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.

 

A
Suggestion

 

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.