Discover more from Two-Lane Renaissance
The 10-minute Security Code
and the cell signal that's 11 miles away.
During 2020, the main year of the pandemic, I spent a majority of my time looking at every possible option to make major changes in my life. Should I leave my job? Leave West Virginia? Leave central West Virginia? Leave the farm? For most of these questions, the Universe repeatedly answered with a resounding, “No.”
The go-nowhere quest frustrated me, but was a good exercise in reviewing what I value, what I want, and what is realistic for me at my middle age.
Besides, what possible other affordable location could offer seclusion, privacy, vibrant starry skies, minimal noise pollution, garden space, free natural gas, free well water, free reign for chickens, cat, and dogs, a pool, and all my perennials?
But I needed to be reminded. The farm is feral, disorganized, and a giant collection of unfinished and yet-to-be-tackled projects — but it is also a micro-ecosystem I have come to know and love, with benefits and blessings extremely hard to find anywhere else.
I did leave my job. I had intended to shift to a part-time position there, but in the end that’s not the way it went. Another “no” from the Universe. But since 2020, I have learned to have faith that all of these denied and blocked paths are leading me to the path of my passions.
I never have held a job more than five years, and the more “traditional” the position, the shorter my tenure. I have a hard time dedicating my life to a position that demands more than it provides in returns. How lovely it was that the pandemic shook many American workers into such a mindset. Even now, corporations are bribing workers to return to the office, employers are having a hard time filling extremely underpaid positions, and higher education scrambles to address a major unexpected drop in enrollment.
The pandemic caused a great shuffling of the American card deck, and workers realized they had more to work with than they thought. They were able to discard low-value cards, in exchange for a hand of cards worth playing. Some people folded.
I appreciate you as a reader. However, I must consistently request support. Upgrade your free access to a $5 a month backstage pass. You can discontinue at any time.
I have owned my own business for 17 years. Sometimes I’ve worked it, sometimes I haven’t. Sometimes it has been profitable, sometimes it hasn’t. For ten years we published a monthly magazine, Two-Lane Livin’ — bound for a decade by deadlines and delivery schedules. Though I mourned the loss of it, I was also relieved, freed from the demands of our spoiled and insistent child that grew and grew but never matured.
So, I’m freelancing again. Workin’ the business, doin’ my thing. And seeking out clients for remote work. All this is possible right? Working from home? Working remote? I mean, we have TWO internet connections, Exede satellite and Funky Frontier Communications.
But there’s this lack of cell phone coverage that has become an issue for me.
I’ve never really taken to my cell phone. I don’t even answer the house phone with any consistency. I don’t embrace anything that is an interruption to my current predicament. For the most part, I carry my cell phone out and about, “just in case.” A total of six people have my cell phone number. When it rings, it tends to go on for a while before I even grasp the fact that it’s my own device demanding my attention. About 25% of the time, I forget to even carry it with me.
And now that I rarely go anywhere and I live two miles from a cell signal (in winter, 11 miles in summer), the cell phone spends most of its time communing with the charger. I never loaded social media apps on it, so I’ve never morphed into a pod person checking my phone every 8-12 minutes of the day. And, when I’m home, it won’t ring, and it won’t receive text messages — and I like it that way.
So when I find a new client, or secure remote work, and the log-in process tells me it has sent a security code via text, valid for the next 10 minutes, it pisses me off. There’s no way I can jump in the car, drive to the cell signal, get the text, drive back, and enter that code within 10 minutes. No way.
Yes, I can change my situation to where the cell phone will fully function via our internet. The issue is — I don’t want to. Why should I provide 24-hour access to my life for the occasional security code? Why does the world think that everyone is textable? I don’t want to “chat.” I don’t want my life’s communication methods to open up to what has replaced real conversations in many relationships.
When you’re sitting next to me on a couch with your phone in hand and send me a text, I want to slap you. When I’m sitting in a group of people who are all holding their phones, I don’t see any point to being present.
Some of these security processes allow for use of authenticator apps — a way around the dreaded texted security codes. Some don’t. And for me, right now, I just accept that as another way the Universe is saying, “no.”
There is a value to a lack of cell phone coverage, and I intend to embrace it as long as I can.