It’s paid off.

In December 2021, Verizon bricked my BlackBerry KEYone cell phone when they shut off their 3G network and didn’t make their 5G network backwards-compatible. Ugh. I was forced to scrounge up a suitable replacement, which to me was a Google Pixel 6 Pro camera with as many bells and whistles as I could pack.

At the time, since it was an emergency purchase, I opted to space the payments out over a period of years.

Yesterday, I decided to make things official.

I contacted Verizon and paid off the phone’s remaining balance.

This is important.

Not only does this knock $40/month off my Verizon monthly cell phone bill, it also means that this Google Pixel 6 Pro phone is now an essential part of my life. In the 14 months of my personal ownership, it’s provided me with everything I expect from a phone – and more.

I added some of my photography software, which allowed me to scope out the exact location and shooting exposures for everything from the 2022 Lunar Eclipse in Syracuse to the 2022 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Chase. It’s helped me set up and scope shooting locations for future endeavors, and it’s harnessed the power of Google’s various apps and treats to work as my own personal assistant.

Essentially, I now own Google’s version of a Gal Friday – albeit one without a miniskirt, a tight sweater or a pair of “sexy librarian” glasses. Oh well.

And by paying off the phone, I’ve made a commitment. It’s the same commitment to when I pay off an automobile, or pay off a camera. It’s now my property and my personal equipment.

To be honest, it feels good to pay things off and be “free and clear” in ownership. Because there will come a day in my life when I’ll receive that tap on my shoulder and learn that my ride has arrived. We will all receive that tap on the shoulder at some point.

And when that day comes, I don’t want to leave owing anybody anything. Let me break even on my dying day, and I’ll die in peace.

Yeah, it seems like such a small, trivial thing – paying off a cell phone.

But I grew up in a culture where if you purchased something and it continues to work, you keep it for as long as you possibly can. You don’t get rid of something because it’s an old model. Heck, I still have a 17-year-old television that has now lasted longer than the marriage I was in when I bought it. It still works, and I don’t need a new one.

So yeah. Cell phone is paid off, free and clear.

Now let’s work on paying off my car. One step at a time, right? 😀