Playing Lost and Found
Do you like to play lost and found? Most people don’t like it much, especially if it’s their stuff that is lost. Even so, the found part of lost and found works okay for most everyone. And therein lies the problem.
For those of us who can’t see, losing our stuff is frequently followed by not finding our stuff. Instead of lost and found, we are left with lost and still searching, or too often, lost and quit looking. Nothing to do but get along without our stuff or wait until someone who can see happens by to find it for us.
So what’s the deal? Why can’t we find our stuff? Like everyone else, those of us who can’t see don’t put things away when we are finished using them, lay thing down but forget where, toss things on a table or chair without thinking about it, or move things to a new location but don’t remember where that is.
Of course, the issue when we can’t see is that looking around for stuff is not an option. That brings us back to BATS, discussed in an earlier episode of Blind How. “What do BATS have to do with it?” you ask. BATS is our Best Alternative To Seeing, and since we can’t look around, we definitely need an alternative.
I sure hope you aren’t expecting a quick and easy solution to the lost but not found problem. I won’t like it much, if I have to disappoint you.
Put Things Away
First comes the obvious. Put things away after you use them. Don’t just lay things down or toss them on a table or chair without giving it a moment’s thought. Only move things if necessary. Don’t forget where you put things. If you live with other people, ask them to try to put things back where they got them. And most important, ask them not to move your stuff or other things like furniture or equipment.
That’s it: your Best Alternative To Seeing, when it comes to lost and found. Just work at getting better and better at not losing or misplacing things. I think the most helpful element here for your skill set is remembering that “I’ll put it away later,” isn’t going to cut it for those of us who can’t see.
I do have one suggestion for finding your stuff though. When something is not where you expect it to be, expand the search area a little. It may have just gotten bumped or pushed away some. But before you just keep expanding the search area, stop for a minute to think about exactly where it was the last time you had it or used it. It’s probably still there.
Will you still lose or misplace things? Indeed, you will. The good news is that, with practice and attention, lost and not found will frustrate you less often.
If you think this is unrealistic and too much work, you can hope someone who can see always comes along to find your stuff for you. But even if they do, if you don’t remember where you put it, they may not be able to find it either.
No, I’m not going to just leave it at that. Despite our best effort, we still have times when we can’t find our stuff. Fortunately, there are a few more tips that will add to your finding my stuff skill set. I’ll be sharing them. But just know that not losing or misplacing your stuff in the first place is definitely your Best Alternative To Seeing.