Several days ago, I lost my pen.
It was a gift to me, a fountain pen that I had been using for almost a year and a half.
Then, suddenly, it was gone.
And I wasn’t even able to say goodbye.
To a freaking pen. I felt pained from that moment.
And so, why should you care?
The care we give.
I realized that I relied on my pen, and trusted on it so much.
Before that pen, I had always used what I would call “throwaway pens”, cheap, simple ballpoints that I threw away when the ink ran out, and easily replaceable.
Then, I was gifted this fountain pen, which was a different animal from the other pens I used to use the rest of my life.
And I was so happy with the experience, I’ve never looked back since.
One major difference, was that I had to care for my fountain pen, to get the best results.
With the ballpoints I had before, I didn’t care whether they got lost or ruined. I’d just replace them with a new one. I didn’t care if I had lost it. They were dirt cheap, and it didn’t matter to me what happened to them.
They were replaceable, unimportant, and just a tool to get what I needed to do, done.
Not so with the fountain pen.
Not only was it many, many times more expensive than the cheap pens I used to use, but I had to get used to writing with ink and nib, on being aware if there’s still ink left in the pen, and to refill it.
I had grown to create certain rituals with the fountain pen. How and when to clean it, refill it, where to keep it, how to keep it, where to keep it on me when I didn’t have a pocket, and how to share with others how to use it when people needed to borrow my pen.
Without realizing it, I had grown into a relationship with my pen.
And then…, gone.
One ritual I had was to be aware of where it was on me.
And to always be aware of where I left it last, or where I’m keeping it.
Or else, well, I lose it.
But lose it I did, completely unaware and unknowing.
Last I noticed it was on my shirt, then the next time I needed it and reached for the pen, *poof!*
I couldn’t find it.
I retraced my steps, in the room, going out, going back to the bank, and to the legal office where I last used my pen.
Gone, all gone.
I felt hurt, confused, angry at myself, and saddened by the sudden disappearance of my pen.
I realized that I relied on it, and trusted on it so much.
I was also terribly surprised to fell this way, since it was only a pen.
And the moment I said that, I could feel my gut fighting my thoughts.
No, it wasn’t just a pen.
Have a meaningful relationship.
I remember a line from the book “The Little Prince”, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
“It’s the time you spend on your rose, that makes your rose so important.”
In this case, it was my pen, and the many important relationships I have with my life.
Maybe right now, most of us have a close relationship with our mobile phone. We do everything on it, and slowly, it has come to take a big part of our lives.
Because we waste the most time, on it.
But, do we really care, about these things?
About the people that we spend the most time with?
Care genuinely about those that give us joy.
That’s how it is with things that we care about, with the people, relationship, and memories that give us joy.
But, do we take the time to show them we care?
I was so surprised about my feelings and reaction about losing my pen, that I thought, this must be what it’s like to lose something you cared deeply about.
And that, there are things that you don’t realize you care about, until they’re gone from your life.
Care genuinely about the things that matter most to you, and don’t take them for granted.
Even through small, simple things.
Send small thank you notes.
Say hi to people, and genuinely ask them how they’re doing.
Show them you care.
Care about those that matter most to you.
I’ve heard people say that we should be indifferent to what we have in life, and be prepared to lose them at a moment’s notice.
There’s truth there, but I prefer to make the most of the time you have together, and to let people know that you care for them.
I lost my pen, but I’m thankful that I didn’t lose anything more valuable to me.
Sometimes, it takes a jolt of an event to wake us up from just drifting through life.
What’s something you care deeply about? Please share in the comments and let me know!
For those curious about what pen I used, it’s a yellow Lamy Safari, with a medium nib.