I have felt guilty for years about a habit I have until I realized …. it is kind of a superpower! When I lose something but have the gut feeling that it’s nearby, and not truly lost–which, let’s face it, is common for those with ADHD–I tend to wait awhile for it to turn up. Instead of freaking out and spending hours looking for it, as long as I have a workaround, it doesn’t threaten some kind of security, and it isn’t something I need right away, I just … go on with my life. And then…blissfully…I have discovered, thankfully, that things often just …show up later! No extra effort required!
That sounds bizarre, I know, but it also comes with a life of slow travel, as well as the lack of spatial awareness that can accompany ADHD. For example, I noticed a few years ago that I had misplaced my US bank card, but since I hadn’t been to the States or taken it out of my apartment for months, I just used a different card until I came across it in a random desk drawer.
Had I been living in the States, out and about shopping, and often using the physical card, it obviously would have been a bigger issue. But since I didn’t need the card anytime soon, I just chilled out and went about my business.
It can be hard for neurotypical brains to let stuff go, but for those whose minds are wired differently, we may forget that we’ve lost something as quickly as we notice that it’s gone! When I was younger, this caused serious issues and stress for my family and others around me, and I would never claim that the anxiety that accompanied this feeling of failure was great! As I’ve aged, though, I’ve learned what systems work for me (leaving insanely early for work, putting my keys in the same place every time, and living in smaller spaces where most of my things are in my eye line, for example). When I can’t find something I need, as long as it doesn’t immediately affect those around me, I have learned to take a deep breath and let it go. 9/10 times, it comes back around and shows up later–no valuable time lost searching for it.
This doesn’t work for everything, of course; I must always know where my passport is, so I put it back in the same place after every time I must use it for a COVID test here in China (which, until recently, required me to fork it over with each test). On the other hand, I didn’t used to lock my door, and realized after awhile that I wasn’t sure where my keys had gone. Oops! I knew they were somewhere in my place, but it didn’t matter until I realized I would need the USB drive attached to the keys at work in two weeks.
Still, I didn’t tear apart my home to find it, because it wasn’t urgent yet. And sure enough, I came across it when looking for another item days later.
Is it the 100% best practice? Absolutely not! People who don’t constantly misplace things or struggle with disorganization may not find it the best idea, and that’s okay. But it has happened enough that I now appreciate it as a way to “slow my roll,” which is to say, to relax and let life happen in a way that makes it easier.
What about you? Do you ever lose things and let it go until they show up later, or is this a plan for disaster? Do tell ;).