Day 26: The Art of the Bathroom Epiphany

Have you ever misplaced something, and you know without a doubt that it *has* to be somewhere in your house, and yet, you can’t find it anywhere? That happened this weekend with Rollo’s collar. I know it was on the kitchen counter on Thursday afternoon before our Thanksgiving company arrived, but beyond that, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I’d done with it.

I searched all of the usual places, multiple times. The hall table drawer where I keep his leashes? No. The basket in the pantry that holds the dog treats (and other various doggie paraphernalia? Nope. Out in the garage where I’d dumped all of my wet stuff after returning from our rainy walk early Thursday afternoon? Not there, either. Nor was it in the laundry room, my bedroom, my office, or my bathroom. I know, because I checked…multiple times. It was just gone.

It got to the point where I wondered if one of our dinner guests had possibly picked it up…by mistake, of course…certainly not in a “serial killer taking a trophy” kind of way. At least, I hoped not.

This went on all weekend. I would periodically go through the house re-checking all of the places I’d already looked, hoping that it would magically appear, to no avail. Then, it happened. My bathroom epiphany.

Does anyone else do this? I’m sitting there on the throne, minding my own business. I’m not thinking of anything in particular, and certainly not thinking about that missing collar. Suddenly, I have this fleeting memory of driving to the convenience store on Friday afternoon to get myself a caffeinated beverage. I grabbed the thought by the tail and held on tight, before it could get away. Rollo – hating to be left behind – had gone along for the ride. Maybe he hadn’t been wearing his collar when he’d jumped into the back of the car, and I’d instinctively grabbed it and brought it along, just in case. I had no recollection of doing this, but it seemed plausible. I hurriedly finished what I was doing, so I could go check the car.

It was there!

It made me think about how often things like that happen. I’ll be doing something mundane like using the bathroom, taking a shower, or even driving a familiar route, and will suddenly remember where a lost item is, or have a flash of insight that solves a problem I’ve been having. I guess that when you’re performing a task that requires no real thought or concentration, your brain is free to run some higher level problem-solving processes in the background.

So, the next time you can’t find your car keys, try taking a dump, and see if that helps!


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