I know it's a grim proposition—getting robbed as a reason to downsize—but last week my home was broken into. I'm honestly over being angry, bitter, and scared when I come home at night, but I do have the need to find a silver lining. After reflecting for a week, there are a few lessons and advice that I can draw from the experience.
They took our iMac, a net book, my wallet, a textbook, a jar of change, a necklace I gave to my wife before our wedding, broke a window latch, dented our siding, and of course took my schoolbag to carry their haul. They had us coming home scared, looking for suspects around our neighborhood, blaming the current state of the economy and totally feeling sorry for ourselves.
But it could have been far worse.
They didn't harm our puppy, didn't come when we were home, and gave us a reason to connect and commiserate with our neighbors - those who were also robbed, and those who were sympathetic. I really don't need more sympathy; our friends have been truly amazing and we have insurance. But I do want to pass on some lessons learned:
- Live with Less: The less you have, the less there is to lose, and it's better on the environment. Honestly, we didn't have much to take. We're both graduate students and live in a tiny house. They just happened to take the objects we use the most.
- Physical Possessions are Replaceable: Life, pets, and memories are not. Back up your photos and your music online. That $20 Flickr subscription? Totally worth it.
- Google Docs saved my semester. I know it's early in the school year but my three weeks of notes were all done in Google Docs, not lost forever on my computer.
- Renters Insurance: Probably worth it. Despite the deductible, it's making this predicament far more palatable.
- Know Your Neighbors: You don't need to be a member of neighborhood watch to be a good citizen. Look out for those in your community, don't be afraid to call 911, and help out your fellow human beings!
(Image: Flickr member Timsamoff licensed for use under Creative Commons)