What Burglary Teaches Me About Life

In the wee hours of this morning we were burgled. 

My husband was due to go on early shift this morning and went downstairs at around 6 a.m. to have breakfast and pick up his laptop for work. To his surprise, the laptop was missing. 

So was mine. 

And the window to my study was open.

Two small holes had been enough to perforate the super-duper PVC double glazed wonder. Ten minutes had been enough to grab a number of objects – and discard unwanted items outside in the snow.  The biggest loss was my husband’s car (for practical and material purposes). The biggest loss to me emotionally was my (as always, spectacularly unbacked-up) laptop… and the sense of security and well-being that I had in this house.

I’ve been running around dealing with police, house insurance, car insurance, window repairers all morning.  But as I repeated the story over and over again (in French – nothing like real-life scenarios to practise your crime fiction language skills), I thought about how fortunate we were that the children hadn’t woken up and gone downstairs for a glass of water during the night to come face-to-face with the burglars

And then I moved beyond my immediate, small-minded concerns.  I thought that we are fortunate enough to have an ancient desktop on which we back up the family pictures (and on which I am typing now – it’s very slow but it works), that we do have a second car, that we can live without the cash that was stolen from my husband’s wallet, that no bank cards or passports were stolen etc. etc.  I suppose what I am saying is that we are first world, comfortably well off, reasonably healthy, and we can recover from our losses.  Many people in other parts of the world have no such choices; they are forced out of their homes and dispossessed in 10 minutes flat of all their belongings.

So we are one of the lucky few. And would have been luckier still if I had backed up all of my work as often as I should. Let that be your lesson – the minute  you say ‘I should back up more often’, do it!

21 thoughts on “What Burglary Teaches Me About Life”

  1. Yikes! So glad you and your family are okay. I would have nightmares about my children possibly confronting someone who was robbing us although they are old enough now, they would probably try and tackle them. (They are 13 and almost 16, and yes, I know that’s not a good idea.) Much luck as you get things settled with the insurance and police.

  2. Marina Sofia – I am so very sorry to hear of what happened to you! My husband and I were burgled twice, so I completely understand what you’re going through. You are fortunate not to have been hurt, but still – how awful!!! I wish you well as you cope…

  3. Sorry for your losses…and plaudits for your attitude. I was one of those dispossessed in ten minutes, and can say with assurance that your safety and family’s well being is everything. Nothing compares and everything else can be replaced.
    Rotten scoundrels.

  4. What a terrible experience. I hope you all manage to get back to some sense of normality and security, hard as that must seem right now, before long.
    I hope also you haven’t lost too much valuable work on your laptop.
    From time to time I email myself my work. Then it exists in hyper-space and, hopefully, cannot be stolen, or erased.

  5. How horrible. I’m so sorry to hear this– and amazed that you can hold on to your basic gratitude throughout. It seems that every year, around xmas, there’s a spike in crime in our neighborhood, I don’t know why–an exacerbation between the haves and the have-nots, the cold weather and the materialism/greed brings out the need in us all– I don’t know. But how un-Scroogy of you to find something good in it.

  6. So sorry to hear about that. Having property stolen is a hassle, but it’s nothing next to losing your sense of safety. I hope you find it back soon enough.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear this! Burglaries are such an assault on our senses and a disgusting invasion of privacy. Good for you for seeing past the loss and irritation and, yes, the bottom line is you are all safe and life will go on. Thank goodness for that.

  8. I am so sorry for this horrible occurrence – it is indeed awful to think of the invasion of privacy and the unsettled feeling of strangers coming into your home. I agree, the main thing of course is your children’s health and safety and your own. Still, let yourself be mad and upset. I always think if we allow ourselves to go there…we can then genuinely move through it.

    Sending many virtual hugs of encouragement and support.

  9. Wow, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank God no one was hurt. The uneasiness of knowing someone was in your home while you slept is unnerving. You are very blessed that all they took were material things.

    Ugh, about the information on the lap top. Hopefully you didn’t lose everything. I lost a complete manuscript on my computer once. I cried for days because I didn’t back it up before it crashed. I week later I signed up for Carbonite and now I don’t worry about my information getting lost. As for my novels/short stories…they’re on a thumb drive that I carry with me everywhere as well as on backup. I learned my lesson the hard way.

    Big hugs. I’m so sorry you had to go through this.

  10. Oh no, I am so sorry you had to go through this … few years ago my house was burglared in the plain daylight while I was at work … it is horrible feeling of being invaded and violated.

    Thankfully nobody got hurt and that is the main thing.

    Take Care,

  11. How devastating, personally as well as the work lost. I am so sorry to hear this. I recently started using cloud storage and cannot recommend it enough. Now I don’t stress about losing or damaging my thumb drive. I was treating it like a gold nugget.

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