Hello again! It has been far too long since I last wrote in this blog and I’ve been reflecting this week on how I need to write. It’s so important to me as an individual, mother, and educator that I articulate my words regularly. It is in the quiet time of putting words to a page that get fresh ideas, renew my direction, and pick up on the subtle leadings of God.
I think I will start this return post with a life update. Since I last wrote in this blog, I moved to Japan and made the big switch from teaching high school English to teaching third grade! I know, big switch right? Is it any wonder I didn’t find the time to foster a writing habit? I suppose not but the time to get back into it is now. Of course, I couldn’t start writing this morning without the dreaded task of more electronic housekeeping. I love technology such as using writing apps as well as photo and video. I despise updating accounts and getting locked out of my workflow when I’ve been absent and I’m forced to change passwords. The last few months have been harder than ever.
Learn from my mistakes.
When you move, especially overseas, no one tells you the first thing you should do is update all of your information in your email and most relied on accounts. Of course you know to do these updates with your billing, banks, etc. But these online accounts with passwords your computer memorizes so you don’t have to think about it? Yeah I don’t think about that. I was busy with all the other odds and ends of moving our life from the deep south in the United States to a small island in Japan. In November I had an automated password change situation with my main email account. I don’t remember changing the password but I’ve used the same password for that email account since the beginning of it’s existence. Suddenly I wasn’t receiving needed emails and low and behold I couldn’t log in to my account. Usually when we get locked out of online accounts, we have backup ways to verify our identities. The problem was, every backup was completely out of date and inaccessible. My backup email was typed incorrectly. My backup phone number, no longer valid. I had no way to verify my own identity. I went through the process gmail has set up to wait and let them investigate. I sent them my story. This resulted in a 2 week at a time wait only to learn that it wouldn’t work.
This inconvenience (understatement) led to being unable to access banking information for a couple months, trouble with autopayment subscriptions, having to update my log ins for every single account I’ve every needed (still updating months later btw), and even trouble re-accessing this very blog!
So the moral of the story is, even if you “don’t particularly read email” you must remember the email address is the lifeline to accessing everything in your work life and much of your personal life. So it is worthwhile to keep your personal accounts updated with your most current phone number and a GOOD backup email. When you move or change phones, start the tedious task of tracking every place that piece of information is needed. It is more tedious fixing the problem of being permanently and hopelessly locked out of an email account you use to log in to virtually everything.
The other moral is … minimize or abolish subscriptions to goods and services. I still have subscriptions but I’m going through a purge. I needed to explain to a friend recently why I got rid of my Rodan and Fields subscription even though you can always push out orders until you’re ready and she’s the best consultant on the planet who is organized enough to remind every client and prevent them from unwanted orders. Friend, it’s not you; it’s me. 100% it’s me. I need to organize my online life. When you get locked out of the email account you use for every single thing and you have to update every single thing–you realize you need a LOT LESS things. I’m better off buying an R&F product paying a wee bit more without the subscription than having a subscription (one of 12 subscriptions probably) that I have to keep track of. There are enough things to track when you manage a home, children, and an elementary classroom. There is not enough brain space for all of the things. I’ll be happier with less things.
Have you ever been through this headache? How did you organize your electronic life? Leave me a comment if you like and I hope my challenge inspired you to take the time to organize your log ins before a surprise circumstance forces you to take time you don’t have and costs you $$$.
Keep teaching and learning and I’ll see you in the next post!