I misplaced my notebook this morning. This might not seem like such a big deal, but I write everything in that notebook – discussions with co-workers, family members, and residents, phone numbers, passwords, action items, ideas, and…well, everything. That notebook is as much a part of me as my fingernails.
I noticed the notebook was missing when our scheduler asked me a question. I said, “One sec, I have that written in my notebook.” I reached for it, but the notebook was gone.
It was a busy day, the last day before a long weekend. I had deadlines I was scrambling to meet. I didn’t have time to look for a lost notebook. Likewise, I didn’t have time not to have it at hand.
I went searching for it. I retraced my steps since I had arrived at work. I went into every room I had visited that day. I looked under every counter, under every piece of paper, behind every chair I had been sitting in. No book.
When I entered the dining room, one of the health care aides said, “Dave, where’s your notebook?”
Like I said, the notebook is part of my persona. To not have my notebook with me is like not wearing pants. People notice.
Soon, a few of my co-workers were joining me in my quest. I didn’t ask them to help; they just started looking. Several times, I tried to stop and think through my day. Where had I been that I hadn’t yet searched? But I was never able to relax my mind long enough to access that deep part of my memory. The answer was in there, but there was a stream of interruptions. It’s a busy seniors’ home, after all. So I gave in and tried to focus on the work at hand.
I told the helpful co-workers not to worry about it, but just to send good vibes into the universe. The answer was there and it would come to me.
And then, in a quiet moment standing in the winter garden, it finally did come to me. I knew where the notebook was.
I went to the education office. I had only stepped into the room for a second, to grab some data. And there it was, sitting on the table, minding its own business like it didn’t have a care in the world.
I picked it up and opened it. So many words. So many conversations recorded. So many ideas jotted down.
Sure, it might just be a work notebook, but it holds evidence of time that was well spent in the service of our seniors. A chronicle of worthy pursuits. A journal of highs, lows, mistakes, and successes. A story of the seniors’ home that is almost as important as the stories of the residents themselves.
I’m glad I found it.