Where are my contact lenses? Headlamp? Voter registration? ID? And where did my lucky spoon run off to?

These sorts of questions have plagued my existence the past eight months. About two months into my wacky cross-country journey this year, I began using the blender analogy. Take all of my possessions, put them in a giant blender and then spread them randomly across five non-contiguous states in the US and that’s pretty much been my mixed-up world for most of this year.

The moment I learned to laugh at the folly of it all was Memorial Day weekend in the Atlanta airport parking labyrinth.  I carried a soccer-ball-sized jumble of keys and couldn’t remember which car of the three in my rather loose custody that I’d parked in the lot. My own car was in storage in New Mexico and I had rental cars from both Texas and South Carolina. As we approached the lot number printed on my ticket, the bus driver said, “What kind of car?”

“I’m . . . um . . . , ” I consulted the mess of keys with a furrowed brow. “Not sure.”

“Huh, look at that,” the driver guffawed to the entire bus. “She don’t know which car she drove here! Wish I had that problem!” And we all laughed.

From then on, I stopped freaking out about misplaced items.  When I lost my contacts, I just wore my glasses, provided I could locate them, and if not, well, I just walked around blind and laughing. Then I decided that I didn’t really need my headlamp to be my woobie/security blanket any more, and I still haven’t found the darned thing. The voter registration is still in the ether somewhere too, but I was able to find my ID in time to vote, so no harm done. And my lucky spoon that’s traveled at least 10,000 miles? Seems I left it at home this last time, where I discovered it nestled in the silverware drawer upon my return. Lucky for the spoon, ’cause I’m sure I would have lost it somewhere between Tenn-Tucky and Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Although I made light of it, the blender of my life took a toll on me that I didn’t really notice until I got back to LA this past month. I’ve been wound up and overwhelmed because although all the stuff was suddenly in one place again, the blender had pureed everything into a smoothie of confusion. The power drill was found, but where was the charger? My one lonely Smart Wool sock was crying out for it’s long lost mate. I stopped wearing any sort of jewelry about two months ago, for fear that I’d lose some irreplaceable accessory.

The result was that I’ve been on edge and really didn’t even realize why until yesterday. I took a deep breath and came to my storage space/art studio in disguise. My goal? To deconstruct the blender. Two days of climbing ladders, sorting through dirt (yes, dirt) and dumping out about 10 banker’s boxes onto the floor and now I’ve gotten my flotsam of stuff whipped into recognizable and findable shape. Several trips to the Tabernacle Thrift Store and I’ve suddenly got less to worry about. The charger is found, the socks are reunited and tomorrow I plan to don some shiny things – at least one ring and a necklace.

I’ve regained that underlying sense of calm and ease that I lost somewhere on the road earlier in the year. Just in time too, because I’m leaving again very soon, destination to be announced in the coming weeks. And this time, I’m leaving with just my Italian army backpack.