Delete, delete, delete...e-mail. Today's challenge was way too easy but didn't have the same satisfaction level as clothes and kitchen. I felt like I didn't have to wrestle with my conscience at all. I have so many emails in my inbox that I was able to easily delete 10. To challenge myself, I used the search box to delete multiple emails by the same sender. A big bang delete for my buck.
39 x Abraham-Hicks emails...there is such a thing as too much motivation.
50 x Work emails were moved to my work-specific folder.
73 x Library reminder emails.
31 x Medium Daily Digest emails...In the future, I will consider having weekly digests as opposed to daily...daily is a lot.
60 x Hay House advertisements...overwhelmed by personal growth and tempted by $1.99 books!
Forgot to look x Amazon order emails...had to be specific by adding order or it would have deleted my invoices too.
1 x Zen Habits folder...love their site...never look in the folder that had two emails.
1 x Young Naturalist Folder with 75 emails...my days of leading small children into the woods have ended. I now trick reluctant young adults into the woods...one word - sugar.
48 x Volunteer emails...again had to be specific...I only wanted to delete volunteer time schedules for days long past.
I did some other deleting here and there but didn't document those. In total, I ended up with 892 emails in my trash folder. I am not sure I will ever have a clear inbox. There are still 1000s of emails in there. I did enjoy doing group deletes though and plan to continue this as I find my inbox filling up with more advertisements.
I am currently immersed in a blogging class where I am learning a lot about marketing, whether it's to build readership or sell products. Admittedly learning about marketing has left a rather bad taste in my mouth. One process is called funneling where you send an email offering something for free, followed by multiple other emails essentially attempting to hook anyone on the fence to buy an offering. Once the purchase is made, there is an upselling process where you try to add another product significantly discounted to make the sale larger. For me, the intention behind marketing is key. One of my favorite people to get marketing emails from does not send multiple emails. Her course offerings tend to be more expensive, but she hooks me with her newsy authentic chit-chat about her real life. Authenticity matters. Now that I understand the funnel, I am immediately turned off when I get multiple emails from the same person.
One new habit I am trying to create is to use my Pending folder. Instead of losing emails down the page as new ones come in, I am consciously trying to send emails that need some sort of action to this folder. Unfortunately, I have not set up a good system for checking the pending folder. So, my pending folder turns into my email museum. Still figuring this out.
Today, I did something that I haven't been able to do for the last nine years...I read some of my dad's old emails. In 2012, my dad passed away after a 6-week stint in the hospital. His death was unexpected until it wasn't. During his time in hospital, my dad was not my dad. He was scared, he was confused, and he wanted to escape. It still weighs heavily that I wasn't able to give him some comfort before his death. I have memories from that time that I wish I didn't have. What I keep reminding myself is that someone's last moments when they are at their very lowest is not an adequate reflection of that person. You need to weigh the moment against a lifetime. This thought eases the angst that accompanies that memory.
Opening one of several emails that he had sent in the last few weeks before his hospital stay, he was fixated on the topic of setting up a website for me. I hadn't remembered this. I'm not even sure how the idea originated...whether I had mentioned wanting to do some writing or he wanted me to do some writing. Three or four of his last few emails talked about how he wanted to walk me through the website he had set up for me. When I was leaving his house on the last time I was with him before his hospitalization, he seemed to feel an urgent need to make sure I had the website address and password. He pressed these into my hand hours before he went into the hospital.
It was a pleasant surprise that these emails gave me some joy, and in a way, I feel maintaining this blog (not the same one he set up for me) is a little way I can honor him. No regrets.
These emails will not be deleted...I thought I should mention this.
Decluttering today led me down a path of remembering and had me face some memories. I am not sure this is always a reason to declutter, but it certainly can be a side effect...fortunately for me a pleasant side effect After this little project, I've been left with a feeling that my dad is not far away which is lovely.
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.
- Dr. Suess