sometimes life gets personal with you


I have always said I thought life had a warped sense of humor. It certainly can play tricks on you.

And just when you are certain of something, well,  uncertainty enters the room.

And, of course, as soon as uncertainty settles in something certain happens.


Sometimes life gets personal.

Sometimes it goes beyond being violated.  Its just … well … personal.

And that happened to me last Friday.


I have faced physical crap, emotional crap, friend and family crisis and pretty much the tyical year-to-year crap & angst & challenges & issues that a normal non-boring life throws at you.

And then it got personal.

In a big sweeping way.

At work of all places.

Last Friday.

On Friday at lunch while I had stepped out for one of my rare out-of-office lunches someone snuck into our offices, and mine specifically, and stole my work laptop.

Oh.  And my personal laptop (sitting on the desk beside it).

Oh.  And had the balls to gather up all the power cords.

Oh.  And stuff them both into my backpack and steal my backpack.

From the office.

(a moment of silence)


So do I back stuff up? Sure.  So many ways its scary.

The laptops? A pain to lose.  Quasi-expensive (as I wrangle whether home insurance covers work loss).


Work has a replacement laptop in my hands. Most work stuff is back up and running (by the way … if you keep stuff only on your desktop as you work-in-progress things it is trickier but you don’t lose them).

The personal laptop?  A little more painful.  But not to the deep personal gut punch level yet.

And I got lucky here (in a warped – but slightly expensive – lucky sort of way).

My hard drive on my old ibm thinkpad started dying 2 weeks ago and I had decided to just go ahead and replace the entire PC.

That’s lucky? (you think).

Well.  Yeah.  While I had a ‘less than one week old awesome 5g laptop’ stolen I still had the old thinkpad dying hard drive to re-access the old files and emails.   With one numb trip to BestBuy late on Friday afternoon after filling out a police report and I had a new laptop (of which I am typing on even as you read) and the old hard drive and 98% of what I had on that nifty new laptop is back up again.

The personal side of the stolen PC? Yeah.  It got a little deeper. It had a lot of personal emails and files on it that even though nothing embarrassing or stupidly high security risk it still represented a glimpse into my personal life should someone invest the energy scanning through everything.

I just didn’t like it.

Everyone at the office talks about “feeling violated.” Well. Maybe.  Having my personal laptop is probably the closest.  But violated doesn’t seem right.  Pissed? Yeah.  Really aggravated? Yup. For stealing my personal laptop I would simply punch the motherfucker in the face without hesitation and probably be over it.


Then there is the personal gut punch.

The one that kind of numbs you.

The backpack.

And from the workplace (so it seems to rock you a little more because of all places it seems like you could relax on a personal security level).

Ah.  The backpack.

Here is where “backing up things” goes awry.

Passport. Gone.

I-pod. Gone.

Notebook with all my handwritten business notes from the past 2 months. Gone.

Journal which I keep with me at all times ¾ full of notes to myself on things to write and words I like and quotes and … well … just random thoughts that a writer writes down because you never know when they will be handy.

And then all the random little stuff you figure out that you need as you wander around day-to-day so you stash in little pockets of your backpack. Gone.

The backpack itself (worn enough so it melds to your shoulder perfectly).  Gone.

And the gut punch.

The big one.

The 8 thumb drives in their nice little padded case.

“Aw (you say), thumbdrives are 20 bucks each to replace, who cares.”


There was my true back up.

One never really thinks that their laptop, backpack and thumbdrives will all be in the same place at the same time. (one should rethink that)

Everything I have ever written. Gone.

2 years of writing. Gone.

Everything that I had written in draft form. Gone.

The two magazine articles being considered for publishing. Gone.

The book chapters I had already written. Gone.

The blog articles (about 50 or so) queued up to be tightened up and be published.  Gone.

Poetry and songs I had written (or work in process). Gone.

My pictures.  Gone.

Note the consistency here.


I can replace a backpack.

I can replace even the passport.

Words and thoughts? Whew.  I get numb even thinking about how to do the replacing of that.


It reminds me of the Alanis Morrisette story where her purse gets snatched and it has all the songs from Jagged Little Pill in it. And she got the music back.  And you wonder what Jagged Little Pill would have been like if she had lost the music and the thinking and had to recreate.

Better? (hard to believe because that is an awesome cd).  Worse? Who knows.

Did I have a Jagged Little Pill sitting in my writings? Shit.  I doubt it. But it was my words and my thoughts.


That was the part of all this that as time settled things down ended up punching me in the gut.

Life got personal with me.

It took words and thoughts I had invested a lot of time gathering and writing and rethinking and, well, took them away.

Can I replace them? Sure.  I guess so. Maybe not exactly but given enough time and effort I could probably remap out the truly important stuff.


The time.

Ok.  I am not gonna go down that path.  That is a downward spiral in itself.


Maybe this is just a life test of character. Or maybe a test of resiliency.

Or possibly even a test Life is giving me with regard to resolve (re-writing something even better).

Or maybe this is just a time when Life reminds you that sometimes things suck and you move on.

I guess this is one of my rare posts where I don’t really have a lesson to share or a learning thought or even a life lesson.

There is no real lesson here.

There is just the jagged little pill to swallow.

And move on.

Written by Bruce