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!