Losing It

It's not easy to report to our jobs and go on with business as usual when problems emerge in our personal lives. The normal daily chores of the work world can seem quite trivial when compared to the bigger picture at home.

Such situations happen more often than we think. It can be anything from a family quarrel to a sick friend in the hospital. Sometimes we take a little time off from work when these things happen, but it never seems like enough.

Right now, I have an unresolved issue in my life that's making it very difficult for me to be productive on the job. I'm going to write about it in this column, because focusing on any other subject right now would be futile.

Something happened during today's lunch break that has stirred up a great deal of confusion, anger and sadness in my life. The short version of the story is: I set my plate down when I was done eating, and now I can't find it anywhere.

I had been sitting in my reclining chair watching television while I was eating. When I finished my meal, I set the plate on the floor next to my chair and continued watching TV. I didn't realize at that moment that I would never see it again.

My first thought when I noticed it was missing was that perhaps I had already brought it to the sink and forgot that I had made the trip, but it wasn't in the sink. Could I have washed it and put it away? Am I that forgetful? No, it wasn't in the cupboard.

I checked to see if I brought it into the bathroom with me without thinking. I checked and rechecked the floor on every side of the chair. I checked to see if I had went to brush crumbs into the garbage and just threw the plate away by mistake. No luck.

Eventually, I had to give up my search and go back to work, but it makes no sense for me to be here at all. How can I concentrate on my job while items in my apartment are vanishing without explanation?

Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. He's less concerned about things disappearing as he is about the potential for them to suddenly reappear. His e-mail address is paul [at] geekprom.com.