Gratitude And The Lost iPhone

I purchased an iPhone this past September, an iPhone SE to be exact. (Here’s the post, if you want some background.)

This past Tuesday, I went out with some girlfriends and all was good, until the ride home. Two of us were lucky enough to get a ride home. We made our first stop to drop off friend #1. 

And that’s when it happened. 

In transitioning from the back seat to the front passenger seat, I lost my phone. I realized it halfway between that parking lot and home. When I realized it was nowhere to be found (purse, pockets, floor) we pulled into the closest parking lot. Nothing.

My girlfriend was kind enough to drive back to the scene of the lost phone and there was no sign of it in that parking lot either.

What a great friend I have. I mean driving me halfway home, going back to the scene of my stupidity and then driving me home again. How nice!

On the drive back home, though subdued, I experienced a strange feeling: gratitude.

Yes, I was grateful.

I was grateful that I’d been smart enough to set my phone on "autolock" so that none of my personal data could be stolen, at least not immediately.

I was grateful that I had the money in the bank to go buy another one within a few days, making this loss nothing more than an inconvenience.

I was grateful that I had made a sensible purchase and had not spent as much money as I had initially wanted to (by buying the iPhone 7).

I was grateful for my friend’s willingness to help me out, an irritation on a weeknight, to be sure.

I was also grateful for my calmness. I was disappointed, but I felt my glass was more than half full in this situation. 

The lost phone was:

  • A disappointment, but not a disaster.
  • An inconvenience, but not a significant impact on my life.
  • An embarassment, but not a crisis.

I went home intent on addressing the immediate need to use the “Find My iPhone” app on our iPad to hopefully get the help of a good samaritan to get my device back. I remotely pinged the device it to alert someone of its location and displayed a number to call on the lock screen. Then I waited, convinced I should not get my hopes up.

Within fifteen minutes of getting home, my girlfriend texted that she’d found it—thanks to the better lighting her parking garage afforded her—and that she could return it the next day on her way to work.

I was elated. Not only did I get my phone back, but I also have a better appreciation for what it means to have “enough”, a topic I’ve tackled previously.

This moment helped crystalize my definition of "enough": having enough of a good thing when it comes to belongings, but still having the means to pick myself up if I lose something of value to me. 

Enough means:

  • Disappointment, but not worry
  • A loss, but not a crisis
  • Slight embarassment at the mishap, but no loss of composure
  • Some regret at not having been more careful, but without the self-loathing
  • Somewhat deflated, but with the satisfaction of knowing I haven’t overextended myself    

I would say that the biggest lesson for me from this situation is that if I buy something that I find too expensive to replace if I were to lose it, break it or have it stolen, it’s a purchase that’s beyond my means. Enough for me means having everything we need and enough to address loss of any kind that’s part of “life happens”.

I appreciate this feeling. This situation was a blessing in disguise and I’m not likely to forget it for a long time to come. (Whether I’d found the phone or not, I already felt that way on the drive home.) 

And to my girlfriend that evening, a big thank you for your generosity. You were calm and considerate and those are qualities that make me so thankful for our friendship of many years. I look forward to seeing you over the holidays and, be warned, you’re in for a great big HUG.

To you, dear F2P reader, if I were to wish you one thing this Holiday Season, it's this: to have enough or to discover what enough means to you.


And for those of you who made it to the end of this post, the iPhone was just the most memorable of many mishaps over the past 48hrs:

I needed a ride back home that night because as I got ready to leave for the event, started the car and cleared off the snow, the left windshield wiper on my car broke off. I was lucky enough to get a ride to the event and a ride home. How lucky to have had both, and from two different people!

But wait…there’s more.

Yesterday, the day after the get together, as I was driving to my hair dresser’s shop, my windshield cracked right before my eyes. In five places, originating from the middle of the base, up and to each side, and nothing had touched it that I could see or hear. Bizarre! 

I felt grateful that this was, again, only an inconvenience. And today I called the autoglass repair shop and they will take the car in early this afternoon and have it ready by closing time or, at worse, first thing tomorrow. I thought I was going to have to wait until after Christmas for a replacement and drive worried that it would get worse, making the car unsafe to drive to all our family gatherings. 

It’s truly a magical Holiday time for the F2P clan this year. The cost of everything that’s happened (so far)? $251.00. The resulting experiences? Priceless. (Take that MasterCard commercials.)