Lost Keys and What They Taught Me - Betty Streff
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Lost Keys and What They Taught Me

Lost Keys and What They Taught Me

“We lose keys and we find keys and we get new keys. We just have to find the ones that unlock the right doors.” ~Dan Groat


Lost keys! Horrors! Have you ever locked your keys in your car or locked yourself out? Bigger question. Is there anyone out there who has not lost a set of keys? If it’s never happened to you, take a bow. You impress me. A lot. My jackrabbit brain isn’t always in the same place as I am. So yes, I have done it all. Twice, I have lost an entire set of keys but the story of the one that came back is the one that taught me some key things.


Story of the comeback keys


Several years ago (maybe six or seven?) my entire set of keys went AWOL while staying with grandkids. I panicked. We tore the house apart. We looked in the trash, the hamper, you name it. Gone. It was embarrassing. With my tail between my legs, I had to admit to losing a key to the public institution where I worked. No remote. Gym membership and loyalty cards had to be replaced. Yes, you’re right, it was dumb.

About a year ago our daughter was cleaning closets and sorting things for charity. While checking pockets, there they were. The fugitive keys, captured at last. When she returned them to me I could only guess what happened. Did I borrow my son-in-law’s jacket when I let the dogs out? Stick them in the wrong coat pocket? I picture a CSI type playback video of what went down. I’ll never know, but they were back.

And you know what? I no longer drove the car, lived in the apartment or belonged to that gym. Bob’s Super Store was no longer in business and it had been a long time since I worked where the institutional key fit. Everything on the key chain was now useless to me. What made me panic now made me laugh! Today, the runaway keys are a keepsake and a metaphor for life.


What lost keys taught me

  • Panic is a rotten response to any situation. In the years since the key episode, I have learned to take a more mindful approach, get centered, and still my thoughts. Then, I start thinking through everything I did, like rewinding and replaying a movie. It often leads me right to the solution!


  • “Things” can always be replaced. Oh sure, it’s a pain. It’s inconvenient. But remember, it’s all just “stuff” and there will always be workarounds, replacements, and option B. Option B, by the way, is a fantastic  book by Sheryl Sandberg about facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy! Check it out.


  • The things that work now won’t always work. What can be said about keys can be said about jobs, relationships and the way we go about things. Life is fluid and never stands still. We, too, must remain flexible, limber and open to new things, new ideas, new strategies.


  • Life only moves in one direction. Forward! Live in the moment, let go of the past!


“I am thankful the most important key in history was invented. It’s not the key to your house, your car, your boat, your safety deposit box, your bike lock or your private community. It’s the key to order, sanity, and peace of mind. The key is ‘Delete’.” ~Elayne Boosler


This post was sort of a big deal for me because it was the 100th time I shared a message from my heart with my readers. I appreciate everyone who spends time reading what I write but I admit that I cherish the ones who take time to comment! It’s the fuel that keeps me going. Have a blessed day, see you soon.




  • Paul Hadland

    Brilliantly funny and on point. I will no longer panic when I lose my keys after reading this article. I will just wait for my wife to say: Again?
    Thank God for ATMs because I use to lose my check book…now where is that wallet. (I was Stan’s pastor in Colorado) keep up the writing.

    July 13, 2017 at 10:28 am
  • Kimberly Rebman

    Congratulations on our 100th blog. Always enjoy reading them.

    July 13, 2017 at 4:34 pm
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