I have a special system for handling my wallet stuff. After a friend’s wallet was stolen, with four friends sitting right there, I changed the way I organize my wallet items.
My backpack has an outside zipper that opens a small side pocket, and a top zipper that opens the entire bag. The outer pocket is far more vulnerable, but also more convenient. So in that pocket I keep a zippered pouch that holds my change, some cash for the day, my subway card, and my bank card. Tucked deep inside a side pocket in the main bag I keep a small wallet with two credit cards, my insurance cards, my driver’s license, and my AAA card.
My aim is to avoid going into my credit-card wallet very often, so that I’m less likely to lose it, and to keep it inaccessible, so it’s less likely to be stolen.
I always keep this wallet in exactly the same place, so when it was missing, I was pretty worried. But even though I was anxious, I was comforted by my set-up. It would’ve been pretty tough for someone to steal that wallet, and given what I’d been doing the last few days, it was unlikely that I’d lost it. I hurried home and found it right away. When I’d thrown my backpack on a chair, it had slid out.
The incident did show me that I didn’t have a clear idea of what to do if the wallet had been gone. So this morning I typed up a list of its contents and the numbers to call if it went missing. I’m going to do the same thing tonight for the Big Man. That way, if the worst happens, it won’t be a horrible nightmare to try to figure out what’s missing and whom to call.
Finding my wallet gave me a quick surge of joy that dissipated almost immediately. Call this the “lost wallet syndrome”—when you’ve lost your wallet, you think, “If only I could have my wallet back, how happy I would be!” But when you get your wallet back, the delighted relief comes and goes in a flash.
Once again, I’m reminded of one of Life’s True Rules: it’s hard to be grateful for the absence of a problem.
Losing my wallet certainly gave me an entry for my gratitude journal–and of course, it’s a good example of the benefit of keeping a gratitude journal, as trumped up as it sometimes does seem to me.
Here’s Roy Peter Clark’s fabulous list of 50 tools for better writing–very specific and clearly explained. I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way to pull the 50 ways up in a single document, so I can print it out without opening each “tool” individually.