The Best Thing I Ever Did

A Tale about Gmail

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It' ain't all trash, here's a photo of Zia Mahmood and me, found and appreciated through the culling process

It happened this afternoon while playing in an online bridge match. At the beginning of the “session” my Gmail account had over 4,000 emails in it. At the time of this writing the number has been whittled down to 2,006. The Email Game did not get me this far, desperation did.

I’ve spent the better half of April sleeping and dreading doing work. Everything has been put off and herein lies the danger of being one’s own boss. We answer to nobody but our conscience. While that is not entirely true, it can lead to some deep holes, and the one in which I have been finding myself felt impenetrable. “I’ll get to it, tomorrow” became my constant refrain. Like a smoker who will not quit but won’t own up to it. I even saw through it, but it didn’t matter.

So when I got to be dummy a bunch early in the match I looked around for ways to busy myself. Email beckoned. Near the top right hand corner of my online gmail page there is a set of numbers. It currently reads 1-50 of 2,006. So I hovered over it, and found that I can sort my emails from “Oldest.” Well, I did so and much to my delight found some evidence from the accounts beginnings March of 2012.

I had just left my job of 7.5 years doing investor relations for Quantitative Investment Management and needed an email address. At the lunch honoring my departure, my former boss asked me at what email address I could be reached. So I gave them my email address. The one from the failed start up in which I invested. Hotmail was passe, so this seemed best. “Interesting” Jaffray commented, making note of the failed venture as my email of choice.

So Gmail became the next best thing. What I failed to realize until today, is the burden all of these emails had placed upon me. In speaking to my attorney for the next chapter, filmmaking, I would think to myself, “I have a copy of that in my email.” Well, guess what, I don’t!!! What a relief it is to know this, SMH.

Clarity is such a gift. I had been lying to myself about what I did and did not have in my email because I was too lazy to check. So I started deleting, en masse. I got confidence by reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In it, she encouraged me to let it rip! It’s cathartic. Instead of knowing what is and what is not in the depth’s of my email, I am looking! Can you imagine? What a novel process.

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