The important things

You know the game/exercise you play with your significant other? “If there was a fire and you could only take one thing with you, what would you take?” Mike and I had a real-world trial run of that this morning.

Our fire alarm jerked us awake at 5:25am . Surprisingly (at least to me), we both stayed super calm. The first thing we did was go and get Louise, who was also calm, just confused. We quickly took turns getting dressed, made Louise a bottle, put her coat on, wrapped her in a blanket and scooted out with her in her stroller. We decided to go get breakfast instead of waiting around, and as we were pulling out I realized I didn’t have my phone. When I ran back inside to grab it, Mike said “please get my USB drive with my dissertation on it.”


I had not even thought about the material stuff. We were pretty sure we weren’t in any danger since we didn’t see or smell smoke, but still. When the fire alarm goes off, you should assume something is going down.

So I quickly started thinking about what I wanted to bring. I realized all I really wanted was my hard drive, for the pictures. That’s it. All I wanted, out of everything in our apartment, was memories.

So I grabbed his dissertation, the hard drive, and my phone, and headed back downstairs. And we went and ate doughnuts at 5:45am.

Mike doughnuts

Look at her tired little face. She was such a good sport.

Louise in pajamas

We came back to a perfectly normal, safe apartment. I’ve added one more thing to our list – our important documents (all of our birth certificates, SS cards, etc), which are at the front of our filing and super easy to access. I’ll probably amend my list further down the road. But man, it felt good to grab a couple of things and leave with a clear heart. It’s fun to be material sometimes, and it’s easy to get caught up in things. But at the end of the day, they’re just as easy to walk away from.


[Oh, and for those of you thinking we’re cold-hearted for not bringing/thinking about Nietzsche: we have always known that unless there is a real and imminent danger, trying to wrangle a panicky cat into a carrier is pretty much the most futile effort possible. We know he could take care of himself in almost any emergency.]


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