There was a burglary in our street today. It was right across the road from our house. I found out because my daughter rang to tell me there were four police cars in attendance. Four! Sounds a lot doesn’t it.
As is my way, I immediately went into to panic mode mentally walking through the house to check all the doors and window. In my mind I closed and locked every door, looked behind every blind to wind in every window. I even thought through the sky light in the kitchen, the manhole to the ceiling cavity and, believe it or not, the dog door. When I‘d finished with the inside I walked outside to barricade gates with pot plants and lawnmowers.
This took me about two minutes while sitting at my desk. Not satisfied I then started to think of all the things I should have done to equate my home to Fort Knox – deadbolts on all the windows, bars on them as well, padlocks on the gates, alarms and cameras. Admittedly it was a slow day at work but still my imagination went wild.
Then to tip my panic to hysteria I remembered the dogs. What if they got out? A burglar wouldn’t want dogs to alert the neighbours. What if they got hurt? God forbid my friendly fluff balls would actually protect the house. More likely they’d lick a robber till he screamed for mercy.
So that was another five minutes gone. By the tenth minute I’d checked the local police website, worked out burglary stats for my suburb are really bad, checked the weather (because a good storm is always a deterrent) and got a quote for contents insurance. I know I should have insurance but until today I couldn’t find a way to afford it. Now, I’ll eat baked beans for a month to make it happen.
So after thirty minutes I found I was back working and not quite so distracted by this bit of news.
I don’t know if it was a sign of my boredom at work today or a genuine concern that I allowed myself to get so worked up. Being burgled is quite a frightening concept especially as a woman living on my own. I get such a sense of security from the dogs that I rarely turn my mind to the idea that maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t be very protective. They bark a lot which would turn most burglars away but if the intent is strong enough and they saw the dogs, they wouldn’t be very scared.
During all this, and especially when I was looking at the quote, I realised that the things that are really important to me couldn’t be replaced. Everything else is just an item. A piece of jewellery that is sentimental rather than valuable, an original watercolour that couldn’t be purchased again, the photos on a laptop or a statue bought many years ago in a tiny village in England. Insurance reduces the financial impact of a theft but won’t replace what really matters to me.
So tomorrow I’ll go buy a bat, I’ll get the contents insurance sorted, make sure EVERY door and window is barricaded then go to work and hope I come home to everything intact.
The good life? Appreciating the important things.