… thank you guys so much! i have been looking for my wallet for 2 weeks now, there are/were all of my $, $240 in it (if your wondering why thats all my money its because i’m 12). you guys inspired me because it was “somewhere safe”

  15. Hi

    Firstly thank you for such an excellent article! I lost my wallet this morning and mid frantic search began to think that it was necessary to stay calm. I punched in I lost my wallet into google and your article came up.

    I read it and the thought of my wallet drifted…

    I found it later and now am going to be thinking about your article and the reason I lost my wallet today.


  16. Great article!! My boyfriend is the one with this problem and I keep telling him to just put his keys, wallet etc in the same place everytime, and so it will be there to find…or it makes it easier to look for if it’s really lost.

    After happening to me a couple of times, I promised to always have my keys and wallet inside my purse when I’m outside, and in it’s given place when I’m home….almost never fails…now when I actually loose my wallet after being so organized and committed to have it always in place, it’s mainly becasuse of a stress related moment that blocks the focus one has on these things. At the end we are only humans… =)

  17. thankfulabsentminded

    I know this is an old post- but got to share a lost wallet experience. I was at a tent city base in the desert of Kuwait waiting to go into Iraq. I woke up early and realized I had lost my wallet. I knew I had used one of the many portapotties in the middle of the night. I couldn’t remember which one I used. While I was searching every portapottie I could find- I saw a group of soldiers huddled near one talking about something. Sure enough – it was my wallet. Talk about answered prayer!! Here’s to the honest medic who found it- thanks.

  18. stress

    Goodness me I need my walet, I’m hoping if I forget about it for long enough I will stumble apon it somewhere. I need my ID to go out clubbing for my boyfriends birthday tomorrow night, and I really don’t want to take my passport as I’m travelling overseas in a week and I don’t know what I’d do if I lost or damaged that on a drunken night out!

    Gosh I hope I find it. Prayers for you to find you walets too!

  19. gepsimos

    tell the Lord to give me my wallet back

  20. SkyEllwood

    I have lost my wallet too!
    It has absolutely no reason to be lost.
    I remember noticing it in my pocket when I walked to the front door…but that was two days ago. I can’t find it anywhere, it’s driving me mad!
    It’s times like these when I wish that you could google your life instead of just the internet, which is how I turned up here.
    I’m hoping I’ll magically find it tomorrow when I wake up…

  21. Dylan

    Thought I’d find my wallet after reading this but nope! It’s gotta be somewhere! Its funny that after you stop lookIng for something, you find it. I wish I could access 100% of my brain so I could remember where I misplaced it.

  22. Brie =]

    =D. So glad I came here. I just found mine… Maybe it’s cause your stories made me laugh and I finally calmed down enough to look and stop throwing random things around my house.

  23. K.I.

    I envy you guys who found your wallets.. I’ve been searching for hours, I can’t sleep looking for mine.

  24. AJ

    Okay. So there are 4 things that could have happened to my wallet: It is somewhere in my house, is in my car (where I’ve searched nearly every inch of it), fell out of my car when I went to Taco Bell (I was about to eat in my car, then realized I needed some taco sauce, so I went back inside the restaurant and maybe my wallet fell out if it was on my lap), or fell out of my car when I arrived home (it’s not there so maybe someone stole it). So the last time I saw it was when I paid for Taco Bell in the drive thru. I checked my car multiple times, my house (especially around where my pants that had my wallet was), and I even asked Taco Bell employees if there was a missing wallet reported there. So now I’m thinking someone stole it if my wallet fell out of my car at Taco Bell or at my house. I need some advice! I’m not sure if I checked thoroughly enough but I feel like I have! And my instincts tell me that it DID NOT fall out of my lap when I exited my car (wouldn’t I have noticed or was I too hungry too notice at Taco Bell?) I’m freaking out and it has been 18 hours since I last saw it. Help please.

    • stephanie gerson

      Go back to Taco Bell and ask for the Manager. It’s also worth calling the local police station, to see if someone found it on the driveway at Taco Bell and turned it in to the police. If you can’t find it after 24 hours, it may be time to start calling your credit card companies and replacing your liscence. Did you look in your Taco Bell bags? Good luck!

    • Patti

      If you haven’t found it by now… check on the floor between the other car seat and door… that’s one of the 1st. places I look during times like yours… it saves time. 🙂

  25. Steve

    Today. Woke up early. Went to friendlies, did my usual possession check entering and leaving. Come home put it down somewhere. Go to an anniversary for my aunt and uncle remember I forgot my wallet. Check the usual spots. Not there…Now i’m thinking like there is no tomorrow before i tear the house up looking for it. And similar to most people usual fire drill…not gonna tell parents because they know this drill. lol

  26. tarita miller

    I had a lost wallet experience today,,,,The last place I remembered my wallet was at the post office. I left the post office and went to get something to eat. I went to the drive thu window to pay for my food.I looked under the arm rest in my truck(a very small compartment for a wallet only). Hard to overlook if wallet was there?….. The arm rest is where I keep my wallet faithfully. I mean… always… even when im not in the truck. I panicked, because I was convinced, I had left my wallet at the post office. I went back to post office to find out it wasn’t there. While standing in post office I called the bank to cancel debit cards. Then I went back to truck and looked again under the arm rest. My wallet was there! I don’t understand how this happen. HAPPY, CONFUSED, AND CONCERNED.

    • Claudius

      I lost a wallet that contained my driving licence, debit cards and ids on 30th October 2013 and had to go through the rigorous process of replacing all items. Now same date this year (2014) I have lost another wallet with all the replaced docs in it. This is spooky and I’m so worried. I can’t even sleep.

  27. O dear LORD! Im both frustrated and praying that i get my handbag with everything in it back. I keep forgetting things big and small- even when i keep it in places that i should be remembering, i cant find it. The last straw? losing my handbag with wallet- cc, cash, DL – all of that and more in a food court..thats closed now ..LORD i pray i get it back intact..My husband is mad at me, my kid is upset because i’ve been crying my eyes out..this isnt the first time im losing/ forgetting important things!! and im only 41…
    I googled and landed here… dunno whether to smile or sigh even!!
    I dunno what to do with me! But GOD dear LORD i pray and also will pray for all those struggling like me 😦

    • Steph

      Hi Crispus Mom — Why don’t you get a new handbag — but instead of one with short straps that you keep putting down on a counter, or on a seat, or on the table or the floor — get a large cross-body style shoulder bag: one that has a big enough “bag” for you, but with such long straps that you put it over your right shoulder and let it swing at your left hip (or the opposite). And then Never Take it Off until you get home again! Just keep it on your body! These are great bags, and it will help you to not “lose” your bag again. Good luck! Go back to the Mall in the morning, and go to the Lost and Found Office.

      • crispusmom

        Praise the LORD! i got my handbag back with all things intact! a kind shopowner, kept it safe until we could go get it the next day! I cant thank GOD enough for all HIS goodness unto me! and yes Steph, that was a most brilliant suggestion you gave – to change this holdall handbag and get a big enough cross-body style shoulder bag. Im doing just that.
        Thank you all v much.

  28. Steph

    Yahoo CrispusMom — so glad the shopowner had your bag and kept it safe and sound. Happy Holidays! Stephanie

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