Our string of recently discovered opportunities started with the need for faster internet to meet a client’s project needs.
Since our little slice of country paradise has no cable available, we have limited options for getting online.
The former owner of our house worked remotely like I do, so I figured there’d be no problem when we moved in.
However, I quickly learned the company she used had only so many portals available. Once ours was reassigned, there was no longer an option there.
So, we were left with either satellite internet or a hotspot to meet our internet-access needs.
Since we’ve always been happy with the reliability of Verizon—and the reviews of satellite internet at the time weren’t too hot—we went that route, relying on a hotspot box the size of a deck of cards to connect.
Heading to the cell tower with my media assistant.
However, it’s certainly not as fast as cable, and depending upon how congested the internet is, my media assistant (that would be Blue) and I sometimes have to hop in the car and drive closer to a cell tower to use the hotspot on my phone if I’m working with something that eats up more data, like a video file.
But when I was faced with a client project that required faster internet speed, I knew I couldn’t just climb in the car every time I needed more zippy access.
So, that particular challenge created the need to dig into some research about what our other options might be.
That process led to a better and cheaper package from Verizon, as well as a simple external antenna we learned about online.
Dave mounted it on a J bracket he repurposed from an old satellite dish; attached it in a strategic location outside on one end of the house; and pointed it toward the nearest cell tower (there are maps online that tell which is closest).
Then, we used the simple adaptor that was part of the kit to connect it to our little hotspot.
Immediately, the bars of our signal jumped from one to three, creating a whole new world of streaming access we couldn’t wait to start enjoying—like the free subscription to Disney+ that was included with our new Verizon package.
Since I’m a Star Wars nerd, that was a big deal.
After all, Dave had found the new hit series The Mandalorian for us to watch, which meant we’d get to enjoy all the wonderful Star Wars-type characters and effects—including the most wonderful of all in the series, Baby Yoda, aka Grogu.
I immediately fell in love with Grogu (though for the longest time we didn’t actually know that was his name), which is why Dave bought me a poster of him, which hangs on the door of my study (like I said, I’m a Star Wars nerd).
In our previous non-antenna world we’d never been able to stream, which meant we’d never been able to watch all the other great stuff that’s also available through our Amazon Prime account.
Price drops rock, too.
While we thought new viewing bliss was nice, we were even more delighted by another new opportunity that was yet to come.
Since we don’t have cable, another issue we’ve faced is limited options for regular television access.
So another choice we made when we moved in was to get satellite TV.
While that’s been a good solution when there’s not a thunderstorm overhead (which is nearly every summer afternoon in Florida), it’s also quite pricey, even with the most basic package.
By the time all the fees and device charges were added in, we were paying a hefty sum each month.
Since Dave and I have been increasingly embracing simplicity in our lives, we decided to research options to make use of our new streaming ability instead of relying on satellite TV.
What we came up with has been a delight in terms of our budget, which is to sign up for a streaming TV service for 75% less than what we were paying each month.
And no contracts and no equipment. Woohoo!
Uncovering hidden opportunities.
No, it’s not perfect, since that buffering circle can be a frequent companion when the internet is congested at certain times of the day—or if we have multiple devices online (at which point we usually get up and turn everything else off).
But one thing I’ve certainly learned in dealing with sluggish internet access in my work is patience.
After all, there’s always something else to do while the circle is circling.
Clean off my desk.
Read a book.
Spend time in prayer.
Enjoy a cup of coffee with my husband.
Patience is still a virtue.
Our instant-access, always-connected, increasingly-impatient society can easily lure us into thinking we need to have everything yesterday.
But I believe God wants to remind us to embrace the bounty that can be found in the simple things He provides.
Like savoring the peace and quiet that’s possible without the din of the world chattering from a screen.
Learning patience in the waiting that can be applied to so many situations.
Viewing challenges as windows through which we can see new opportunities.
And stepping into His presence when we leave the distractions behind.
This post is adapted from Sue’s Perspectives column in the latest edition of The Empowered Traveler™ Newsletter. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can do that here: Subscribe to Sue’s newsletter.
Feature photo by Jayden Yoon ZK.