I LEARNT three valuable lessons last week.
1. Always lock up your valuables.
2. Don’t panic (even when everything says you should).
3. Never lose hope.
I recently had my purse and iPhone stolen. At the Echuca pool of all places – while I was doing laps.
Trying to get fit.
That’ll teach me.
A mother of two went through my swimming bag in front of at least 100 people and took my phone and purse with not a care in the world.
I was not only angry at her, but at myself for leaving my bag out in the open. I actually thought they would be safer by the side of the pool rather than out of sight in the change room.
Plus I’d been doing it for years without incident.
Lesson number one.
By the time I had blocked my card, my thief had gone to Liquorland (priorities obviously), Coles and Big W, spending almost $300 of my hard-earned money.
And then there was my phone.
It had everything in it. Including all my reminders, which meant I would be doomed to walk around aimlessly forever, not knowing where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing.
The horror of it – I was completely lost.
I could quite easily have turned into a sobbing, screaming mess, crying about how unfair life was.
But that was just it.
Life is often unfair.
But crying about it isn’t going to solve anything.
And that’s exactly what I needed to teach my girls who, I could sense, were becoming increasingly anxious about the whole situation as their mother threatened to unravel in front of them.
Poor little Maya thought we would end up destitute and living on the streets before I explained to her that would not be the case.
Ayla was just worried for me.
I needed to show them bad things happen in life and there’s nothing you can do about it except deal with it.
Lesson number two.
So I swallowed the huge lump in my throat and saved my tantrum for another day and did what had to be done.
Reported the theft to police; rang the bank fraud squad to get my money back and a new card and contacted Telstra to block my phone.
Then I went into detective mode – visiting Liquorland to see if we could catch my thief on CCTV buying her much-needed grog before trying the Find My Phone app for the fifth time.
Sure enough, my thief – obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed – turned my phone back on and I managed to pinpoint its exact location.
Thanks to the quick actions of police, my precious iPhone was back in my hot little hands less than 24 hours after it was stolen. And we got her on CCTV.
Unfortunately my purse is still missing, most likely dumped somewhere after she’d taken what she needed.
However, I’m still hoping it will eventually be returned to me.
But through all of this I never thought I would see my phone again, yet here we are.
Lesson number three.
And, as awful an experience as it was, I got a column out of it too (that’s not exactly lesson four but it does go to show that even the darkest cloud might have a little silver lining).