In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Seek and ye shall not find

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

If I was looking for my passport, I'd have found it right where it is not supposed to be - in my top desk drawer. However, I am not looking for my passport. I am looking for a check. Not just any check, but a check a friend asked me to mail to the IRS. This is not the type of check that can be misplaced (doesn't that sound better than lost?). I put the check in a nice safe place until it was time to mail it to the IRS, and now I can't remember which nice safe place I put it in.

My first safe place is in my top desk drawer. I have a little pile of business cards in there held together by a rubber band. I frequently put checks underneath the rubber band because it makes a satisfying snap. But, there is no check. There is, however, my social security card. Hmm : I looked for that weeks ago and here it is!

I interrupt this column to bring you a special message. Just now as I type this, my dear sweet son, who does not know the subject of this week's column, informed me I should teach a class entitled, "The Art of Forgetting." Amazingly, he is now old enough to fully appreciate the Zen master mother qualities I possess.

The second safe place is in one of two white baskets on the floor by my desk. The reason they are not in my desk is because I need to see the file folders labeled: "Urgent!" "Extra Urgent!" and "Drop Everything and Do it Now!" files. While flipping through these files I find:

- The order form for my son's school pictures.

- Stamps.

- Last year's adorable Christmas card photo that needs to framed.

- Those darn padded envelopes I needed but could not find a week ago. But, no check.

- The third safe place is a small cubby in the kitchen, which on a good day holds my car keys. A search of the cubby turns up a nine-volt battery I've been meaning to put in the smoke detector, Post-It Notes, a small flashlight and the head of a Barbie doll.

No check.

As I begin to dig through the recycling containers, a frightening thought pops into my mind: Did I throw the check out with the Christmas wrapping paper?

Isn't it cool how wrapping paper doubles as a vacuum cleaner, sucking up warranties, receipts, gift cards and the all-important directions for mailing back a shirt that is two sizes to big? This Hoover-like function is why astute households like mine do not dispose of Christmas wrapping paper until June 1, 2013.

Based on hours of personal research and nonscientific observation I can say with absolute certainty that there is no point in looking for something. None. I guarantee you will not find it. As soon as you start to search, a stress-related vision thing occurs that blinds you from seeing the object. So, stop right now. Adopt the Zen-like attitude I possess. If you have trouble, pre-register for my soon-to-be-offered class, "The Art of Forgetting."

P.S. I finally did find the check. In the middle of the night I awakened and knew exactly where it was: My fourth safe hiding place, which I will not reveal in case the FBI is reading this column.

P.S.S. Note to self: I moved the passport into my safe deposit box at the bank and my social security card is in my wallet.

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